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Guide to Reading Deleuze’s The Movement-Image, Part

I: The Deleuzian Notion of the Image, or Worldslicing as
Cinema Beyond the Human

Crystal-image-eye: Deleuze's Worldslicing
What precisely does Deleuze mean by cinema, and with it, the image? And why should a
philosopher, or filmmaker, care? It seems to me that his radical notion of the image,
straddling both philosophy and film, is so incredibly powerful, if often misunderstood.
Many find his cinema books impenetrable, but once one understands precisely what he
means by the term ‘image’, these books just open up. It’s like putting on glasses, or at least,
for me it was. What does it mean, for Deleuze, to do cinema, to image an aspect of the
world?
For the start of the reading guide, skip a few paragraphs down to the section called ‘The
Deleuzian Notion of the Image’, but first, a little context.
The Strange Case of the Cinema Books: Some Context as an Introduction
I’m currently teaching Deleuze’s Cinema I & II, once again, to my students. And I think
part of the reason I keep teaching these books, aside from the fact that at an art school they
are so incredibly relevant, is that they are so incredibly, polymorphously fertile texts.
I find also that I am drawn to texts that are singular, so odd that one wonders how they
came to be in the first place, even as these texts are too brilliant to be ignored. Texts like
Leibniz’s Monadology, Spinoza’s Ethics, Bataille’s early essays, Bergson’s strange
phenomenology, etc. In order to even begin to understand how they came to be, one often
has to do arduous work of reconstructing the situation of the philosopher-artist who put
them together. And I find this research to be of such a fruitful nature, it forces you to
reconstruct the gesture behind a text, and in the process, come to understand what might be
at stake to give birth to something singular as well.

Few know exactly what to make of Deleuze’s two volume Cinema I & II. Philosophers
often ignore them as being about film, and film-makers are often baffled by their dense,
philosophical prose. Straddling genres, Deleuze’s cinema project is truly a queer beast (and
I use both terms here lovingly, and with all potential meanings!). And these books are texts
I’ve written about before, including here and here, because, well, I’m fascinated.
Despite the fact that they are often overlooked, for being difficult, strange, and ‘between’
familiar genres, in so many ways, it nevertheless seems to me that this two volume monster
is the crowning work of Deleuze’s late philosophy. For philosophers to overlook these texts
is to overlook the culmination, in many respects, of his life-work.
And for filmmakers to ignore these books because they are forbidding is just sad. Even if
one doesn’t understand fully what he is getting at philosophically, Deleuze always argued
his books were meant to be used, put into assemblage with other modes of production. It’s
not a matter of getting them ‘right’, its a matter of being affected by them. Deleuze wanted
his books to spur novel becomings, creativities on multiplie levels of scale, breaking up of
psychic and social blockages.
And this is why these texts are so fundamentally in-between. For they ask the question what
it might mean to think of philosophy cinematically, and cinema philosophically, and each
as one and the same yet also different. Deleuze’s project is a becoming-cinema of
philosophy, and becoming-philosophy of cinema.
But even if you don’t get all that, these books can still serve as a source of endless
inspiration for philosophers and filmmakers alike. The random insights on each page spill
off in every direction, even as the global structure lies under it all in its incredibly slippery
brilliance. Whether you come for the surface insights or the deep-structure, these are great
books, ones I never tire of spending time with, a source of continual inspiration, continually
between the categories in which we traditionally divide our lives, and hence, perfect tools
for thinking-outside.
Anyway, what follows is much of the content of what I teach my students to help them with
these books. Hope it’s helpful!
The Deleuzian Notion of the Image: From Image to Imaging
So, let’s dive into Cinema I: The Movement-Image. One of the greatest difficulties in
understanding Deleuze’s massive text, a difficulty that often makes it difficult to understand
even a single sentence or phrase, is that his notion of the image often confuses people.
What does he mean by ‘the image’?
Deleuze gets his notion of the image from Bergson’s Matter and Memory, itself a difficult
text. In the process of explaining Bergson, however, he radically expands the potential of
Bergson’s original idea. He spend several pages describing what he means by this notion
(starting on pg. 57 in the Univ. of Minnesota version of the text). And while these pages
present us with glimmering, inspiring prose, they are not necessarily clear. Poetic, yet not
always accessible.

The entire universe is interconnected, but any individual aspect, any part of it, is an image.
My body, a single atom, the planet Earth, the Sun, a dog, these are all images. This may
seem like an odd usage of the word, but whenever confused, you can replace this word in
your head with its verb form ‘to image’. For each of these individual entities – my body, the
Earth, an atom, etc. – these all depict or image the rest of the cosmos. They are refractions
of the rest of what is.
This is why whenever I teach these books to my students, I explain to them the translation
issues presented by the terms Deleuze uses such as ‘movement-image’, or ‘perceptionimage’. Due to the ways in which adjectives are used in French, it would be equally as
correct to translate these terms as ‘image-OF-movement’, image-OF-time’, ‘image-OFperception.’ I’ve found that whenever the meaning of what Deleuze is getting at in a
passage baffles me, I can simply replace the version in the English translation with this
equivalent, and usually it becomes so much clearer. Better yet, I try to remind myself that
he means image as a verb, as an imaging. So, replace the word ‘movement-image’ with
‘IMAGING-OF-movement’, and you see what he’s getting at.

A very famous perception-image from the news: A Congressman's self-photo in the mirror
which loses him his job. His perspective is foregrounded, framed in the frame, a
perception-image of a perception-image.
Namely, that anything in the world – my body, the Earth, a dog – these are imagings of the
movement which is our cosmos. Even that which stands still, like a book on a table, is
actually continually moving at the quantum level, as well as hurtling with the rest of us on
Earth around the Sun at an incredible pace. Any entity or object is a slice of the movement
of the universe. And it is an active slicing, because anything that appears solid to us is
actually a verb, a continual action that repeats itself while things stay the same, and
modifies when things become different. Deleuze argues elsewhere in his works that we

need to think of all nouns as verbs, a green thing as a ‘greening’, a tree as a ‘treeing’. The
same goes with the term image, it is an imaging.
A Slice of the World
And so, an image is a slice, a slicing which gives us a slice of the cosmos. And there are
many ways to slice up the world. Everything in the world is a slice of it. But there are
different ways to slice the world, giving us different types of slice.
Deleuze says that an “IMAGE=FLOWING MATTER,” and since all that is is flowing
matter, an image is nothing more than a world-slice, a cosmos-slice, a universe-slice. But
some ways of slicing emphasize some aspects of the universe over others.
Some ways of slicing the universe do so in a way which display the moving aspects of the
universe, and these are called ‘movement-images’. To make it easier for ourselves,
however, let us replace this with ‘imaging-of-movement’, or even better, ‘movement-slice’.
Sounds strange, but it can really be helpful in understanding this text. Try it on a passage, I
swear it works!
And so, if you emphasize the perceptual side of the world when you slice it, you produce a
‘perception-slice.’ Slice the world so as to emphasize its temporal dimensions, and you
have a ‘time-slice.’
World-Cinema, or Cinema-As-World: Or, Cinema=Worldslicing
And here we start to see the sheer power of Deleuze’s concept of cinema. Any time the
universe is sliced, we are imaging, and hence, doing cinema. When I grab a handful of dirt
from the ground, by separating out a handful from the rest of the Earth, I am framing that
handful, cutting it from the background, an hence, imaging. For each aspect of the world is
a reflection-refraction of all the rest, for all is ultimately interconnected. The handful of dirt
in my hand could not exist were it not for the gravity and other forces exerted upon it by the
rest of the cosmos. This handful of dirt IS the rest of the cosmos, or at least, a reflectionrefraction of it. And hence, it is a foregrounding of some parts of the universe over others, a
framing. Just as one would move a camera to present a slice of the world to viewers, when I
grab a handful of Earth from the ground, I am doing cinema, I am slicing the world,
imaging the whole cosmos in one part.
A Walk Through my House as Deleuzian Cinema
Cinema=worldslicing. It is framing a part of the flowing matter of the universe, and then
connecting that with others. Each of our days, as we go through life, is a film, a slicing,
framing, and connecting of aspects of the universe. I leave my computer, walk into my
bedroom, and the flowing matter presented to my vision changes. I move from the close-up
of staring at my screen, to the medium shot of my bed. I am slicing up the world by means
of the framing devices of my eyes, so similar to that of the camera which was abstracted
from it.

its perceptualness. Any image. forming new wholes. It is a perception-image OF an affection-image. negotiating. Rather than the framing of a perception-image. in the world. I am viewing a perception-image. as gas separates from liquid. a frame within the frame presented by my eyes. is a movement-image. I am viewing an image which is an imaging of perception.. one the other. I realize I am seeing an image seen from the perspective of another. We must not think that each slice is only one thing.And then I sit down to watch TV. distinction. new parts. which will boil off. an image of the movement of the world. because they are images of the world which represent a transition. one goes one way. I put a pot of water on the stove. I then find myself wanting a cup of coffee. ultimately. a movement. I begin to see how the fire impacts the water. by its relation to other images. an attempt to flee the pot into a gaseous state. As the water begins to boil. Perception. I see the agony of decision ripping apart the water. that is. For the view of the boiling water presented to my eyes as affection-image is also clearly viewed from my eyes. represents me. affection. or the intertwined warping of an affection-image. a slice of the world which emphasizes. I pour the boiling water into my coffee cup. I now have before me an action image. I see wafts of steam rise from the water. which patters of bubbles will emerge. a consideration of an action. and action images are simply types thereof. But between perception and action. I watch an image presented to me in another frame. distorting. filling the cup. however. all these are images of action in the world. And both are movement-images. there is affection. which will settle down. I see a separation. They present me with a clip of video taken by an eye witness. I see the volume of the cup is now full of dark liquid. causing it to change amongst itself. The TV news is on. . my perspective on the world. The perception of the flame by the water creates an attempt at motion. The pot of water as it starts to boil presents to my eyes an affection-image. how parts and wholes begin to interact. warping it. if indirectly. and hence. I see it mix with my (admittedly patheticly instant coffee) grinds. all as the fire affects the water. how the bubbles begin to emerge in the whole pot of water.

