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Gilles Deleuze: From Philosophy to Cinema

Lecturer: Jon Roffe

Originally Taught: Evening Sem 1 2020

This course will present a thorough-going introduction to Deleuze’s two monumental and difficult works on the cinema. The course is effectively broken up into five moments:

1) An introduction to the Bergsonian framework of Deleuze’s analysis of the cinema

2) An account of the structure and elementary components of the classical cinema of the movement-image

3) An account of the failure of the classical cinema, its causes and its consequences (positive and negative) for the cinema

4) An account of the structure and elementary components of the modern cinema of the time-image

5) An account of the nature of subjectivity and politics in light of what the modern cinema is able to accomplish

The course will conclude by adopting a broader perspective and asking what the significance of the cinema books in the context of the trajectory of his work as a whole.

The extended format of this seminar will allow for the inclusion of a significant selection of examples drawn from the cinema.

The week by week breakdown will be as follows:

  1. Introduction. Bergson’s account of perception, action, movement and time.
  2. On the inhumanity of the cinema. Shot, cut, montage.
  3. Four forms of montage
  4. Three elementary movement-images: perception-images, affection-images, action-images
  5. Three intermediary images: impulse-images, reflection-images, relation-images
  6. The crisis of the action-image and the birth of the modern cinema
  7. Neo-realism and the opsign, mnemosign and onirosign
  8. The structure of the time-image. Recapitulating Bergson on time. The crystal-image
  9. Three chronosigns.
  10. Cinema and thought. Montage and the brain in modern cinema. The people to come
  11. The case of the lectosign and the pedagogy of the cinema.
  12. Speculative conclusion. Two readings of the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze