Chapter From affect to action The impulse image

1 Naturalism originary worlds and derived milieux impulses and fragments, symptoms and fetishes two great naturalists Stroheim and Bunuel parasitic impulse entropy and the cycle 123 2 A characteristic of Bunuel's work power of repetition in the image 130 3 The difficulty of being naturalist King Vidor the case and the evolution of Nicholas Ray the third great naturalist Loscy impulse to servility the reversal against self the co-ordinates of naturalism 133

Chapter The affectionimage Qualities powers anyspacevohatevers

1 The complex entity or the expressed virtual conjunctions and real connections the affective components of the close-up (Bergman) from close-up to other shots Dreyer 102 2 The spiritual affect and space in Bresson what is an 'any-space-whatever' 108 3 The construction of any-space-whatevers shadow, opposition and struggle in Expressionism the white, alternation and the alternative in lyrical abstraction (Sternberg, Drcyer, Bresson) colour and absorption (Minnelli) the two kinds of...

From action to situation

We must now consider a completely different aspect of the action-image. As the action-image on all its levels always brings together 'two', it is not surprising that it should have two different aspects itself. The large form - SAS' - moved from the situation to the action, which modified the situation. But there is another form, which, on the contrary, moves from the action to the situation, towards a new action ASA'. This time it is the action which discloses the situation, a fragment or an...

From affect to action The impulse image

1 Pasolini's Pig Pen, for example, separates the originary cannibalistic world, and the derived milieu of the pig-sty in two clearly defined parts such a work is not naturalistic (and Pasolini hated naturalism, of which he had a very dull conception). On the other hand, in the field of cinema, as elsewhere, the originary world may constitute by itself the derived milieu which is assumed to be real this is the case of prehistoric films, like Annaud's La Guerre du feu, and many horror or...

L The complex entity or the expressed

There are Lulu, the lamp, the bread-knife, Jack the Ripper people who are assumed to be real with individual characters and social roles, objects with uses, real connections between these objects and these people - in short, a whole actual state of things. But there are also the brightness of the light on the knife, the blade of the knife under the light, Jack's terror and resignation, Lulu's compassionate look. These are pure singular qualities or potentialities as it were, pure 'possibles'....

Preface to the French edition

This study is not a history of the cinema. It is a taxonomy, an attempt at the classification of images and signs. But this first volume has to content itself with determining the elements, and the elements of only one part of the classification. We will frequently be referring to the American logician Peirce (1839-1914), because he established a general classification of images and signs, which is undoubtedly the most complete and the most varied. It can be compared with Linnaeus's...

The actionimage The large form

1 No l Burch puts forward this term to characterise the structure of Lang's M 'Le travail de Fritz Lang', in Cin ma, th orie, lectures. 2 Peirce writes 'sinsign' in order to emphasise the individuality of the state of things. But the individuality of the state of things, and of the agent, must not be confused with the singularity which already belongs to pure powers and qualities. ITiis is why we prefer the prefix 'syn' which indicates, in line with Peirce's analysis, that there are always...

The actionimage The small form

1 The French word 'ellipse' has two senses one corresponding to the rhetorical 'ellipsis', the other to the geometrical figure ('an ellipse'). In this chapter, Deleuze plays on both senses of the word. 2 Charles Chaplin, My Autobiography ( 1964) (see also the collection on Public Opinion in Cin matographe, no. 64, January 1981, particularly the article by Jean Tedesco, a contemporary of the film, and the analysis by Jacques Fieschi). 3 L.ubitsch had a professional knowledge of cloths and of...

The affectionimage Face and closeup

1 On these two techniques of the portrait, cf. Wolfflin, Principles of Art History, trans. M.D. Hottinger (1932) pp. 41 3. 2 Descartes, l-es Passions de lame, 54 'To admiration is joined esteem or contempt, depending on whether it is the greatness of an object or its pettiness that we are admiring.' On the conception of admiration in Descartes and the painter Le Brun, the reader is referred to an excellent analysis by Henri Souchon, Etudes philosophiques, 1, 1980. 4 Cf. G.W. Pabst, Pandora's...