I am presented with an image of time. based on how they frame the world. an affection-image. I feel the waves of emotion. or difference. patches of light and dark. A perception-image provided to me by my ears. I hear a bird chirp out the window.An affection-image. I am reminded. . not all images are visual! The heat felt by my tongue is a condensation of all the universe into a single sensation. certain slices of the world. slice it. I mix milk now into my coffee. which calls up to my mind a memory of other birds at other times. intertwined with duration. This time-image reminds me of a similar scene in a Godard film. This is a time-image. reconstructed in my mind’s eye. the tip of which is my tongue. I have a ‘recollection-image’. a recollection-image. I am presented with an image of change. The tip of my tongue is like the frame provided by my eye or a cinema camera. I feel an emotion well up in me in response to that bird-song. it slice up the world based on its ‘perspective’ on it. I see the image from that film. And then I am yanked back into my everyday life by the perception-image presented to me by my tongue: the coffee is too hot. I see before me that some of these strands last longer than others. a time-imaging. an imaging of the way in which heat affects water. or sameness. to be foregrounded over others. allows certain sensations. and in doing so. the perspective on the world they provide me. Another famous affection-image cited by Deleuze: imaging how pain affects a face in Dreyer's 'Passion of Joan of Arc' As I am still reeling from the heat of the coffee. a slice of the universe which images time. framed from the rest of the universe by the perspective on it provided by my body. The relative differences present a slice of the world which images the ways in which some processes of change endure longer than others. I see the strands of milk intertwine slowly with the coffee.

the more it captures time. slicing and imaging. then action images show differences being actually distinct. producing perception-images of movement-images. acting up each other distinctly. transforming into each other as powers or qualities impacting each other. which can lead to distinctions. A Deleuzian Typology. For if a perception image layers images as ‘the same(yet different)’ by virtue of being in the same frame. we see how difference in the image is precisely what time is. reflecting and refracting each other. the same yet different by virtue of negotiating the same part-whole. When these lead to negotiations between multiple potential states. And as Deleuze argues. Difference has now come to the fore. . as we get closer to time-images. the human who took the photo's). by slicing the universe up in its own way. and an imaging of the action of the body of one man on another. an imaging of affection (the face of the man being hit.A complex action-image: An image of movement. these perception-images lead to affection-images. images of actiondistinction. or action-images. etc. Each entity. or the Crystal of the Universe The universe is nothing but a crystal of images. for example). but the radical differing relation of movement to itself that humans have called the passage of time. framing and cutting. the more difference present directly in an image. becoming distinct. produces its own cinema. yet also an imaging of perception (the camera's. and affection-images show images colliding. the more it directly images not merely spatial movement.

Any perspective allows any movement-image to become a perception-image. Show me asleep. And yet cinema screens are created by humans. we are hardly the only entities in the universe with images of time. Each ring links up all the growth in a tree which happened in a given year. helping cinema view itself in its world-thinking. . of time/change/difference in the image. Take any clip of film. and yet. the image of my coffee cup on my table. simply by being surrounded by different other images. etc. Only animals. A Relational Image-Cosmos It should not be thought that any particular image. like its neurons in turn helping it think one larger film-thought. but a relatively simple one. And yet. before and after. and the image of the coffee-cup on my table becomes a perception-image. with a shot-reverse-shot of my face. Surround it in a film. because it doesn’t know that it has an image of time. But what about the natural world? View the rings on a tree. each screen like a neuron. as far as we know. and surround it by a different set of images. and potentially some computers. continually producing new perspectives upon its ever changing self.The tree-rings from Hitchcock's 'Vertigo': The trees rings are an image of time. Now take the same slice of film. we produce a very abstract form of image. Slice open a tree and you see an image of time presented in the rings. and the ways in which the complex of cinema screens in the world are like a giant brain. then me waking up. dreaming. Deleuze makes clear analogies between the ways in which human brains work. a variant of a recollectionimage. then show the same clip of the coffee cup on the table. And now that clip of the coffee cup on the table. and produce complex circuits such as recognition. he believes the universe is cinema. Any movement-image has the potential to be any of the other types of images Deleuze describes. a continual self-refracting producing radical difference from within it. despite the fact that they are radically separated in terms of their contexts. say. But it takes something as complex as the human mind to associate these rings with the time that produced them. This does not mean that humans are perhaps not particularly adept cinematics. becomes a dream-image. The tree may have a direct image of time. a recollection-image. For we are a particularly complex intertwining of images. And each screen is like a mini-brain. association. linking together all the cameras and humans that produced it. our bodies allow us to recognize. all the other are possible. and from there. say. a given image as similar to another in the past. Deleuze’s cinema of the universe is post-human. can combine time images like this via recollection-images. which I've remembered to use here because of the image of recollection of this scene I experienced earlier which made me think to make use of it. however. means any particular thing. depending on the manner in which they are intertwined. A tree has rings. and by linking them together via our memory. isn’t able to use them to link up with different time periods.

Cinema on screen can help us see new ways to view our world. For life and cinema are two sides of the same. And it can always be done differently. . and hence with a finite number of combinations. and in doing so. for Deleuze. For Deleuze. The more intricate the relations. It rearticulates the world. like Nietzsche argues in some places. Cinema is the practice of world dividing and redividing. For Deleuze firmly believes that the universe is not. made up of finite parts. the more variety of ways we can relate and rerelate to our world. Cinema is life. With infinite divisibility. shows us potentially new ways to live life. which is why we must always relearn. like a set of legos. . and infinitely so. They can be infinitely divided and redivided. and cinema can show us how to do this. there is infinite recombination and hence possibility . the world is much more than just legos. in an infinite potential number of ways. And this is why. . or images. because entities. simply by being woven together differently. there are infinite potential recombinations of our world. become other than what they are/were. we must learn to “believe” once again in the world. are not like legos. to believe in the world. via cinema in all its forms. there are infinite potential combinations and recombinations.Images become different. and life is cinema. for Deleuze. No. it is infinitely divisible and redivisible. And hence. believe in its potential to be radically new.

they are always temporary conglomerations of forces in balance. we say they . Different images in The Movement-Image will then modulate these in a wide variety of way. . . a coffee mug on my table. And there are certain things that trip up my students. come from a particular perspective. when worked through. That is. Part II: From the Affect-Image to the Relation-Image A perception-image: the image of perception as seen by a fly. .Perception-images are about perspective. No objects in Deleuze’s world (cinema books. etc.Guide to Deleuze’s “The Movement-Image”. All images in our world. Today I was teaching the second half of The Movement-Image. and all those which are capturable by cinema. yet also beyond) are ever fully real. only the slowness of its decomposition makes it seem real to my eyes. shred it.Bodies are surrounded by backgrounds. each explained below. say. a temporary balance of forces that move together a BODY. and composed of forces. is really a careful balancing act between the forces acting to implode it and explode it. . and my own attempts to explain these images that. So here’s some things to keep in mind . When this happens. and which eventually will decompose and separate out. dissolve before my eyes. tear it to bits.There are no solid bodies for Deleuze. A concrete object is a temporary aggregate. What looks like a real objects. . can make the text so much eaiser. from the second half of the affection-image through the impulse and action to relation-images. Let us call any such entity. and are composed of balances between forces. What appears to my eyes as a concrete object is a balanced binding together of disparate sub-molecular quantum particles that can fly off into space at any moment. All bodies exist against a background.

). such that our perspective/perception shows up in the image in the very form it takes. images of the perception of a slice of the moving universe. We should keep in mind. That pool’s ripples are its affections. in which we see ripples in the water. hardness. An Affection-Image: a scene from the opening of Tarkovsky's Solaris. nose. redness. but in being a windy street). a mug has a handle. Even if the pebble is case into a pool in part of the pool that is offscreen. it looks different than when I view it sitting on the floor. and the movement of the reeds under the water. a face-like surface which is composed of singularities which determine the possibilities of its affection by a quality which if exceeded it ceases to be what it is (ie: a face has eyes. and it shows up in the form of the perception image of the mug. While more than just an affection-image. in this film. an entire street gets windy). When I view the coffee mug on my table from my chair. just as my eyes can be affected by light. A leaf floats by. because it is flat. that you could easily have an affection image in the ripples a stone causes to form on the surface of a pool of water. and instant singularities. a space-whateverish. etc.). Light affects my eyes. this image most definitely captures the rippling of the water and reeds. but put a lily-pad and a small island in the pool. etc. however. that body acts as an image of affection. mouth. by also scenes (ie: the light in an entire scene dims. It’s not necessarily important in an affection image to show the source of an affect. much more!) . we see the accusations made against Joan impact her and mix with her own self-affections (emotions) on the surface of her face. The shift here is a shift in my perspective. angryness. A pool like this likely has no singularities. When a quality. when a scene serves as more of a vehicle for an affect (ie: a street which isn’t important in itself. In Deleuze’s famous reading of Dreyer’s Passion of Joan of Arc. Just as Deleuze says that any entity that is affected is a type of face (he calls this faceity). then that scene becomes an any-space-whatsoever. plays itself out over the surface of a body. Let’s keep in mind that affections are ways in which entities impact or modulate or warp others. we can still see the . and thus it is an affection-image (if also. anything you can describe by an adjective (ie: wetness. a space which serves merely as a vehicle for an affect. Deleuze in many places describes an affection as the ability to receive or exercise a power. Not only bodies can be affected by qualities but also locations (ie: scene slowly fading to red. a face contorting in pain). Affects are the ways in which one entity expresses the impact of another entity upon it. which are types of any-spaces-whatsoevers. The little bits of space shown around the super-closeups of her face are what Deleuze calls disconnected spaces.are perspective-images.Affection images are images of entities in the process of being altered by qualities.

actions.. Because these are abstract notions. food may seem to draw the hungry to it. a world of H. objects or actions seem to express a force from beyond. while an entire series of such frames. like they often do in Bergman’s Cries and Whispers. slightly different from the more rigidly coded affectively charged spaces of expressionism. a second coronation in a film may be either a bad repetition. a vampire may lust after blood as if the blood had a power over it. or cement it in place. this is perhaps a rare example of a force shown directly in an image. always outside of the world of the scene). for the unconscious here can serve as an example of an originary world. etc. Impulse-images (perhaps better translated as images of force) rarely show us the force in question directly. which are dominated by a given affect. However. A repeated gesture can manifest a compulsion. In these cases. like Heaven and Hell. as it were. in French). depending on which sorts of forces it unleashes into the world. these are locations which are permeated by forces. which come in several varieties) or an action (Deleuze calls this a symptom) express a force which derives from an originary world (otherwordly source of the force. products and commodities may make people desire them wildly. Deleuze also speaks of derived milieu in this chapter. locations. a repeated scene can unleash magic powers. a repetition with a difference can change the meaning of the original. etc. but we still see its effects. When this happens. Deleuze says we see lyrical abstraction at work. expresses a power. which is what Deleuze calls a quality. . If at any point we freeze the film. The inside of the spaceship at the begining of Ridley Scott’s Alien is an example of this. or a liberating one.ripples. when lightning shoots out of a magician’s fingers. Crucifixes and religious relics may ward off evil spirits in a film. the objects or actions image a force or drive (pulsion. The chapter on the impulse-image is Deleuze’s attempt to outdo Lacan. but it is not reducible to it. characters. a naked body may seem to draw people to it. however. fetish objects or particular body parts may seem to incite others to lust as if they were inspired by magic forces. magical forces which may emerge from the very fabric of the location in question. the affect comes from nowhere. a force (pulsion) seems to make an object (Deleuze calls this a fragment. Thus. bodies. a set of ripples in a pool. Deleuze also describes how it is that forces may arise from the repetition of scenes. In these cases. The poorly translated ‘impulse-action’ (l’image de pulsion) is an attempt to image a force or drive. Deleuze says that time first creeps into the movement-image in a semi-direct form in this manner. Giger. etc. A magic wand may seem to possess force. Sometimes films present several distinct domains.Impulse-images are attempts to image forces in a film. If an entire scene fades to red. a neurotic may be convulsed with a symptomatic action by their unconscious. In all these cases. magicians may create explosions from saying words or particular gestures. The realm of the part-object of psychoanalysis. this is the domain of fragments and wholes that don’t correspond. and rarely the force itself. . we can only see their effects. or the contortion of a face in anger. we get a static state of a given affection.G. Sometimes something in a film seems as if animated by a force that seems to give it power as if from beyond.

etc. monumental history films (ie: how Rome was founded). if at all. in its environment. Films in which the situations are relatively well understood in relation to actions take this form. non-traditional documentaries (ie: Erol Morris). Deleuze also speaks in this section about connected and disconnected ‘lines’ of action (line of the universe and broken or wrinkled line). new Situation. Situation. in which an action occurs yet the situation is then never right for it). a body can only move when there is a shift in the balance of forces within it. The ‘tension in the air’ between two samurai. or SAS’.G. and even dramas (words exchanged in dialogue are still actions!). in which parts and wholes may switch relation at any time. and the relation between the two. Action. that which will allow for actions to not misfire (many of Kurosawa’s films are about extracting the question beneath a situation). and then there is another action to throw everything out of balance again. and yet. we see the movement of a body. and between them. and include films like traditional westerns and samurai films. is then released when the bodies go into motion and convulse. traditional documentaries. into a new situation. forces. which Deleuze calls the ‘large form‘. and most other types of action films. This situation is slowly revealed. moving us from one relatively stable state of bodies. When a film clip shows an action. which come together as a situation (a set of entities which Deleuze calls a synsign). and connected and disconnected spaces in which actions take place (Breath . There is also the ‘small form. We see these in the film of manners and court intrigue. This is why Deleuze believes that an action and its situation are intimitely intertwined. Films dominated by this form show us actions but only explain these actions slowly.’ ASA’. environments (encompasers). in which an action occurs outside of a clear link to a situation.Action-Images are all about shifts in the balance between bodies. like in an image by H.The impulse-image. detective films. history films of intrigue. Giger . and their environments. traditional comedies. like the sweep of the blade of a samurai. subversive comedies (ie: Buster Keaton. Sometimes the task of a film is to discover the situation lurking beneath appearances. and forces (Deleuze calls balanced pairs of forces in a duel a binomial). within their bodies. or image of force: Deleuze's 'derived milieu' are worlds suffused by forces. Charlie Chaplain.

Here Deleuze compares actions in a scene to the breathing of the action-situation complex. Of course. etc. married to a husband that doesn’t know. For in fact. Relation images are images whose significance lies outside of themselves.Encompasser versus skeleton or dispersed spaces). semi-connected.When an entity reveals relations by being a part of a series (ie: when you see my signal again. or ‘You love him’. The Relation-Image: What makes this key different from others? The relations it condenses . for these abstract concepts are what unite together objects. . The message is clear: all that is happening at this ball is meaningless in comparison to the significance held in the fact that Bergman possesses this key in her hand. and she has stolen this key to help her contact. The significance of a relation-image is in the images before and after it in the film with which it is related. By showing us the closeup of the key. its impossible to show relations (ie: she’s a spy. in relation. or truly disconnected. at her husband’s ball. actions. which has more meaning to it because of its relations to others. just like spaces may be organically connected. Hitchcock begins the shot by giving us a wide-angle view of the entire ball from above. plots. get enough evidence on her husband’s activities. and lines of action as either complete or broken. which gains more meaning when paired with other words. This is why Deleuze calls the relationimage an attempt to image thought. only slowly closing in to end the show with a close-up of Bergman’s hand holding the key. it is like a word ‘love’. Bergman plays a US spy who has married a Nazi agent living in Brazil. Hitchcock isn’t showing us just a key. Cary Grant. She has to get that key to her contact before her husband realizes it is gone from his key ring and suspects her. . she needs to figure out her husband’s Nazi plot before she figures out she’s a spy) directly. or any other type of image. if indirectly. This is why a relation-image is simply a normal perception-image. he is condensing a whole set of abstract relations in the film into a key which represents them. In this sense. or ‘She loves you’. . The relation image is the first attempt to image a type of thought. etc. When we see the scene in Hitchcok’s Notorious (Hitchcock is the primary director discussed by Deleuze in this chapter) in which Ingrid Bergman holds the key in her hand.Relation-images show the way an image relates aspects of a film beyond a given scene. and what we see here is the simplest form of thought that Deleuze will describe as being imaged in film. depending on whether or not we pair ‘love’ with words in the form ‘I love you’. The relation-image is the imaging of relations in a film. and that meaning can change. actors. . But the key can show them indirectly.

Deleuze moves forwards to The Time-Image . complete unto itself. Guide to Reading Deleuze’s Cinema II: The Time-Image. we move from one pearl to the next. it’s a form of space. we think of each moment as a self-contained entity. Bergson’s philosophy finds its genesis in the critique of clock time. it really isn’t time. and in favor of the lived time of duration. and as such. . and the same thing happens for Cinema II. is a way of spatializing time. separate from the others. . Understand what he means by the word image. With each tick of the clock. while that which evidences that something is wrong or out of place is called a demark (ie: hey. And from here. understand what he means by the word time. then a similar roadblock occurs in The Time-Image in relation to his use of the word time. Clock-time. for Bergson. Deleuze calls it a mark. it’s easiest to start out by describing precisely what time does not mean for both of them. Part II: Towards a Direct Imaging of Time to CrystalImages An early crystal-image in Welles' 'Lady from Shanghai' If the greatest impediment to understanding Deleuze’s concepts in The Movement-Image is confusion over what he means by the word image. and Cinema I is a massively easier read. Time is then best diagrammed as pearls on a string.shoot!) or set of relations (ie: drop the money off with the man in a raincoat and bowler hat). Bergson’s Critique of Clock-Time Deleuze’s conception of time in Cinema II is taken almost directly from Bergson. . with each pearl a separate moment. there’s not supposed to be a boat over there!). When we think of the time captured by clocks. and with Bergson.

and more shallowly during moments of action. The aspect of our lived world that is here for us right now. and some are more actual and less virtual. come in many shades of actuality. An image of a coffee mug in memory. we leave the present and its needs ever more behind. while the one we hold in our hand at any given moment is an actual image (and remember. that is. more present. But as we dive deeper into memory and/or fantasy. and the virtual with the past/future. is thus a virtual image. Since the past and the future. is what he calls the actual. At this point. or future/past.Time is not like this: Bergson and Deleuze critique clock-time For Bergson. or more virtual. During periods of stress. or images. everything is an image for Deleuze. so to speak. than others. time that endures. Worldslices. or more virtual and less actual. Time stretches when it seems to move more slowly (ie: when bored). the present is a dynamic interpenetration of past and future. represented in our present as memory and desire/fantasy/anticipation. or an image of a coffee mug on a TV screen. and compacts during moments of crisis. fantasy. say. there is very little virtuality in our world. the realm of the virtual. we exist mostly in the actual. a way of saying a ‘slice of the world’). this is a highly misleading and ultimately false image of time. reverie). in which we are focused on action. That feeling of being more real is what allows us to tell an actual coffee mug from one which is less real. we can say that when concentrating on action. is time that flows. time in which the past and future penetrate into the present in the form of memory and desire. in the present moment as that which ‘feels most real to us’. whichever you prefer. we find ourselves immersed in the present moment. Because the actual will always feel more real. are relatively weak at this moment. When I hold an object in my hand. and we seem to dip deeper into memory at some points (ie: moments of dreaming. Lived time. than aspects of the . a coffee mug. This is why it is perhaps best to equate the actual with the present. Between Virtual and Actual For Bergson. or in a film. because when he says image it is. it feels more real than the memory of a coffee mug. we exist mostly in the actual. it’s needs and exigencies. for him. and following Bergson.

