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Steven Eastwood Click here to Print this Page
Unknown Bodies

This is why philosopher Gilles Deleuze, in his two Cinema books (1: The Movement-Image and 2: The Time-Image) ignores the historical, political and semiotic conventions of film theory, and lumps together Hitler and Hollywood, Eisenstein and Griffith: in each, the thinking is already being done by the film text, as narrative. Deleuze suggests that we might instead lever open possible temporal gaps in the moving image, in order to make a space for what he describes as the "not-yet-thought." Deleuze, progenitor (with Felix Guattari) of schizoanalyis and the rhizome, navigator of ideational lines of flight, is a philosopher who looks to situations where the emergence of uncommon thought is possible. He finds it most palpably in the moving image, what he calls the twentieth century's philosophical thinking machine. Deleuze's interest is in fact with one of the problems of our time: time itself; principally our cognitive maintenance of time. He grew up watching Italian neo-realist feature films, and the object of much of his analysis remains the films he remembers from the post war period. In the itinerant form of Rossellini, Antonioni, Ackerman or the crystalline and repetitive rendering of events in Resnais, Brakhage or Marker, Deleuze discovers time-images, populated by irrational intervals and aberrant camera orientation, where sheets of present, past and future co-mingle. Bergson is Deleuze's philosophical forebear, but Pasolini, Deren and Tarkovsky are the practitioners of his thoughts, each of them thinking in cinema, as poetry, rendering reality with reality, deploying a free and indirect discourse of cinematic speech-acts, where it is no longer possible to discern between the subjective experience of the character and the director's expression, and where sequences frequently cut between fictional and actual elements.

Still from Blue Black Permanent by Margaret Tait (1992)
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