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Afterimages of Gilles Deleuze’s Film Philosophy

Afterimages of Gilles Deleuze’s Film Philosophy

D. N. Rodowick Editor
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 424
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  • Book Info
    Afterimages of Gilles Deleuze’s Film Philosophy
    Book Description:

    The first new collection of critical studies on Deleuze’s cinema writings in nearly a decade, Afterimages of Gilles Deleuze’s Film Philosophy provides original essays that evaluate the continuing significance of Deleuze’s film theories, accounting systematically for the ways in which they have influenced the investigation of contemporary visual culture and offering new directions for research. Contributors: Raymond Bellour, Centre Nationale de Recherches Scientifiques; Ronald Bogue, U of Georgia; Giuliana Bruno, Harvard U; Ian Buchanan, Cardiff U; James K. Chandler, U of Chicago; Tom Conley, Harvard U; Amy Herzog, CUNY; András Bálint Kovács, Eötvös Loránd U; Patricia MacCormack, Anglia Ruskin U; Timothy Murray, Cornell U; Dorothea Olkowski, U of Colorado; John Rajchman, Columbia U; Marie-Claire Ropars-Wuilleumier, U Paris VIII; Garrett Stewart, U of Iowa; Damian Sutton, Glasgow School of Art; Melinda Szaloky, UC Santa Barbara_x000B_

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-7072-7
    Subjects: Film Studies

Table of Contents

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  1. Introduction: What Does Time Express?
    (pp. xiii-xxiv)
    D. N. Rodowick

    According to Gilles Deleuze, time is the Event defined as the everrecurring possibility for the creation of the new. Cinema no doubt was birthed in time in that no one in 1895 could have imagined that it would develop as an art, much less as a philosophical machine. As Deleuze writes of cinema’s origins, “the essence of a thing never emerges at its beginning, but only in the middle, in the course of its development when its powers are affirmed.”¹ Only retrospectively do we recognize the emergence of the new.

    “The essence of a thing never emerges at its beginning”:...

  2. Part I. Doublings

    • 1. The Image of Thought: Art or Philosophy, or Beyond?
      (pp. 3-14)
      Raymond Bellour

      1964. Gilles Deleuze concludes the first version of his bookProust and Signswith several incisive pages titled “The Image of Thought,” taking up again the essential points of chapter 2, “Sign and Truth.” Through his search for truth as the truth of time, expressed by signs to be interpreted, Proust’s work “rivals philosophy. Proust constructs an image of thought opposed to that of philosophy.”¹ Deleuze adds, “Philosophy, with all its method and its good will, is nothing compared with the secret pressures of the work of art.”² But he also makes clear, “It may be that Proust’s critique of...

    • 2. Image or Time? The Thought of the Outside in The Time-Image (Deleuze and Blanchot)
      (pp. 15-30)
      Marie-Claire Ropars-Wuilleumier

      The grand narrative of the cinema that Deleuze proposes is, we know, ruled and turned on its head from the inside by the eternal return of sameness-in-difference(l’éternel retour du même différent).Many filmmakers who we thought modern—such as Jean-Luc Godard and Pier Paolo Pasolini, as well Robert Bresson and Orson Welles—have a place in both of the work’s two volumes, reappearing not only inCinema 2: The Time-Image, but also inCinema 1: The Movement-Image, alongside those greats of the silent era, Buster Keaton, Jean Epstein, or F. W. Murnau. Thus the cinema plunges into itself, digging...

    • 3. Notes to a Footnote: The Open Work according to Eco and Deleuze
      (pp. 31-46)
      András Bálint Kovács

      In a footnote toDifference and Repetition, Deleuze notes, “Eco shows that the ‘classical’ work of art can be considered from different perspectives and can be judged according to different interpretations, but to not every interpretation or point of view corresponds an autonomous work contained in the chaos of a great work. The characteristic of the ‘modern’ work of art appears to be the absence of a center of convergence.”¹ This reference to Eco is a small detail in Deleuze’s work; it never returns in the rest of the book. And the fact that Deleuze attributes to Eco the idea...

    • 4. Mutual Images: Reflections of Kant in Deleuze’s Transcendental Cinema of Time
      (pp. 47-74)
      Melinda Szaloky

      InCritique of Pure Reason,Immanuel Kant describes the philosophical climate of his day in terms of trepidation and “indifferentism,” brought about by the futility of attempts to bridge the rift between a despotic “dogmatic metaphysics” and the half-baked skepticism of inquisitive but uncouth intellectual “nomads.”¹ Dissatisfied with the taste of his “syncretisticage” for an insincere and shallow “coalition systemof contradictory principles,”² Kant refocuses his attention and power of reflection on the symptom of indifference and disaffection, which he perspicaciously considers to be the effect “not of the heedlessness but of the matured judgment”³ of his time. Nourished...