The affectionimage Qualities powers anyspacewhatevers

Balizs, L'Esprit du cin ma, p. 131. 2 M. Blanchot, L'Espace litt raire, 1955 p. 161. Roger Leenhardt, quoted by Lherminier, I.'Art du cin ma, p. 174. 'Hyl ', the Greek word for 'matter' or 'content', (in this aspect of the close-up in Bergman, cf. Claude Roulet, 'Une pure tragique', Cin matographe, no. 24, February 1977. Peirce, Ecrits sur le signe, p. 43. ' There arc certain sensible qualities like the value of magenta, the smell of essence of rose, the sound of a locomotive whistle, the...

The movementimage and its three varieties

1 * I his is the most general theme of the first chapter and the conclusion of Matter and Memory (MM). 2 M. Mcrlcau-Pontv, Phenomenology of Perception, trans. Colin Smith, 1962, p. 68. 3 T his is at least what appears to us in Albert I-attay's complex theory, which is phenomenologically inspired Logique du cin ma. 5 MM, p. 20 T say in consequence that conscious perception must be produced.' 8 MM, p. 31 cf. atoms or lines of force. 11 This notion of the plane of immanence and the characteristics...

The passage from one form to another in Eisenstein

The distinction between the two forms of action is in itself clear and simple, but its applications are more complicated. As wc have seen, financial considerations could intervene, but were not determining, since the small form - as much as the large - needs a large screen, lavish sets and colours to express and develop itself. Here one should bear in mind that Small and Large are used in Plato's sense. He made two ideas correspond to them and indeed the idea is first of all the form of action....

The perceptionimage

1 Mitry, Esth tique et psychologie du cin ma, II, pp. 61 ff. 2 Pasolini sets out his theory in L'Exp rience h r tique from the standpoint of literature (in particular pp. 39 65) and from the standpoint of the cinema (in particular pp. 139 55). We refer to Bakhtine's conceptions about free indirect discourse in M. Bakhtine (V.N. Volosinov) Marxism and the Philosophy of language (1973) Chaps X and XI. 3 Bergson, L' nergie spirituelle, p. 920 (139) (the first page number is for the 'Centenaire'...

The reverse proof how to extinguish the three varieties

VV'e might also retrace the lines of differentiation of these three types of images, and try to rediscover the matrix or the movement-image as it is in itself, in its acentrcd purity, in its primary regime of variation, in its heat and its light, while it is still untroubled by any centre of ind termination. How can we rid ourselves of ourselves, and demolish ourselves This is the astonishing attempt made by Beckett in his cinematographic work entitled Film, with Buster Keaton. Esse est...

The second level shot and movement

Cutting decoupage is the determination of the shot, and the shot, the determination of the movement which is established in the closed system, between elements or parts of the set. But we have seen that movement also concerns a whole which is qualitatively different from the set. The whole is that which changes it is the open or duration. Movement thus expresses a change of the whole, or a stage, an aspect of this change, a duration or an articulation of duration. Thus movement has two facets,...

The sensorymotor link

The action-image inspires a cinema of behaviour (behaviourism), since behaviour is an action which passes from one situation to another, which responds to a situation in order to try to modify it or to set up a new situation. Merleau-Ponty saw in this rise of behaviour a sign common to the modern novel, to modern psychology and to the spirit of the cinema.15 But from this perspective, the sensory-motor link must be very strong, behaviour must be truly structured. The great organic...

The two spaces the breathEncompasser and the line of the Universe

Finally, the basic domains where the small and large forms manifest both their real distinction and all their possible transformations must be determined. There is, firstly, the physico-biological domain which corresponds to the notion of milieu. For this, in a first sense, designates the interval between two bodies, or rather that which occupies that interval, the fluid which transmits the action of one body on the other at a distance (the action of contact thus implying an infinitely small...