If rocks are fully enslaved to the moment. and vice-versa. as far as we know. or reverie or fantasy or recollection. The closer one is to the present. you encounter some animal you’ve never seen before. you wonder. there is a greater degree of the virtual in the present (more expansion on the y-axis). While it may also take more time to dig around in memory like this (and hence expand on the x-axis). a morning walk. But the further one dips into the virtual. there are two axes to time. we may have all sorts of desires which draw particular aspects of our past into contact with our present in ways that disrupt the chain of instinct. for Deleuze. because the past may interrupt the present. This could be thought of as the movement of time horizontally. an actual coffee mug produces a virtual image when reflected in a mirror. animals a little freer. only humans. As you dip into past memory to search for something that resembles this. and we know this because our stores of memory increase over time. the more one expands upon the y-axis. Let us say. What is that. at least for humans and in relation to issues of time. and the past/future is more or less the virtual. To sum up. Recognition that is relatively automatic. as a sort of increase in the memory store of the past as the future flows into it via the doorway of the present. this is not always necessarily the case. For my dog. but when you need to dig more deeply. for example. more of which will be said in a bit. For example. for example. while humans have this happen all the time. the present is more or less the actual. and Dream . plants slightly less so. Likewise. Such movement. there is also a vertical axis. you finally find some memories that seem to fit. the line of horizontal movement along which past. Brains which store our futurepasts so as to use them to increase our options. When my dog sees his food. and becomes habit.past/future (except for in cases of hallucination). The virtual past/future infused into the actual is what produces freedom from being enslaved to the moment. time presses ever further into the future. Three Basic Time-Images: Recognition. present. can gain significant freedom. But as we will see. in addition to a horizontal axis to time. isn’t like moving from one pearl to another along a string of pearls. So. This is the process of recognition. but rather. Recollection. Why Time is Freedom Here we also see why it is that Bergson and Deleuze equate the virtual with freedom. that in the middle of an action. Thus. But for me. images in a mirror have a peculiar temporal relation to the actuals they reproduce. and future are distributed. the actual almost always leads directly to a preprogrammed action. for Deleuze. however. and present novel ways of reading the present which may influence our future. an actual impression may lead to an instinctual action. and with a much greater degree of latitude than my dog. and this is because of our complex brains. he is unlikely to be thinking of Proust the moment afterwards. the virtual is the past/future. a creature of instinct. This isn’t to say that there may not be other examples of the virtual. requires less depth of digging around in the past. Which is why we only sometimes do what our instincts tell us. the past/future. However. not only. the closer one is to what in math would be the x-axis. Yes.

We get lost in reverie. this is as much a recreation. Such images of negation are perhaps on the cusp. Likewise. full of fantasy and the future and present as much as the past. The virtual is this interpenetration of the past and future by means of the present. but dives into memory to reconstruct a scene from yesterday. Memories wouldn’t distort were this not the case. and into the future/past. or last year. namely. The actual is in a sense dead. I use not only memory.Recognition is the lowest level of digging into the depth. I imagine a wonderful dinner. It’s important to note that the virtual is not merely the past. so to speak. when I recollect something. and fantasy. even the present moment of recognition is infused with the future. and for desire and memory to impact the present so as to alter it’s relation to itself and the world around it. so to speak. of the present. Recollection is the next level of depth. For when we fantasize about something. and we may trip as we walk because we are caught up in our memory-fantasies. but the image I have of this that anchors my fantasy is composed of bits and pieces of memories hauled from the past. For when I recognize something in front of me. Furthermore. When I walk down the street. the desire that impels me to action. in which one keeps a more tenuous connection to the present. And finally. But the virtual is the opening of what is onto the possibility to be different in the future. we find that we are sleeping. we do so by assembling memories into aggregates. breaking the link between virtual and actual completely. for creation. we imagine what food we want for dinner. and hence. but also the future. for the radically new. One is less present in the present moment. Or when we get totally involved in a dream. The past can’t be activated without the future dipping into it. with barely any connection to the present at all. what reaches into my store of memory to retrieve images to meet the present and help me recognize what is in front of me. . in between images of movement (and all things in the universe are these) and time-images. when one is dreaming. or fantasizing. say. but desire. one has barely a connection to the present at all. It is for this reason that Bergson and Deleuze also describe the virtual as the potential for difference. my desire is what impels me. Bergson even hypothesizes that perhaps death is what happens when the cord is fully disconnected. it can only be what it is. for example. to have been different in the past. and memory.

and son-signs . If someone in a film sees something. they are virtual. The actual=the present=necessity=the same=repetition=space. it provides us with recollection-images. the image drawn from the past functions in the film in question as a recognitionimage. And he calls dream-images types of oneiro-signs. for the first time. a flashback. we would have a dream-image. show relation but not via consciousness. the process becomes more extended. memory signs. This is why these images also function as signs. Such images are never merely images. or hallucinates. Were I to drag fragments of memory out of my past to reconstruct an entire scene. What types of images are these? Humans use time-images all the time. images referred to as signs. pure difference. This is why in Cinema II we see. for Deleuze. with repetition. and the actual with that which repeats. we have dream-images. The virtual is associated with difference.image. which stays the same. We don’t think these images are as real as those provided by our senses at the present moment. What is a Time-Image? What then is a time-image? A time-image. Recognition is the pairing of virtual and actual images. the distinction between difference and repetition is essential to him. of what I did when I last saw my friend two years ago. I do so by pairing it up in my mind with virtual images of mugs and cups past. The virtual=past/future=freedom=the new/creation=difference=time. a recognition-image. And when someone falls asleep and dreams. it is an image which is different from itself. followed by an act which shows that now the character recognizes the object in front of them. When a flashback occurs in a film. Any image I draw from the past and/or synthesize with others so as to help me with my process of recognition is called by Deleuze. Habit occurs when this process becomes semi-automatic. . Deleuze calls recognition and recollection images forms of mnemo-signs. following Berson. would be a recollection. we can come up with a semi-equation to help us. (It is worth noting that relation-images. which is virtual to itself. virtual signs of actual images from the present which calls them up in the first place. What distinguishes these three types of images from the more actual images of Cinema I is that they are always not fully what they are. like we meet a cartoon character for dinner later that night. . ) In film. . and perhaps then have fantastic things happen. That is. is an image which is infused with time. prototime-images discussed towards the end of Cinema I. but they exist for us nevertheless. they are images which stand for. and then we see a memory of the past flash on screen. We call up images in our memories or fantasies to help us navigate the world. we often see the process of recognition. That is. or in relation. to other images. essentially. for Deleuze. and are in a sense ancestors of op. basically. for example. the image I created of the past. Now as any who’ve studied some Deleuze know. And were I to dream of that meeting. That is. which is infused with past/future.Thus. but whenever I encounter something new or different. When I recognize a coffee mug on my table. recollection. they function as signs. or dream depicted for us.

or dream. and dreams. the films of Italian neo-realism. In Ozu. but they are always clearly demarcated. Any image which functions like this. yet weak ones. recollection. and registers the trauma of the image in its pure form. otherness. Pre-war recollection. For the time-image in fact showed itself in two forms before WWII. and dream images are direct images of time. and cuts indicate a form of pure difference which registered and impacted the images they connected. The only odd exception. It is as if the camera is attempting to process these images. Attempts to capture and image movement used cuts. Hollywood film remains stuck in the action-image. and relation are all linked to the notion of virtuality for Deleuze. recollect. or go to sleep before. And there were time-images before WWII. The Post-War Context. representation. Deleuze argues. and dream-images. non-mainstream cinema begins to explore direct-images of time in a manner which is free from the relation of time to action. for Deleuze. we are told this. so it lingers. with that which is not themselves. difference. time-images become ever more prevalent. or this is somehow indicated. We know it is just a dream because in some other part of the film. are films which depict fantastic worlds that are like dreams. which helps us recognize. than others. And here we see why it is that context. In neo-realist film. is a type of time-image. and the Direct Image of Time But after World War II. the difference of the image from our ability to integrate it into our world. But there was also the indirect imaging of time via montage. and this virtual presence makes these images feel less real to us. particularly in avant-garde or non-mainstream. because it is just a dream. and the films of Ozu. When we see the person wake up from the dream later in the film. Such direct time-images are uncloaked. and less actual. The first is in prewar recognition. so to speak. they are filtered through human forms of consciousness. time. they are only partly there. in two early non-Hollywood contexts. in which .An image of an object in a dream is not ‘fully real’. namely. They are in a sense cloaked or clothed (to use terms employed by Deleuze in Difference and Repetition) by the sensory-motor schema that dominates the cinematic image before World War II. but aren’t dreams as such. The prewar musicals of Busby Berkeley and Vincent Minnelli are prime examples of the world as dream (a form which takes off in the immediate post-war period with the uber-trippy Powell and Pressburger opera-spectacle film from 1951. That is. we see flashbacks. in the period of cinema that was dominated by the movement-image. suspending our ability to tell what is actual or virtual until later. But then there are time-images which simply aren’t tied down to human consciousness. but it cannot. We see these first. non-Hollywood film. For in fact. a version that speaks through the movement-image. recognition. while film that really explores new potentials for both filmic and human consciousness began to explore the time-image directly. often not indicating to us we are in dream or fantasy till much later in the film. Thus. because they are suffused with context. This is why Deleuze says that montage is an indirect image of time. the images in a dream are more virtual. Tales of Hoffman). But after WWII. we often see the camera linger on the scenes of destruction which serve as the setting for many of these films. this context is virtually present in the dream-images. they are suffused with difference. Thus. Films depict dreams and fantasies and memories in abrupt fashion. we often see his famed ‘pillow shots’.