    • 5. Darkness and Light
      (pp. 75-94)
      Dorothea Olkowski

      Sitting before the computer screen, we gaze at the display of digital photographs, souvenirs of summer. A few of the images appear to have a sequential or serial character. I am trying to make you laugh, so I click, click, click, one image after the next. We throw them up on the screen, viewing them at first simultaneously, then one at a time, but quickly. Your shoulders jerk back and forth; the laughing mouth lights up the image then quickly evaporates as we move forward, then backward, forward and backward again, symmetrically, through the series, replacing one image with the...

  3. Part II. Ethics

    • 6. The World, Time
      (pp. 97-114)
      D. N. Rodowick

      At the beginning of the epilogue to hisTheory of Film,Siegfried Kracauer asks, “What is the good of film experience?”¹ The phrasing of the question clarifies what it means to bring ethics and cinema together as a philosophical problem. Kracauer does not want to know if a particular film or filmmaker is “ethical,” nor is the question the basis for making moral judgments of artworks and their makers. His asks, rather, how do we evaluate ourexperienceof the movies, meaning, in what ways do the movies offer themselves as a medium for an interrogation of ourselves, of our...

    • 7. To Choose to Choose—to Believe in This World
      (pp. 115-132)
      Ronald Bogue

      Though one might argue that all of Deleuze’s work deals with ethics, the topic itself does not arise frequently in his writings. InCinema 1: The Movement-ImageandCinema 2: The Time-Image, however, ethics is addressed directly when Deleuze says that “we need an ethic or a faith, which makes idiots laugh,”¹ an ethic of choosing to choose and a faith that allows belief in this world.² In the philosophy of Pascal and Kierkegaard and the cinema of Bresson and Dreyer, Deleuze finds “a strange thought,” an “extreme moralism that opposes the moral,” a “faith that opposes religion.”³ This conjunction...

  4. Part III. Becomings

    • 8. Is a Schizoanalysis of Cinema Possible?
      (pp. 135-156)
      Ian Buchanan

      Is a schizoanalysis of cinema possible? My instinct is to answer unreservedly, “Yes, it is possible,” but reason makes me more cautious and doubtful. I cannot but be conscious of the disheartening thought that if Deleuze had wanted such a thing, surely he would have invented it himself. Certainly there is nothing more striking in Deleuze’s writing than the apparent discontinuity betweenAnti-OedipusandA Thousand Plateausand the books he wrote immediately afterward,Cinema 1: The Movement-ImageandCinema 2: The Time-Image. With the exception of the concepts of “deterritorialization” and “facialization,” there is very little crossover of concepts...

    • 9. Cinemasochism: Submissive Spectatorship as Unthought
      (pp. 157-176)
      Patricia MacCormack

      Cinemasochism describes the openness of the spectator to images. Extending Deleuze’s discussion of affect inCinema 1: The Movement- Image, and particularly his chapter “Cinema, Body, Brain, and Thought” inCinema 2: The Time-Image, cinemasochism asks not what the image means, but rather, what it does—the spectator begs of the image, “use me.” Particularly in films that push the affect of the image to its extreme—from horror to abstract films—submission to the image beyond comprehension takes the viewer outside of film’s metonymy, meaning, and time toward the kind of spatial ecstasy forged within the folding of film...

    • 10. Unthinkable Sex
      (pp. 177-190)
      D. N. Rodowick

      In his two books on cinema, Gilles Deleuze never mentions the concept of conceptual personae, a central concern of chapter 3 ofWhat Is Philosophy?Moreover, Deleuze writes even less on questions of sexual identification. Nonetheless, my parti pris here is the following: to think the question of “gender” in relation to the time-image, we must pass through conceptual personae who may become, for their part, the unthought of sexual difference.

      This is an equally curious idea since conceptual personae have only an oblique relation with either characters or cinematic identification. They arephilosophicalfigures. Their oblique relation to art...

  5. Part IV. Experiments

    • 11. The Strategist and the Stratigrapher
      (pp. 193-212)
      Tom Conley

      Toward the end of the ninth chapter ofCinema 2: The Time-Image,Gilles Deleuze speculates that modern cinema accedes to a “new visibility of things.” The visibility he describes is of a character that accompanies what he calls the new and unforeseen presence of the “stratigraphic” image.¹ Taking up the rupture of the sensorimotor connection that, in the earlier regime of the movement-image, had tied the spectator’s gaze to the motion of what was projected on the screen, now Deleuze sketches out what seems to be a thumbnail treatise of thelandscapeof contemporary cinema. He writes of a layered...