Towards a beyond of the movementimage

Why Italy first, before France and Germany It is perhaps for an essential reason, but one which is external to the cinema. Under the impetus of de Gaulle, France had, at the end of the war, the historical and political ambition to belong fully to the circle of victors. The Resistance, therefore, even when underground, needed to appear as the detachment of a regular, perfectly organised army and the life of the French, even when full of conflict and ambiguities, needed to appear as a...

Translators introduction

This is Gilles Deleuze's first book on film, published in France in October 1983. It is an illustration and exemplification of Deleuze's radical view of philosophy developed in a series of major works, from Diff rence et R p tition to Mille Plateaux. Thus, in one sense, it is a work of philosophy. 'Philosophy in the traditional sense of the word', the creation of concepts.1 Beginning from an analysis of Bergson, the book puts forward a view of the image which is radically different from that...

From the movementimage to its varieties

What happens and what can happen in this acentred universe where everything reacts on everything else We must not introduce a different factor, a factor of another nature. So what can happen is this at any point whatever of the plane an interval appears a gap between the action and the reaction. All Bergson asks for are movements and intervals between movements which serve as units it is also exactly what Dziga Vertov asked for, in his materialist conception of the cinema.19 Clearly, this...

The third level the whole the composition of movement images and the indirect image of time

.Montage is the determination of the whole (the third Bergsonian level) by means of continuities, cutting and false continuities, f'isenstein continually reminds us that montage is the whole of the film, the Idea. But why should the whole be the object of montage Between the beginning and the end of a film something changes, something has changed. But this whole which changes, this time or duration, only seems to be capable of being apprehended indirectly, in relation to the movement-images...

Towards a gaseous perception

In the 'cine-eye', Vertov was aiming to attain or regain the system of universal variation, in itself. All the images vary as a function of each other, on all their facets and in all their parts. Vertov himself defined the cine-eye it is that which 'couplcs together any point whatsoever of the universe in any temporal order whatsoever .14 Fvcrything is at the servicc of variation and interaction slow or high speed shots, supcrimposition, fragmentation, deceleration demultiplication , micro-...

Peirces thirdness and mental relations

After having distinguished between affection and action, which he calls Firstness and Secondness, Peirce added a third kind of image the 'mental' or Thirdness. The point of thirdness was a term that referred to a second term through the intermediary of another term or terms. This third instance appeared in signification, law or relation. This may seem to be already included in action, but this is not so. An action, that is to say a duel or a pair of forces, obeys laws which make it possible,...

The construction of anyspacewhatevers

How can any-space-whatever be constructed (in the studio or on location) How can any-space-whatcver be extracted from a given state of things, from a determinate space T he first way was shadow, shadows a space full of shadows, or covered with shadows, becomes any-space-whatever. We have seen how Expressionism operates with darkness and light, the opaque black background and the luminous principle the two powers couple together gripping like wrestlers, giving space a great depth, a prominent...

The law of the small forn and burlesque

We have seen how the classical genres of the cinema could, in a summary fashion, be assigned to one of the two forms of the action-image. There is one genre which seems to be exclusively devoted to the small form, to the extent of having created it, and of having served as the condition for the comedy of manners the burlesque. In it the formula of the form AS is most fully developed a very slight difference in the action, or between two actions, which brings out an infinite distance between two...

The laws of organic composition

What are the laws of the action-image across all these genres The first concerns the action-image as organic representation in its entirety ensemble . It is structural because the places and the moments are well defined in their oppositions and their complementarities. From the point of view of the situation (S), from the point of view of space, of the frame and of the shot, it organises the way in which the milieu carries several powers into effect, the weight given to each one. For example,...

Preface to the English edition

This l)ook docs not set out to produce a history of the cinema but to isolate certain cinematographic concepts. These concepts are not technical (such as the various kinds of shot or the different camera movements) or critical (for example the great genres, the Western, the detective film, the historical film, etc.). Neither are they linguistic, in the sense in which it has been said that the cinema was the universal language, or in the sense in which it has been said that the cinema is a...