we see Deleuze develops his notion of the hyalo-sign.or mirror-image. or crystal-images. or glass. which use the difference physical difference presented by the world around us to mark relative degrees of change in space. or future-past of the present of the actual image if reflects. These moments Deleuze describes as those of opsigns and sonsigns. something between the voice of the narrator and of the characters. outside the direct consciousness of any particular character. Rather. affection. crystal-image films. Deleuze taps this term. and dreams so as to create repetitions of various sorts. however. and Ozu provides us with an image which seems to metaphorically comment upon the scene at hand. Deleuze doesn’t limit hyalo-signs to mirror images in film. then we have an entity in which notions of before and after start to literally break down. and dream-images should be considered direct images of time (though he does refer to them as time-images. For if time is generally marked by entities like clocks. These are all. And when there is a hall of mirrors. recollection. as are films which literalize fantasy. Mirror-Images: From Hyalo-signs to Image Crystals Beyond this. he calls image crystals. Deleuze is a bit unclear as to whether or not traditional recognition. what happens when space starts to resemble itself? Mirrors disrupt time. particularly in psychoanalytic film criticism. Mirrorings in film disrupt the otherwise linear flow of time in a film. but which floats. There are films in which we see mirrorings of various sorts. Films in which parts of the film mirror each other. they create temporal short-circuits. and uses it to describe these moments of what can ultiamtely be called ‘free-indirect’ camera or vision. and action of human bodies in movement dominated film. are examples of what in literature would be called ‘freeindirect discourse’.we pull away from one of his domestic dramas. which are full of short-circuits of this sort. And here we see Deleuze take on psychoanalysis. . then the opand son-signs give us direct images of time. that resemble each other. Time travel films of all sorts are image crystals. there are also time-images which are further removed from the sensory-motor schema whereby the perception. and show that he is able to outflank it. two characters which are similar to each other. as it were. but which also are beyond the traditional establishing shot. From here. What is the temporal status of their face? It seems as if the time of the mirror exists in a perpetual past-future. Films full of mimicry and doubling might not have overt time-travel in them. Mirrors provide us with virtual images of actual entities. but they produce odd temporal short-circuits nevertheless. hence my use of the term ‘cloaked’ to make a distinction here). or optical and sound images which cannot be integrated into either pure objective or subjective frames. Such images which seem to lift up out of the consciousness of the characters in the film. are often referred to as mirror-doubles. namely. which Deleuze calls a crystal (for a crystal is little other than an object made of many little shards of reflecting surface). hallucinations. But he is very clear to say that if montage indirectly imaged time via the movement-image. A person seeing their actual face in the mirror sees a virtual image of their face. for Deleuze.

What is present is an imaging of time. In this manner. becoming.I’ve discussed image crystals in several other posts. But needless to say. These are films which give us perfect crystals. cracked crystals. time. in which copies proliferate with seemingly no end in sight (for example. less directly present. This is why Deleuze says that time-images bring montage into the image. because you will never know which aspect of an image will be selected for radical reworking later in the film. what exactly an image means. and difference. each image becomes suffused with past/future. and time. It becomes virtual. They are pure difference inside an image. so I’ll stop here. but which I want to expand on a little before going into the powers directly. relation. particularly human time. Deleuze says that there are four types of crystal (and he adds a fifth type in his discussion). and Sheets Today I’m going to tackle what Deleuze calls the ‘powers of the false’. we very often will not know. forming crystals. Part III: From Image-Crystals to the Powers of the False Max Ophuls massive technicolor spectacle as an image as perfect crystal: Lola Montes Transition to the Powers of the False: Crystals. a depiction of time. He addresses these after the crystal image. is merely one of its forms. on first viewing. The virtual is difference as such. pure difference lurks between the very pores of the aspects of the image. Guide to Reading Deleuze’s Cinema II. The perfect crystal he aligns with the films of Max Ophuls. A direct imaging of time. in a film like Lola Montes. context. beyond any human notion of time. discussed a bit in my last post. When we see crystal image films. Peaks. of pure difference. in the image itself. crystal-images are the way in which Deleuze is able to emphasize the aspect of the virtual which is truly that of difference. in which the circus act and the memories of her life mirror each other back and forth at the . One thing you learn watching image crystals is to suspend your judgment of images. and decomposing crystals.

seemingly. outflanking human notions of time with mirrors and crystals. Tarkovsky. namely. These are figures who have been able to make their worlds resemble. we often see spaces (like the rooms in the housing projects in ancient Rome in Satyricon) represent separate pathways in time. from within. . Visconti’s films often show us the fall of the wealthy and powerful. and mirror them in a variety of ways. But in Visconti’s films. takes pride of place in this chapter. and seem to contradict each other.expense of chronological narrative). everything his formerly powerful figures touch begins to disintegrate. in a film like 8 1/2. Or to go to the . like the reeds or chemical oceans in Solaris. The turning crystal of the Solaris ocean: without what came before and after. decrystallize. as films of the turning crystal. he then examines filmmakers that explode human time. Remember that he presents us with the human versions of the time image. For example. it is simply not possible to both go to the movies and not go to the movies this afternoon. in some beautiful passages. anything the main character Guido sees in his ‘real’ life can act as a ‘seed’ to crystallize the ‘medium’ of his inner world to produce extended flights into memory or fantasy. And finally Deleuze describes Visconti as the filmmaker of the crystal in decomposition. Just as image-crystals blast apart human notions of time from the outside. This is what Deleuze calls the turning crystal. that seem to try to image the process of crystallization of time itself. Deleuze then begins to discuss filmmakers who present us with shatterings of more human forms of time-image. mnemo-signs (recognition and recollection-images) and oneiro-signs. and Deleuze describes his work. But then he moves to hyalo-signs (mirror images) and image crystals. We see particular scenes. as if they came from parallel universes in which different things occur. however. this would simply be a movement-image . for example. forming a giant spatial crystal of time. Fellini is the filmmaker of the crystal in formation. present moments which never seem to line up in any sort of progression. mimic. as a constantly churning self-differingness. in which there is often a play of mimicry between characters which is finally disrupted by one event which creates a line of flight out of the hall of mirrors (like the gunshot at the end of Rules of the Game). as it were. Some filmmakers present us with a series of present moment. The cracked crystal he identifies with the films of Renoir. Deleuze argues that in later Fellini. .

movies. It is nearly as if they were trying to do one event. is sure it didn’t. like Mr. or if there are. in Last Year at Marienbad. Deleuze also sees multiple peaks of the present in the films of Luis Bunuel. however. and go swimming in the ocean. From here. due to the presence of others. Arkaddin or F for Fake. For Deleuze. It is as she is living in two parallel dimensions. We have multiple pasts. In a film like Citizen Kane. each time about to have dinner. For Deleuze these characters inhabit different sheets of the past. of course!). parallel universes. Often we will see the older Kane inhabit a different visual plane in the same film frame as his younger self. to produce a coherent. the female lead at some points seems to remember certain events happening last year. and then each time interrupted. But in Welles’ later films. single past. peak of the present. Deleuze makes his transition to the powers of the false . For example. she insists they couldn’t have happened. Welles displays the past often as layers within the depth-of-field of the film itself. particularly in a film like The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeosie. in which the investigation of the past is an essential concern. and find it difficult to tell which is necessarily true. while at other points. the past becomes unstable. Fellini's powers of the false in 'Satyricon' Deleuze then describes at length the films of Orson Welles. In Welles’ early films. and in the other. one in which she is sure something did happen last year. These are what Leibniz would call incompossible events. they can’t all happen at the same time. in which the ensemble of characters seems to jump from setting to setting. The present becomes dissociated into multiple incompossible milieu. a film with multiple. and the sheets don’t line up. . Deleuze sees this as a breakdown of the notion of the present moment itself. some films present us with incompossible presents. . have dinner. get on a plane to Europe. And rather than not being sure. thereby providing us with another approach to the multiplicity of the present. . these sheets all can be sewn together. all at 3pm today. each of which then feels less real (deactualizes). so to speak. at least not in the same universe or world. if would be possible (if you believe in. namely. she seems fully sure each time. yet it gets interrupted in multiple worlds all at the same time. each with a copy of you. and hence. In parallel universes. rather than one.

it’s formal structure. The Powers of the False Orson Welles as the forger in 'F for Fake' I’ve written about this section of the Cinema books before. and Book III: The Powers of the False. Simply showing the Solaris ocean does not a time-image make. which Deleuze then proceeds to explode in his own way. there is Book I: The Movement-Image. which roughly correspond to the following four aspects of traditional film. it’s a different creature. The four primary powers of the false. we see an attempt to visualize within a movement-image the time-structure of the film itself. There are four primary powers of the false. but in something like the Solaris ocean or Fellini’s apartements or Resnais’ hotel in Marienbad. So in what follows. not time-images. are as follows: 1) . The third part of the Cinema books is really where Deleuze articulates his vision for cinema. if in slightly different contexts. If Tarkovsky had simply shown the ocean. because honestly. powerful. one essential thing to keep in mind. and I’m convinced the transition to the powers of the false represent as massive a shift in the Cinema books as that between Book I and Book II. just as Fellini’s Roman apartments are a differing form of the same. I also think this section is less clearly organized than what preceded it. This is why montage was an indirect way of representing time. Book II: The Time-Image. I’ll try to present what Deleuze is ‘really’ up to. These powers correspond to what Deleuze calls the crystalline regime in film. however. In my mind. If you notice. I think the second half of Book II should’ve been its own book. these would be movement-images. The Solaris ocean is a representation of the way time manifests in the film. Some of Deleuze’s most beautiful. and in a logical. which is what makes these attempts to directly image time. relatively straightforward fashion. as opposed to the more traditional organic regime. Also some of the most difficult. but also time.Before going there. and honestly. Time images represent the structure of interrelations between movement-images. Book II is so much thicker than Book I. It is only the linkages between these crucial images and the others in the film that allow us to say that they represent not merely movement. or Fellini Roman apartment buildings with different things happening in all the rooms. and evocative passages are here.

