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Deleuze, Cinema and National Identity

Deleuze, Cinema and National Identity: Narrative Time in National Contexts

David Martin-Jones
Copyright Date: 2006
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Deleuze, Cinema and National Identity
    Book Description:

    A monograph exploring the ways in which Deleuze's philosophy of time can enhance our understanding of contemporary mainstream cinema.

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-2971-8
    Subjects: Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. vii-vii)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. viii-x)
  5. Introduction: Deleuze, Film Studies and National Identity
    (pp. 1-16)

    This book uses Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy of time to engage with a range of contemporary films from a number of different national cinemas. It illustrates how Deleuze’s theories can broaden our understanding of the way national identity is constructed in cinema. At the same time, the conjunction of Deleuze and the study of national identity adds an, until now, untheorised dimension to Deleuze’s categories of the time- and the movement-image. Understanding the construction of national identity in cinema, it will be seen, also broadens our understanding of Deleuze.

    The films under discussion have all emerged within the very limited time...

  6. Part I Deleuze and Narrative Time

    • CHAPTER 1 History
      (pp. 19-49)

      This chapter introduces the different definitions of time that are found in Deleuze’s cinema texts, Cinema 1: The Movement-Image and Cinema 2: The Time-Image. It then interrogates the debate surrounding how the movement-image and the time-image interact. This is of crucial importance because how these images are understood to coexist greatly influences the conclusions drawn when using Deleuze to analyse films. I argue that their interaction is such that many of the recent movement-images that express characteristics previously thought typical of the time-image (particularly a multiple, jumbled, reversed or otherwise non-linear narrative time scheme) should not be seen as evidence...

    • CHAPTER 2 Memory
      (pp. 50-82)

      This chapter explores how memory functions in the movement- and the time-image. This entails a focused exploration of the individual’s existence in time, which builds upon the ‘two “I”s’ section of Chapter 1. As memory functions differently in the two images so too is the subject (here the character within the film) envisaged differently in each case. Understanding this distinction is of great importance as many films explore the temporality of character identity to negotiate transformations of national identity allegorically. Most obviously this is achieved through the use of a character’s memory to represent the reconstruction of the national past....

  7. part II Movement-/Time-Image Films

    • CHAPTER 3 National Identity in the Global City
      (pp. 85-120)

      Sliding Doors (1997) and Run Lola Run (1998) were two of the most formally distinctive narratives to emerge in European cinema in the late 1990s. Sliding Doors is a British film that portrays events in its dual narrative as though they are taking place simultaneously in two parallel universes. To facilitate audience comprehension it episodically cuts between the two in a clear and pointed fashion. For its part, Run Lola Run replays its narrative three times, each time slightly differently. At first glance both films could be said to express the labyrinthine conception of time characteristic of the time-image. However,...

    • CHAPTER 4 American Triumphalism and the First Gulf War
      (pp. 121-155)

      This chapter examines how certain American films that emerged after the First Gulf War manipulated narrative time in order to construct national identity. It begins with a discussion of triumphalism, arguably the dominant national narrative of the USA in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Triumphalism is a mythical inversion of colonial reality that has existed in American cinema since (at least) The Birth of a Nation (1915). Saving Private Ryan (1998) is then analysed, especially its use of flashback in conjunction with character memory, to determine how this contemporary movement-image facilitates the construction of a triumphal national narrative. Its use...

    • CHAPTER 5 Renegotiating the National Past after 9/11
      (pp. 156-187)

      After 9/11, North American cinema’s construction of national identity took on a slightly different relationship to the past. In many ways the attack enabled American cinema to continue to propagate a triumphal narrative. After all, America was the aggrieved party and could easily justify retaliation. However, the traumatic events of September 2001 also necessitated a reexamination of the recent past. Many films produced or released since 9/11 allegorically relive this trauma in order to work through national loss. Unable to directly represent the attacks themselves, they explore national identity by focusing on an individual’s attempts to regain agency after a...

    • CHAPTER 6 The Pacific Rim
      (pp. 188-221)

      This chapter examines three films from Asian Pacific Rim countries, Too Many Ways to be Number One (Hong Kong, 1997), Chaos (Japan, 1999) and Peppermint Candy (South Korea, 2000). These particular films are singled out because they have, by turns, a multiple, a jumbled and a reversed narrative structure. They are examined chronologically, each time with reference to a number of other films from their respective national cinemas. Although there are numerous difficulties attached to labelling South Korea and Hong Kong ‘nations’ the unusual narratives of these three films are, nevertheless, again viewed as attempts to negotiate ‘national’ identity in...

  8. Conclusion: Blind Chance and Possible Futures
    (pp. 222-227)

    The films discussed in this book are contemporary manifestations of a tradition that can be traced back to directors such as Hitchcock, Fellini, Godard, Rivette, Tarkovsky, Resnais et al., those same directors that Deleuze drew on in constructing his taxonomy of images. The appearance of a labyrinthine model of time in many of these films is particularly indebted to Alain Resnais’ oeuvre, which includes such films as L’année dernière a Marienbad (1961), fe t’aime je t’aime(1968), Providence(1977) and Smoking/No Smoking(1993). Moreover, Run Lola Run and Peppermint Candy both self-consciously acknowledge their debt to Krzystof Kieslowski’s Blind Chance (1981) as does...

  9. Select Bibliography
    (pp. 228-237)
  10. Select Filmography
    (pp. 238-239)
  11. Index
    (pp. 240-246)