The figures of the Large and the Small in Herzog

As Ideas, the Small and the I .arge designate both two forms and two conceptions. These arc distinct, but capable of passing into one another. They have yet a third sense and designate Visions which deserve even more to be called Ideas. And, although this is true of all the directors that we are studying, we should like to consider Hcrzog's action cinema as an extreme case in this respect. For his work divides up according to two obsessive themes, which are like visual and musical motifs.6 In...

The prewar French school

In the pre-war French school (whose recognised leader, in certain respects, was Gance) we also witness a break with the principle of organic composition. This, however, was not a case of Vertovism, even of a moderated form. Should we call it Impressionism in order to contrast it with German Expressionism The French school might be better defined by a sort of Cartesianism these directors were primarily interested in the quantity of movement and in the metrical relations which allow us to define...

Mobility montage and movement of the camera

What happened when the camera was fixed The situation has often been described. In the first place, the frame is defined by a unique and frontal point of view which is that of the spectator on an invariable set there is therefore no communication of mutually referring variable sets. In the second place, the shot is a uniquely spatial determination, indicating a 'slice of space' at a particular distance from the camera, from close-up to long shot (immobile sections) movement is therefore not...

The Western in Hawks functionalism

Finally, the Western poses the same problem in particularly fertile conditions. We have seen that the large 'respiration' form was not content with the epic but, throughout its varieties, sustained an encompassing milieu, a global situation, which would give rise to an action, capable in its turn of modifying the situation from within. I his great organic representation - for example in Ford had precise characteristics it comprised one or several fundamental groups, each well-defined,...

The affect as entity

We have seen the two poles of the affect power and quality - and how the face necessarily passes from one to the other depending on the particular case. What compromises the integrity of the close-up in this respect is the idea that it presents to us a partial object, detached from a set or torn away from a set of which it would form part. Psychoanalysis and linguistics both get something out of this view, the one bccause it believes that it has discovered in it a structure of the unconscious...

The identity of the image and the movement

The historical crisis of psychology coincided with the moment at which it was no longer possible to hold a certain position. This position involved placing images in consciousness and movements in space. In consciousness there would only be images - these were qualitative and without extension. In space there would only be movements these were extended and quantitative. But how is it possible to pass from one order to the other How is it possible to explain that movements, all of a sudden,...

Third thesis movement and change

And this is Bergson's third thesis, which is also contained in Creative Evolution. If we tried to reduce it to a bare formula, it would be this not only is the instant an immobile section of movement, but movement is a mobile section of duration, that is, of the Whole, or of a whole. Which implies that movement expresses something more profound, which is the change in duration or in the whole. To say that duration is change is part of its definition it changes and does not stop changing. For...

The Soviet school

While he fully acknowledges his debt to Griffith, Kisenstein nevertheless makes two objections. Firstly, it might be said that the differentiated parts of the set are given of themselves, as independent phenomena. Just like bacon, with its alternation of lean meat and fat, there are rich and poor, good and bad, Whites and Blacks, etc. Thus when the representatives of these parts confront each other, it must be in the form of individual duels where narrowly personal motifs for example, a love...

The two poles of the face power and quality

The affection-image is the close-up, and the close-up is the face. . . . Eisenstein suggested that the close-up was not merely one type of image among others, but gave an affective reading of the whole film. This is true of the affection-image it is both a type of image and a component of all images. But that is not all there is to it. In what sense is the close-up identical to the whole affection-image And why would the face be identical to the close-up, since the latter merely seems to carry...

The origin of the crisis Italian neorealism and the French new wave

But can a crisis of the action-image be presented as something new Was this not the constant state of the cinema Ihe purest action films have always had value in episodes outside the action, or in idle periods between actions, through a whole set of extra-actions and infra-actions which cannot be cut out in montage without disfiguring the film hence the formidable power of producers . At all times too, the cinema's potentialities, its vocation for changes of location, have caused directors to...