the one who tells tall-tales. Deleuze oppses this to his hero of the powers of the false. But Deleuze also examines the cinema of the ritual body. I prefer the term artist. solves problems via action. The bodies come first. and 4) PLOT (narrative/meaning/reading). on the contrary. the storyteller. the man of truth. the forger. While forger has a sinister edge to it. what carves a body out of the world of a film is always the series. while a detective or scientist that can figure out the truth behind appearances. and the artist is the one who glorifies in the power of art to create new worlds. If in traditional cinema only certain things are reocgnized as bodies. the roles and stories afterwards. function in new and different ways. namely. etc. there is resolution to some sort of crisis. For Deleuze. The man of action. etc. the artist is the one who loves creation and its limitless possibilities for its own sake. then the powers of the false want to create new bodies in cinema. Bruce Willis is a classic man of action. but I think these two really give us great examples of cinema as a space for new rituals which make the human body. Character: From the Man of Action/Truth to the Forger Traditional cinema before WWII. one who sadistically glorifies in fooling others (and hence has similarities to the anal-imaginary father in psychoanlaysis). from murder weapons to the clues tracked by detectives. In this section of Cinema II. to the bodies of characters that are lusted after from afar (which are subjects treated like objects). and the man of action. He sees this happening primarilly in what he calls the cinema of bodies (which he sometimes calls the cinema of gestures) which carve a body out of space via the powers of film. namely. While the forger delights in destroying the certainties of those who long for truth. is a traditional man of truth. generally does know the answer to some sort of big question. either in crisis mode. This character may have a sinister side (like Welles’ sinister Mr. anything can be extracted from the situation presented in a film and become significant. The man of truth wants to know. and the bodies of objects.CHARACTER (subject). . He doesn’t mention Kenneth Anger or Jack Smith. like a Perry Mason. 2) OBJECT (bodies/gestures/series). I’ll explain each in turn. or in denial. or may be more of an artist (like the character Welles’ plays of himself in F for Fake). Deleuze examines the manner in which in the gritty proto-reality TV realisms of filmmakers like Cassavettes and Clarke. 3) GENRE (categories/metaseries/topology/unconscious). or dominant cinema after WWII. This is the cinema of the everyday body. bodies seem to “secrete the narrative” from them. spins yarns. the sensory-motor schema. and at the end of the film. Objects: From murder weapons to the powers of unknown bodies We all know classic cinema objects. Yoko Ono. and are carved out by the powers of cliche under the dominance of the ultimate cliche. anything presented by a film can become a body. a series of events which make the body significant. and represent the destructive side of this power of the false. presents us with the cinema of action. Arkaddin). in films by avant-garde filmmakers like Andy Warhol. For Deleuze. These films are dominated by two primary types of character. and always a blurring between them. Cassavettes would semi-improvise stories from characters invented in workshops with his main actors. namely.

Reading Cinema II. and the Cinematic Worldcreating for a People Yet to Come Jean Rouch: Cine-fabulationist. and here we Deleuze bringing the cinema of bodies into contact with the notion of powers presented in the affection-image from Book I. in Smith’s Flaming Creatures (1961). I’ll cover the final two powers of the false. it’s clear that much of what he attempts to do in Book II is to explode the categories of Book I. the link is somewhat tenuous. Creator of Languages of New Worlds [Final installment of my series on reading Deleuze's Cinema I & II. More synthetic work would need to be done to make these linkages. Ok. they leap out of the film and become objects able to dominate a whole section of the film. and by showing many mouths putting on lipstick. in my last and final blog post in this series . Part III: Noosigns. so it seems to me that Deleuze easily could’ve gone down this road if he’d chosen to do so (and which we can if we choose as well). I'm planning to hopefully turn many of these posts into part two of my future book project The Networked Image. which I don’t think Deleuze really explicitely makes himself. Lecto-signs. . and show how a cinema beyond the movement image is possible. and the cinema of bodies and the affection-image. That said. . While there are some similarities between the cinema of the forger (along with other subjective categories presented in Book II such as op/son-signs. the lips become an object in their own right.For example. peaks/sheets) and the perception-image of Book I. Series present powers. but first I need to finish the other network books which come first. the act of putting on lipstick becomes highly ritualized. which are much more complex. and are expanded by Deleuze in several chapters of Cinema II. But I wanted to write these thoughts down between now and then so I don't forget!] .

and must think. But how are cinematic categories.. and synthesis.’ Film spectators in the process of thinking are precisely this. etc. The trick is understanding why. etc. we have the issue of genre. of the Cinema books as a whole. about what links them together. a tree blowing in the breeze (a cinema-body exhibiting a power over time) is recognized as a member of a category of objects. Deleuze describes cinema-thought as truly inaugurated by Eisenstein. Thus we have the Hollywood car chase. however. And since cinema is simply. the Western. all these are genres. spiritual automatons. in which we have freedom (spirituality) and compulsion (automation). Godard presents us with a true cinema of thought. that which helps us recognize objects. namely. some of his scenes parody those of other films. genres of kisses. for example. the slasher. Let’s start off where we left off in the preceding post. what unites these images in series is ultimately the film-spectator. Some of his films use intertitle cards to announce a category. From his discussion of series of objects in the cinema of gestures (second power of the false). This conjunction of freedom and necessity puts us in a state like that of a trance. as spectators. Thus. Each one of us in the world experiences a series of images on any given day. a special case of what it means to exist in the world. we are spiritual robots. this is what we all are when we think. When this happens. shows us the process of linkage underneath them. to produce a dialectic of thesis. shows us the maleability of cinema-categories. actions. Some of his films are devoted to producing a parody of a given genre. to think. is forced to think. for example. guns. the vampire. Godard liberates categories from cliche. For Deleuze. for Deleuze. converting us into what Deleuze calls a ‘spiritual automaton. Godard is the cine-thinker. entire film types. who plays with categories more than any other. cliches. not shown on screen. and then show us a series of images that seem to only vaguely relate to the category just announced. if you will. . yet part of it is also free. We think. what we think is partly determined by the film (hence the force and shock aspects). But this spectator experiences the shock produced by these images. the cinema of thought. we move to that which connects powers represented in series into categories. antithesis. picking up with the third power. Eisenstein. We find ourselves between compulsion and freedom. The Cinema of Categories: From Genre to Noosign Deleuze begins his analysis of the third power of the false with a discussion of what he calls the cinema of categories in the films of Godard. and the shock of the images we encounter forces us to synthesize them. images of nature. which can help us to recognize images as belonging to a category. discussing the powers of the false. and with that. And in doing so. simply by what was linked together in sequence. and there are genres of many types of things. produced? In traditional cinema. Thus film can force us. Jean Rouch is in many ways the hero of the second part.If Orson Welles is in many ways the hero of the first part of the sections on the powers of the false. in the famous section ‘On God and Country’ in October. shows us how a series of images could link together to produce a visual argument. characters.

thought can also come before the images. vertically. or noo-signs. in the form of an implied spectator. This is why Deleuze says. we have a representation. there is a two-way motion here. brain-signs. famously.” For the screen is an object. just as the complex of screens in the cinematic apparatus spread across the world are neurons in this larger. However. that physical entity which does the thinking and acting? Sometimes a film will not only show us images. These are noo-signs which are brain-signs. . But not all direct noo-signs of this sort are human. so to speak. and action. of course. such as we see when a filmmaker has an idea first. For example. is what he calls a brain. that “the brain is the screen. Thought can be extracted from a series of images in this manner. yet thought which unites them comes to be on a higher level. In many of Kubrick’s films there are nonhuman actors that seem to think. affection. yet outside the limitations of the human. to have an ability to process the world in a non-human manner. but also show us that which thinks a series of images. Thus. for Deleuze. to process other images and synthesize them. which presents us with one indirect imaging of thought. namely. this brain’s neurons. in The Shining. We are the neurons of the giant cinema-brain which is the screen. Film-thoughts and film-actions. it is as if the mountains seem to think. And here we see how it is that Deleuze attempts to recast the sensory-motor schema of perception. and image thought as a noo-sign by means of this body. The same with the obelisk in 2001. in this sense. which contains multiplicities of images inside it. that is. Deleuze describes how it is that nonhuman thought can be presented to us in film. is the cinema screen itself. And the ultimately brain-sign. that thinks. Traditional film characters are. of a physical body which synthesizes other images as a spiritual automaton. Images in series are linked together by montage horizontally. Yet is it possible to think a film-body. or noo-sign. It can have thought off-screen.For Deleuze. This creative action shows in the ‘ingression’ of thought in the world. A thing that thinks. global cinema mediascape brain. via an image. When this happens. upon which many images can be projected which are then synthesized by us. such that the architecture of the hotels corridors become like the twisting of the folds of a human brain. Cinema can depict thought in two ways. a regular object. we have characters in many films that seem to think. But cinema can also present us with a body that thinks. and then decides to try to find images to match them.

it is always already wherever our conscious thoughts are not). It is the container for the process of thought. The Moebius strip and Klein bottle are two classic examples. there would need to be a topological twist. and when we image it we can image either the images which produce the thought itself (ie: Godard) or the thinking object (ie: the monolith). so to speak. of the thought which it performs. and Lacan uses them both pretty extensively to describe how it feels to experience time. This means that the brain is closely related to the notion of the unconscious in Lacan. making it multiple. for Deleuze. For in order to image both the thinker and thought. for Deleuze. but it is nearly impossible to image both without some sort of trick. Non-orientable figures in the mathematical discipline of topology indicate shapes that contain paradoxes within them. but then also more. as well as the continual whac-a-mole we play with our unconscious (basically. Deleuze isn’t one to let Lacan get away with any cool insight without warping it to his own ends. that make sense mathematically. Certainly if one wanted to image the brain within a flow of images being synthesized by it. and can even be sometimes physically constructed. and yet also what allows it to occur. . in the manner theorized in Lacanian visual theory.Exploring a giant Cine-Brain: One of Kubrick's Noosigns in 'The Shining' Brains are always topological. Thus. and here we see an engagement with Lacan. a brain-image is an object which is the obverse. for the two are like two sides of a Moebius strip. For the brain is what is missing from thought. and yet. disorient our normal sense of what it means to be a shape in some manner or other. exploding it from within. a split screen or something to this effect. then it could only emerge as a stain or gap. Deleuze works hard to show his models can do everything that Lacan’s can.

