‘”Living pictures”: Bergson, cinema, and film-philosophy’ (2021)
Bergson was the first philosopher to think and write about the cinema; and the impact of his writing and thought – both for his philosophy and for film-theory – should not be underestimated.
This is the position I take in this essay with respect to Bergson’s Creative Evolution (1907).
After that, I go on to trace cinematic Bergsonism from the earliest days of film-theory right up to the present – with special focus upon the film writing of Jean Epstein and Gilles Deleuze.
‘Deleuze’s Three Syntheses Go to Hollywood: The Tripartite Cinema of Time Travel, Many Worlds and Altered States’ (2019)
Exploiting Gilles Deleuze’s three syntheses of time, space, and consciousness from Difference and Repetition (1968) allows a conceptual development of time travel cinema through Planet of the Apes (Franklin J. Schaffner, 1968), The Terminator (James Cameron, 1984), and Back to the Future (Robert Zemeckis, 1985).
‘Why Not? – Imamura, Nietzsche, and the Untimely’ (2019)
Interrogating Shohei Imamura’s cinematic exploitation of the past in the context of his disruptive filmic praxis, this essay employs Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy of history from his early foundational essay ‘On the Uses and Abuses of History for Life’ from Untimely Meditations (1873-6).
Nietzsche’s philosophy affirms discord, disjunction, and dissonance pre-echoing the disruptive cinematic praxis in the period epic Eijanaika / Why Not? (1981).
‘Archive Rushes: Truth and Lie in Adam Curtis’s HyperNormalisation‘ (2018)
HyperNormalisation appears captured within a whole set of embedded discourses: new and old media, simple and complex narration, claims of truth and lie. This paper explores these co-ordinates by turning to Janet H. Murray’s seminal Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace (1997/2017) and Friedrich Nietzsche, in particular the early unpublished but foundational essay ‘On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense’ (1873).
‘Look? Optical / Sound Situations and Interpretation: Ozu – (Deleuze) – Kiarostami’ (2018)
This chapter explores the influence on Abbas Kiarostami’s Five (2003) of the cinema of Ozu, theorizing the nature of the dedication in the subtitle: 5 Long Takes—Dedicated to Yasujiro Ozu.
Such questions will be approached through the philosopher Gilles Deleuze and his two books on film, Cinema 1—The Movement-Image and Cinema 2—The Time-Image, and one of Ozu’s most famous movies, Floating Weeds (1959).
‘Time travel and temporal paradox: Deleuze, the time-image and Russian Ark‘ (2015)
Alexander Sokurov’s Russian Ark (2002) is far from being a traditional time-travel film. Tellingly, few critical engagements have yet to discuss it in such a context, preferring instead to explore its technical virtuosity (famously, one long take) as capturing a present haunted by various pasts. Yet it seems to me that considering Russian Ark through the time-travel genre allows a number of productive readings.
‘An imprint of Godzilla: Deleuze, the action-image and universal history’ (2012)
This essay explores director Honda Ishiro’s 1954 monster flick Godzilla as a cultural artefact at the epicentre of Japanese cinema in the wake of the atom bomb..
In respect to Deleuze’s theory of cinema, the film is an action-image imprint, the monster an object capturing up the emotions of Japanese post-war society. Godzilla, it is often claimed, simply substitutes the rampaging monster for destructive atom bomb. ‘An imprint of Godzilla’ comes to a very different conclusion.
‘Now you see me… Gillian Wearing’s Self Made‘ (2012)
Focusing upon Gillian Wearing’s first feature film, Self Made (2010), this essay explores how the artist / director captures up the paradoxes of actor and character.
Alternating between documentary and fiction, six members of the public ensnared by a newspaper ad work with method acting guru Sam Rumbelow to create and star in their own short films.
This essay explores the paradox of the film as both simultaneously classical and modernist.
‘A Deleuzian cineosis: cinematic syntheses of time’ (2011)
What is the impetus for the taxonomy of Deleuze’s time-image? Is there even a taxonomy here?
This article proposes that the stimulus for the taxonomy of the time-image is the three syntheses of time from Difference and Repetition, and that the nine aspects of these syntheses can be seen to correspond to the nine signs of the time-image.
‘Cinema, chronos / cronos: becoming an accomplice to the impasse of history’ (2009)
This chapter explores the two theses Deleuze puts forward for the transformation between movement-images and time-image in his Cinema books: the taxonomic and the historical.
Giving in-depth overviews and accounts of each – the claim is made that both are valid if approached from different perspectives, from the perspective of the movement-image and the perspective of the time-image.