Deleuze, Altered States and Film

Synopsis

Deleuze, Altered States and Film offers a typology of altered states, defining dream, hallucination, memory, trance and ecstasy in their cinematic expression. The book presents altered states films as significant neurological, psychological and philosophical experiences. Chapters engage with films that simultaneously present and induce altered consciousness. They consider dream states and the popularisation of alterity in drugs films. The altered bodies of erotic arousal and trance states are explored, using haptics and synaesthesia. Cinematic distortions of space and time as well as new digital and fractal directions are opened up. Anna Powell's distinctive re-mapping of the film experience as altered state uses a Deleuzian approach to explore how cinema alters us by 'affective contamination'. Arguing that specific cinematic techniques derange the senses and the mind, she makes an assemblage of philosophy and art, counter-cultural writers and filmmakers to provide insights into the cinematic event as intoxication. The book applies Deleuze, alone and with Guattari, to mainstream films like Donnie Darko as well as arthouse and experimental cinema. Offering innovative readings of 'classic' altered states movies such as 2001, Performance and Easy Rider, it includes 'avant-garde' and 'underground' work. Powell asserts the Deleuzian approach as itself a kind of altered state that explodes habitual ways of thinking and feeling.