Might we be able to imagine a thought from beyond. act like zombies or mummies.M. For entities . We carve aspects of the film image into meaningful parts. Not to destroy the human. trying to imagine how it might be that there could be thought beyond the human. however. to go beyond it. that’s a car. we see Deleuze’s most intense engagement with Lacan since Anti-Oedipus and The Logic of Sense. In the section on the cinema of thought. vessels for a thought beyond the human. twist the brain on a Moebius strip. twist this. We do this by means of language. But rather. he is aiming at Lacan. it seems pretty obvious that in his discussion of topology and the outside of thought. yet without giving up the insights provided by Lacanian theory. . Disjunctive-Synthesis. new types of brains.C. music. Lecto-Signs. What does it mean to read an image in a film? We read film images all the time. as signlanguages have demonstrated beyond doubt. perhaps? A four-dimensional moebius strip. when properly exploded and made multiplicitous from within. But this should not be interpreted as meaning that he feels one needs sound to read images in film. and noise. And this seems to be Deleuze’s dream. oh. we see an image in a film and we say. it is an accident of history that we have used sound as the material to anchor our reading of the world of images. some of the most complex in the cinema books (and that’s saying a lot!). twist this yet again. new types of cinethought? More on what this would be below . A moebial Moebius strip. and in the section of the book in which Deleuze discusses lecto-signs (from the ancient Stoic notion of lekta). Deleuze doesn’t quite systematize things like this. . and the Cinema of Reading The fourth power of the false is what Deleuze calls the cinema of reading. he discusses dialogue. that is a bad guy. images of reading in films (images which can be read. even though he fails to mention Lacan by name in these passages. Escher's wonderful 'Moebius Swans' How does he do this? In many senses. you get conscious thought. And it is for this reason that Deleuze describes in depth the manner in which we ‘read’ silent films before the advent of sound. and in some sense. and you get a series of images. but he implies much. the brain is an attempt to image the unconscious. Either way. you get unconscious thought. that’s an ocean. For in fact. He does. mention films in which characters seem to speak in a voice from beyond. or demand to be read). that which forces thought to come into being. are read.

and you’ll get a second layer that produces meaning from the first. It is to see a knife and see it not only as shiny. is the means whereby layering of entities in a systematic manner can give rise to meaning. sharp. For in fact. there are increasingly Hjelmslevian qualities to his statements. What Deleuze is getting at here. in film or beyond? It means to see it as something. as united by a system or complex code which can function in the manner of language. or image which can be read. and see them as more complexly meaningful. also known as disjunctivesynthesis. as one reads the lecto-sign chapter. from matter. For Deleuze. Verbal language was indirectly present in silent film. Group a bunch of sounds together according to divisions marked by graphic squiggles. You can still read this guy quite well without sound: an early lecto-sign. words. is that hero of so many of his other books. use rules to put these together. Take sets of letters and group them together according to a series of rules. or demands a reading What does it mean to read an image. and you get meaningful sentences.still had meaning before the advent of sound. encoded in the ways actors acted in relation to things. carve up the world into sections. It is to see object beyond the way they are seen by (most) animals. or language. though it is quite difficult to tell from the way he writes about it in his chapter on the lecto-sign. is read. Layer this up enough times. . In each case. as something other than merely what it is. the concept known as disjunctive-synthesis (also sometimes referred to as double-articulation). or meaning. Group sets of words together according to sets of rules. and you produce a new layer. metallic. It is to link objects beyond themselves in relational series beyond those presented by the physical world. even if Deleuze only provides us with hints as to the fact that this is where he’s going with this. but also as a weapon of potential murder. and you get letters in the alphabet. double-articulation. and you get language.

But when you see a film start with a standard Hollywood style car chase. Such films teach us how to read differently. the hero will likely dispense with the bad guy (usually after giving him some sort of last chance to redeem himself). new questions. for Deleuze. how disjunctive synthesis was on Deleuze’s agenda all the way. because some films cite genre conventions precisely to subvert them. but it may also be a message from the gods. Link series together and you get genres. at most two. They are the category of categories in a film. and derive their meaning. subjects. These film-theorums are like solving math equations. What does this man see? 'It's only stars'. And link these categories together (ie: the car chase. a noo-sign which shows us why the brain is the monolith is the screen. There are films in which the we know how the film will end after seeing just a few scenes. Some lecto-signs present themselves without a premade reading provided. there’s only one. and you end up with a master-genre. one needs to always ask oneself when presented with an image. or categories. or demands to be read. but what could it mean? The lecto-sign. so to speak. These are films that proceed as if deducing a theorum. A new film-language is necessary to understand such films. such that we . we can’t know for sure. which is able to structure an entire film. as they go. they create problematics. but what am I really seeing? I know that I am seeing. etc. a master-category. Such films are sui generis. the romantic kiss). Plots give meaning. Link bodies together and you get meaningful series. films in which everything is predetermined. create their own plot-genres. which can give meaning to objects. the murder weapon. for Deleuze.From such a perspective. but create a language of meanings all of their own. is read. But then there are films which present to us film-problems. can be asked of the universe. fields upon which new problems. Such a meta-category is generally called a film’s plot. Of course. Given an equation. we can begin to see. possible answers. you can generally tell that at the end of the film. A gun may be a murder weapon. Watching such films. No meanings are predetermined before the film starts. Film plots. come in two primary forms. Everything can and must be read by the immanent criteria developed in the film itself. from all the other aspects of a film. and then get the girl. These films search for their own structure. is an image that can be read. For they do not employ pre-made film meanings.

and which engage in a form of radical collective storytelling which he calls fabulation. Giving Birth to New Film Worlds as a Image-Language for a People Yet to Come This is why it seems to me that the final power of the false. and in return. we see all the powers of the false employed. is Deleuze’s true goal in writing these books. Deleuze’s writings on political cinema towards the middle of Cinema II are possibly the most powerful and poetic in both books. Mutual co-becoming. we see Rouch teach people who had never used a camera before how to document their lives. new film-language. The process of making a film puts into action a process of collective becoming. and Jean Rouch’s films in particular (above there’s a clip from his collaboratively produced 1967 film. And they are. Together he and the storytellers sat watching the film they had recorded. We see characters that go beyond the individual forgers of the late Welles’. For a people yet to come. beyond those depicted in the original film. What he wants is a post-human cinema. That is.must search the film for the immanent categories whereby to give the image in question meaning. Thus this collective becoming can act as a collective myth which can give rise to new ways of looking at the world. in which reality is altered by the collective process of producing new legends in film. as he calls it. fictional storytelling. film can act as a new language to articulate new desires. For in fact. the production of new film-meanings. new ways to produce meanings. new worlds. In his discussion of minor cinema. They hit me as the climax of these books. new actions. the end of his conceptual development. it seems to me that he is going after much. for example. a process which can then model this sort of process for others. in order to produce. new meanings. for a new political cinema. much more. While Deleuze uses films which experiment with sound to discuss these issues. He helped them tell their story. But the reason for this is because he wants to unleash the powers of the world. a language for a people yet to come. and hence. and it can do so for a collective audience. and legendmaking. as I argue here. signs which demand to be read. it seems to me. Such collective becoming is like a sort of radical reality-television. and even from the time-images that present human types of thought. and with radical implications. and developed a collective soundtrack somewhere between narration. Rouch gave the power to world-make to people who didn’t have that power before. commentary. they gave him a new vision of the world. in both senses of the word ‘end’. must be tied not only to his reflections on the cinema of reading in his lecto-sign chapter (Chapter 9: The Components of the Image). the production of a cinema of reading. has been what his goal has been since the start of his discussion of the powers of the false. but Deleuze’s reflections on political cinema and language earlier in Cinema II. but which require the film itself to give birth to new meanings in order for this to occur. such that he advocates experimentation with various aspects of film-sound and noise in these chapters. . Jaguar). Deleuze seeks to free cinema from the sensory-motor schema of human action. We can perhaps call these fabulatory lecto-signs. In a film such as Jaguar. the insights that really belong towards the end. As such.

from West Africa. and cinema becomes a way of acting which can give rise to new meanings. Rouch engages in cine-becomings as way to unlearn his western prejudices which he was raised in. it seems to me. new tall tales. as subject-object of its own auto-production.Do I know how to read what I see? The power of a fabulatory disruptive lecto-sign in Cronenberg's 'Existenz' Thus we see the production of a people yet to come produced in a radical between. This. and changes. meaning. His co-creators. an improvising with reality. democratic. objects. mutate. and anti-oppressive future. its self-imaging into the world. Together. The camera is passed around. we see a potential for a radical political cinema of the future. a reality-TV in which the whole world becomes laboratory for an attempt to imagine a path to a more egalitarian. beyond the privilege-disprivileged binary. in a way that unleashes the democracy of the universe. in which the camera makes the world itself a laboratory for new ways of living. thoughts. and in the process. . Now we merely need to go out into the world and do this. Mutual collective radically democratic multi-transformation becomes the story we watch unfold in Rouch’s deconstruction of the ethnographic film. thinking. between fiction and documentary. hearing. we see a potential for radical collective becoming. And in fact. is the dream of the cinema books. meaning. the world-making powers of the false. Cinema becomes a practice of which the production of films is simply a byproduct. to learn new ways of seeing. And in this. roles reverse continually. to a people yet to come. everyone learns.yet hyper-radical reality TV. that which is able to reimagine subjects. engage in cine-becomings to produce new ways of seeing. and in a more radically democratic way. jokes. and meanings. hearing. thinking. and in a manner that can be shared with others. and collective acting in the world. the anthropologist becomes the subject of study. it becomes difficult to tell who is observer and who observed. The goal is collective becoming. and collective acting in the world which may be able to help them imagine ways out of the domination which Rouch’s culture have imposed upon them. Here we see a proto. it can bring that people about. is that which is able to create the world anew. new language. The cinema of reading as political cinema.