Naturalism

When qualities and powers are apprehended as actualised in states of things, in milieux whieh are geographically and historically determinable, we enter into the realm of the action-image. The realism of the action-image is opposed to the idealism of the affection-image. However, between the two, between firstness and secondness, there is something which is like the 'degenerate' affect, or the 'embryonic' action. It is no longer the affection-image, but is not yet the action-image. As we have...

Montage

1 On the close-up and binary structure in Griffith, cf. Jacques Fieschi, 'Griffith le pr curseur', Cin matographe, no. 24, February 1977. On iriffith's close-up and the process of miniaturisation and subjectivation, cf. Yann Lardeau, 'King David', Cahiers du cinema, no. 346, April 1983. 2 S. Eisenstein's brilliant analysis consists in showing that parallel montage, in its practicc as well as its conception, relates to bourgeois society in its conception of itself and in its practice Film Form,...

Towards another state of perception liquid perception

This solution, however, only relates to a nominal definition of 'subjective' and 'objective'. It implies that the cinema has reached an evolved state, having learned to mistrust the movement-image. But what happens if we take as our starting-point a real definition of the two poles, or of the double system Bergsonianism suggested the following definition a subjective perception is one in which the images vary in relation to a central and privileged image an objective perception is one where, as...

First commentary on Bergson

1 First thesis movement and instant Bergson does not just put forward one thesis on movement, but three. The first is the most famous, and threatens to obscure the other two. It is, however, only an introduction to the others. According to the first thesis, movement is distinct from the space covered. Space covered is past, movement is present, the act of covering. The space covered is divisible, indeed infinitely divisible, whilst movement is indivisible, or cannot be divided without changing...

The first level frame set or closed system

We will start with very simple definitions, even though they may have to be corrected later. We will call the determination of a closed system, a relatively closed system which includes everything which is present in the image - sets, characters and props - framing. The frame therefore forms a set which has a great number of parts, that is of elements, which themselves form sub-sets. It can be broken down. Obviously these parts are themselves in image en image . This is why Jakobson calls them...

Theses on movement

1 Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution, trans. Arthur Mitchell, 1954 p. 322 hereafter CE . 5 On the organic and the pathetic, cf. S. Eisenstein, La non-indiff rente Nature, I, 10 18. 6 Arthur Knight, Revue du cin ma, no. 10. 7 Jean Mitry, Histoire du cin ma muet. III, pp. 49 51. 10 On all these points, cf. Henri Bergson, Matter and Memory, 1911, Chapter IV. 15 Ibid., p. 16. Ihe only resemblance between Bergson and Heidegger and it is a considerable one lies here both base the specificity of time...

The two poles objective and subjective

We have seen that perception was double, or rather had a double reference. It can be objective or subjective. But the difficulty lies in knowing how an objective perception-image and a subjective perception-image arc presented in the cinema. What distinguishes them It could be said that the subjective-image is the thing seen by someone 'qualified', or the set as it is seen by someone who forms part of that set. This reference of the image to the person who sees is marked by various factors....

The spiritual affect and space in Bresson

Although the close-up extracts the face or its equivalent from all spatio-temporal co-ordinates, it can carry with it its own space-time -a scrap of vision, sky, countryside or background. Sometimes it is depth of field which gives the close-up a behind. Sometimes, on the contrary, it is the negation of perspective and of depth which assimilates the medium shot to a close-up. But, if the affect obtains a space for itself in this way, why could it not do so even without the face, and...

Chapter The crisis of the actionimage

1 Peirce's 'thirdness' and mental relations the Marx Brothers the mental image according to Hitchcock marks and symbols how Hitchcock brings the action-image to completion by carrying it to its limit the crisis of the action-image in the American cinema Lumet, Cassavetes, Altman the five characteristics of this crisis the loosening of the sensory-motor link 197 2 The origin of the crisis Italian neo-realism and the French new wave the critical consciousness of cliche problem of a new conception...