    • 12. Pleats of Matter, Folds of the Soul
      (pp. 213-234)
      Giuliana Bruno

      This chapter weaves together aspects of Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy of the fold with thoughts on the texture of cinematic time-space. In addressing the fashioning of space in film, architecture, and fashion, it is especially concerned with tailoring a space for affect and with exploring the material of emotional fabrics. The starting point for this exploration of the fabrics of the visual is the recognition that Deleuze, unlike many philosophers and film theorists, gives space to the realm of affect in his work on the visual arts.

      Most notably, Deleuze theorizes the notion of an “affection-image,” especially in his bookCinema...

    • 13. The Affection-Image and the Movement-Image
      (pp. 235-258)
      James Chandler

      Deleuze’s engagement with Bergson at the very outset of his two-part study of cinema is now widely recognized as having produced some remarkable results, both conceptual and critical. Some readers who were put off by Deleuze’s work on cinema when it first appeared have gone back to it in a more receptive spirit. Others, like me, even those of us who knew much of Deleuze’s other work, have recently encountered it for the first time with something like a sense of wonder. Part of the wonder in my own case is that although Deleuze makes his Bergsonian categories seem inevitable...

    • 14. Becoming-Fluid: History, Corporeality, and the Musical Spectacle
      (pp. 259-280)
      Amy Herzog

      In “The Mass Ornament,” Siegfried Kracauer describes the spectacle of the Tiller Girls, a franchise of dance troupes that performed synchronized routines in geometrical formations. Kracauer writes, “These products of American distraction factories are no longer individual girls, but indissoluble girl clusters, whose movements are demonstrations of mathematics. . . . One need only glance at the screen to learn that the ornaments are composed of thousands of bodies, sexless bodies in bathing suits. The regularity of their patterns is cheered by the masses, themselves arranged by the stands in tier upon ordered tier.”¹ For Kracauer, the fragmentation and abstraction...

  6. Part V. Futures

    • 15. Deleuze’s Time, or How the Cinematic Changes Our Idea of Art
      (pp. 283-306)
      John Rajchman

      How does the cinematic change our idea of art? Citing Paul Valery, Walter Benjamin begins his great 1934 essay on mechanical reproduction with this question. The problem was not so much whether cinema is an art, the so-called seventh one, but how, starting in the nineteenth century, it helped transform what we think art is, and in particular, how one thinks in the arts or with the arts. For Benjamin already, the problem of the cinematic was inseparable from the whole question, at once aesthetic and political, of how one thinks with the new mass industrial audiovisual means of film...

    • 16. Immanent Images: Photography after Mobility
      (pp. 307-326)
      Damian Sutton

      Photography has a singular life in the philosophy of Deleuze. At first glance, it is one of the building blocks of cinema—as the photogram—with a limited life of its own in comparison to its centrality to the cinematic image and its two different manifestations: the movement-image and the time-image. The movement-image is, of course, hugely reliant on the particular characteristics of the still image. Two photographs, side -by side, account for one of the most important specificities of the cinema as a medium: its ability to modulate time and space through editing these two together. Indeed, the movement-image...

    • 17. Cimnemonics versus Digitime
      (pp. 327-350)
      Garrett Stewart

      One large question hovering over the Time@20 conference concerned what the advent of the digital might have done to the Deleuzian timeimage. My more specific question is why answers should seem, in the decade since the 1995 centenary of motion pictures, to lie in a certain international drift toward not only a postfilmic image, but a postrealist narrative—varying the conference title, call it Digitime@10. Space permits only a cursory glance at the transatlantic (to say nothing of the Pacific Rim) axis of this trend. On one side, there is the European uncanny of temporal disjunction, ethical coincidence, and erotic...

    • 18. Time @ Cinema’s Future: New Media Art and the Thought of Temporality
      (pp. 351-372)
      Timothy Murray

      What will have been the result of looking back to Deleuze’s cinema books from twenty years forward or looking forward from Deleuze’s cinema books twenty years into the future? One response could be paradoxical, one that verges on nostalgia for the future past of cinema: the future ain’t what it used to be. Another would entail a project of retrospective thought as a critical activity that toggles between past and future, one that positions us smack within the crystal of cinematic subjectivity, within what Deleuze calls the paradoxical commonplace of time. Time’s crystal, or the crystallization of time, constitutes the...