for in fact. and some special ones exist on screens. they call out to me to be read. so many layers. Suddenly the perception-image of the camera is also the percpetion-image of the woman. This particular image on screen is in fact a perception-image. but I read patterns in this light to indicate a man. etc. etc. the fact that we only see the scene from a particular angle. However. literally! A still from 'L'Abecedaire de Gilles Deleuze' A Network of Images and Signs: Bringing it All Together in an Imaginary Film So much complexity.Final Thoughts on the Cinema Books: Rereading the World (and Film) as a Layered Network of Images and Signs Deleuze on Film. in the scene. hidden. . for the perception of both the camera and the woman are encoded. and I read them with my pre-made significations. But can we bring it all together? What might it be like to watch a film through Deleuzian eyes? Imagine a scene in a film in which we see a man walking down the street in medium shot. an imaging of the perception of the camera. but not this film so far. a woman. How do we know how to read all this from the flickering light on the screen? My dog just sees flickering light. if by their structuring absence of their point-of-view. we realize our man walking down the street is being watched by another person peering at the street. from a window. all that exists in the world is a movementimage (an imaging-of-movement). What we see are movement-images. A more avant-garde film might require me to develop my own readings. These images are all lecto-signs. because I read them. a street. now we see a shot-reverse-shot.

past/future. just like I do. They existed in a particular relationship to other images which indicate that they are shot through with memory. convulsions of the filmic space around particular sections thereof. She sees her reflection in the mirror. and see the face of the woman. one which is both inside the film and beyond it. an imaging of thought. what we have called (ever so-slightly modifying Deleuze’s terms for purposes of clarity) a brain-sign. just like that of the man walking across the street. all images are signs. her face takes in the images and synthesizes them. oneiro-signs. Thus. and movementimages. and in the mirror. Let us leave our imaginary film here. time. We realize that all the images above were not only complexes of intertwined and layered perception. She processes the scene. Such movement. as well as all the other types of images and signs they are. that is. affection. It’s important to keep in mind that an image presented in a film may be many images and signs. and hence. yet it is also a perception-image because it is captured by a camera. a man walking down the street is a movement-image because it images movement. yet they were also more than that. such as peaks and sheets. some of which mean more than themselves and hence function as signs. these images were signs of dreaming. Suddenly. but Deleuze calls those images signs which demonstrate this most radically by having a relation to memory/fantasy. Thus. shifts in the balance of forces between the environment and focal objects in our view. we see a man that we can read (another lecto-sign!) by his body language to be a husband or lover. these are all action-images. Her face is thus a noosign.When I see the shot-reverse-shot. disjunctive-synethesis. action. just as the image of the husband’s face outside the dream and inside the dream are mirror-images of each other. and an action-image because we see defined bodies shift their relation to each other and their . fantasy. for they show us qualities and shifting of qualities which indicate powers which ripple across this face. and goes to the bathroom. We see the woman pick up the phone to call the cops. and a confused look on her face. These similarities short-circuit the linearity of the time of the film. splashes water on her face in the mirror. of the resemblance of one moment with the next so pressed upon our brains by the strange mirroring devices we call clocks. move in behind her. but here we see how even the simplest of traditional Hollywood films can be re-read in Deleuzian terms as a complex of images. Were this film more avant-garde. and kiss her neck. create new circuits of resemblance that thwart the dominance of linear time in the film. Her face ripples in fear at seeing this man on the street – is he coming to kill her?! The ripples of fear are affection-images. Our female protagonist now leaves her bedroom. all at once. we see the woman’s head on a pillow. I realize she is a stand-in for me. time. Her face is therefore not only a representation of a face. And we realize that this man is the same one she feared as he walked down the street in her dream! The image the woman sees in the mirror and her face itself are mirror images of each other. are forms of hyalo-signs. but also of an off-screen process of thought. All that we have just seen has been recast as a dream. Ultimately. it may involve some of Deleuze’s more abstract signs from the end of the cinema books.

create cine-becomings. in which the production of the film creates a set of actions which happen to be captured on film. also movement-images. and recompositions which makes our everyday existence in the world cinematic. However. for getting Bergson’s critique of clock time is essential to understand at all what Deleuze means by a time-image. And I certainly don’t want to downplay the importance of Peirce as an influence on these books. cinema can act to also begin to create new worlds. he shows us how cinema can exceed the limitations of our current forms of perception. By showing us how we humans do this (mostly in Book I) in our everyday lives. is also a noosign. affection. and not mentioned C. it’s worth saying a few words on Peirce before the end. Were it otherwise. related to the world of words. and meaning.S. What we actually perceive is always already carved and layered this way. memory. whether on screen or in everyday life. The same cannot be said with Bergson. yet also a dreamimage. and which makes cinema such a powerful tool for world-imagining. lensing. However. all.environment. it is completely possible to read these books and largely understand them without having to understand Peirce first. swift action in the world would be impossible. . he shows us precisely how closely linked cinema and our everyday lives actually are. fantasy. warping. What Deleuze gives us is a way to see any slicing of the world. action. And as we saw with Rouch. meanings. Cinema can therefore be a way of changing the world directly and indirectly. And the fact that we can read any and all of this proves that these are also. Along with Bergson. but since all humans have the potential to think. so we can’t say he represents an imaging of thought. Peirce (pronounced ‘purse’). etc. and hence. we can say that his body implies thought. These lenses each carve the sensible into chunks that we then use to orient ourselves in the world. We don’t have evidence that the man is synthesizing images. In the first half of Book II. As we watch the film. Cinema can act as a radically powerful prosthetic device for imagining new worlds. layered on top of other chunks. if a weak and indirect one. Cinema can therefore act as a radical tool for going beyond our current limitations. lecto-signs. he then shows us how our inner experience and cinema are closely linked as well. images that are legible as meaningful. discourse. as a networked layering of filters and lensings. Being any one of these types of images or sign does not make it any less of the other. Peirce is Deleuze’s second guiding light in these books.S. we realize that this image is a layered perception-image (because we learn that the man is watched by the camera and the woman). dream. but which would never have happened without the process of making a film to bring them about. Peirce It may seem odd to some readers of the cinema books that I’ve gone this far. Deleuze works to separate out as much as is possible the differing layers of carving. And in the second half of Book II. And each chunk is then carved in turn by other lenses. And many signs are always included in others – there are no affection-images which are not also perception-images. concepts. Post-script on C. thought.

post-human version of the world. Supplemented a bit. Hegel’s Logic. indirectly. now. nearly all structured as threes within threes. Deleuze provides us with a pedagogy. and have a few curious oversights. . to make philosophy and some other area of the world truly come into contact so that neither is fully the same afterwards. Deleuze gives us a post-dialectical. and tragically overlooked. and thirdness) provide structure for the Deleuzian transition between affection. secondness. there is no distinction between the world and signs. binary duel. What’s more. the Cartesian legacy in philosophy. but a more thorough discussion of the links between Peirce and the cinema books will have to wait for another time. and the images which comprise our world. In the process. I haven’t concentrated on Peirce. both by showing us precisely how cinema can imagine new worlds. what Deleuze has accomplished with these books. and tertiary abstract relation (which Peirce calls firstness. There are many more ways in which Peirce provides inspiration for Deleuze. and thus. I don’t like contributing to this. but perhaps provides a radical way out of the impasses that continue to oppress us.Peirce believes that the world is composed of intertwined layers of signs. and the subjectivist side of Lacan. Kant. Deleuze also provides a running critique of traditional forms of human subjectivity. and the world is an evolving and dynamic interplay of signs whose logical relations give structure to the universe. and relation-images. and are slightly stronger with French film than other traditions. however. as well as Lacan’s notion of the unconscious. He also reworks aspects of Hegelian dialectic and psychoanalysis so as to make their attempt to blast apart the Cartesian subject via history and the unconscious truly multiplicitous. and he spends much of his mature work delineating a complex hierarchy of signs of various sorts. Aspects of Deleuze’s cinema books take on. to bring philosophy out of itself into the world. Deleuze’s cinema books have been my textbook for teaching myself the history of film. For Peirce. but also create actions that directly bring them into being. Deleuze’s history of film is pretty damn comprehensive. It also shows us what it means to put philosophy into practice. He provides us with a new way of viewing cinematic images. He shows us how cinema can become a tool for moving beyond the current limitations of our relations to our worlds and others. post-subjective. the distinction between a pure quality. reworks them to fit the multiplicitous model which not only fits the times. because while Deleuze couldn’t have written the books without him as inspiration. it is an amazing introduction to the history of film. action. Much of the internal structure of the cinema books can be seen as directly inspired by Peirce’s typologies. In particular. it is not necessary to know Peirce to begin reading the books. if often indirectly. Final Thoughts In summation. as represented by Descartes. Peirce is a powerful philosopher. let us catalogue. and there is one particular chapter in Cinema II where Deleuze lays all this all out. We also see how Deleuze takes on previous thinkers and concepts from the history of philosophy. explodes them from within. While they stop in the mid-1980′s. Philosophically.

What they are not. But now. readers will feel empowered to take on these books themselves.Deleuze’s cinema books are some of the most important works of philosophy. each page is bursting with insights. of the second half of the twentieth century. they will hopefully be easier to grasp for a first time reader. is easily accessible. and film. My hope is that after reading these posts. . and ethico-politics. There is so much more there than I could ever explain in such a short space. however.