The crisis of the actionimage

Peirce, Ecrits sur le signe, Peirce believed that 'thirdness' was one of his principal discoveries. 2 Peirce does not refer explicitly to these two kinds of relations, the distinction between which goes back to Hume. But his theory of the 'interpr tant', and his own distinction between a 'dynamic interpr tant' and a 'final interpr tant', partially coincides with that between the two types of relations. 3 E. Rohmer and C. Chabrol, Hitchcock, p. 124. 4 Cf. Narboni, 'Visages d'Hitchcock', in...

Frame and shot framing and cutting

Pasolini, L'Exp rience h r tique, pp. 263- 5. 2 No l Burch, Praxis du cin ma, p. 86 on the black or white screen, when it no longer simply serves as 'punctuation' but takes on a 'structural value'. 3 Claude Oilier, Souvenirs cran. Cahiers du cin ma, p. 88. It is this which Pasolini analysed as 'obsessive framing' in Antonioni L'Exp rience h r tique, p. 148 . 4 Dominique Villain, in an unpublished work which includes interviews with cameramen cadreurs , analyses these two conceptions...

A characteristic of Bunuels work power of repetition in the image

Ihere are nevertheless great differences between Strohcim's naturalism and that of Bunuel. In literature, there is perhaps something analogous in the relationship between Zola and Huysmans. Huysmans said that Zola only imagined impulses of the body in stereotyped social milieux, where man was only reunited with the originary world of animals. For his part, he wanted a naturalism of the soul, which would tetter recognise the artificial constructions of perversion, but also perhaps the...

Second thesis privileged instants and anyinstantivhatevers

Now Creative Evolution advances a second thesis, which, instead of reducing everything to the same illusion about movement, distinguishes at least two very different illusions. The error remains the same - that of reconstituting movement from instants or positions bur there are two ways of doing this the ancient and the modern. For antiquity, movement refers to intelligible elements, Forms or Ideas which are themselves eternal and immobile. Of course, in order to reconstitute movement, these...

The difficulty of being naturalist

For the moment what interests us is not the way to get outside the limits of naturalism, but rather the manner in which some great directors have failed to come within them despite repeated attempts. This is because, while they were obsessed by the originary world of impulses, their particular genius none the less directed them towards other problems. Visconti, for example, from his first film to his last Obsession and The Innocent tries to reach raw and primordial impulses. But, too...

Figures or the transformation of forms

1 Mikhail Romm in Cahiers du cin ma, no. 219, April 1970. 2 Pudovkin, cited by George Sadoul, Histoire g n rale du cin ma, VI, p. 487. 3 Kisenstein's very detailed commentary can be found in the chapter 'La centrifugeuse et le Graal', non-indiff rente Nature, I. 4 I. Kant, Critique of Judgement, para 59. T his is what Kant calls 'symbol'. 5 P. Fontanier, Iss Figures du discours 1968 . 6 Cf. M.-L. Potrel-Dorget, 'Dialectique du surhomme et du sous-homme dans quelques films d'Herzog', Revue du...

Griffith and Eisenstein

Pabst's Lulu shows the extent to which one goes from one pole to the other in a relatively short sequence first the two faces, of Jack and of Lulu, are relaxed, smiling, dreamy, wondering then Jack's face, above Lulu's shoulder, sees the knife and goes into an ascending series of terror 'the fear becomes a paroxysm. . . his pupils grow wider and wider. . . the man gasps in terror ' finally Jack's face relaxes, Jack accepts his destiny and now reflects death as a quality common to his killer's...

From situation to action secondness

We are approaching a domain which is easier to define derived milieux assert their independence and start to become valid for themselves. Qualities and powers are no longer displayed in any-space-whatevers, no longer inhabit originary worlds, but are actualised directly in determinate, geographical, historical and social space-times. Affects and impulses now only appear as embodied in behaviour, in the form of emotions or passions which order and disorder it. This is Realism. It is true that...