Gilles Deleuze (book review) Paola Marrati

Cinema and Philosophy


Alisa Hartz(Translator)


110116: once again: brilliant. this is one of those short short books of nonfiction that seem to require having read many other books. she has narrowed subject of his work down to his two books on cinema, but this does not mean it is simple. her argument is that deleuze sees the cinema as any art, a project of thinking in its very nature, and in elaborating this thought, enacting this thought, we should realize that it is not new thinking but an idea of what thinking has been all our human lives...


she uses bergson and his idea of time, of duration, of images, later of selective impressions of multiplicity, with dz as sympathetic interlocutor, and this is beautiful and fruitful. this is not 'theory of film', not psychoanalysis, not utopian Marxist, not some 'critical' framework, but investigation of dz's concepts of 'time-image', 'action-image', 'pure thought', 'virtuality versus actuality', of necessity finally of 'faith in this world'... dz unifies the nature of early film theories, of 'organic' montage of griffith and opposing 'dialectical' montage of eisenstein, but just when this is asserted he moves on to what might be called 'depth image' that is welles, or antonioni, dreyer and ozu...


there are many more works to read. some assertions, certainly dz's 'faith' after disillusion of necessary illusions which motivated both classical film forms of hollywood and Russian film, this loss after ww2, are only applicable to the 'soul' of cinema and not the multitudes of popular entertainment. when 'shock', when 'parallel' montage, when 'convergent' montage, can be used not to show truth but instead evoke propaganda, there is loss of belief in this art...


this book is only really on dz's works cinema 1 and cinema 2, but part of the argument relies on reading these works as prelude to his 'what is philosophy'. which i obviously must read again. dz is fascinating. this work also integrates bergson from before, robbe-grillet from after, and so even more to read or reread. someone might be bothered by the 'postmodern' aspect of dz, of the apparent ontological creation of bergson's 'images', but this is to me only inspiring. is there not something engaging in following thoughts of the cinema? one of the bits i will most remember is the assertion that bazin et al. are mistaken in claiming film is a language, that we can break it up in a structural way...yes more to read so i will be able to read the cinema 1 and cinema 2 books...

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