The Brain Is the Screen: Deleuze and the Philosophy of Cinema

The Brain Is the Screen: Deleuze and the Philosophy of Cinema

The Brain Is the Screen: Deleuze and the Philosophy of Cinema

The Brain Is the Screen: Deleuze and the Philosophy of Cinema

Synopsis

The first broad-ranging collection on Deleuze's essential works on cinema. In the nearly twenty years since their publication, Gilles Deleuze's books about cinema have proven as daunting as they are enticing- a new aesthetics of film, one equally at home with Henri Bergson and Wim Wenders, Friedrich Nietzsche and Orson Welles, that also takes its place in the philosopher's immense and difficult oeuvre. With this collection, the first to focus solely and extensively on Deleuze's cinematic work, the nature and reach of that work finally become clear. Composed of a substantial introduction, twelve original essays produced for this volume, and a new English translation of a personal, intriguing, and little-known interview with Deleuze on his cinema books, The Brain Is the Screen is a sustained engagement with Deleuze's cinematic philosophy that leads to a new view of the larger confrontation of philosophy with cinematic images.

Excerpt

It is difficult to accurately define the fate Deleuze wished to reserve for what he called the “image of thought” if we do not grasp from the outset the profound kinship between image and thought. It is therefore out of the question to deal, on the one hand, with the process of the image and, on the other, with that of thought. There is no dualism that would permit one to posit them each on opposite sides. As we know, Deleuze never begins by positing terms that would be exterior to one another. Doing philosophy is to be conceived starting off in the middle. We start off neither with the image nor with thought, but in the middle, where each melts with the other one into a common plane, the plane of immanence. It does not matter that this fold of the one upon the other is not identical in philosophy, in science, or in the domain of art. Each elaborates its respective plane in a middle where image and thought correspond according to modalities that need to be specified every time.

Whence the importance of beginning with examples. Image and thought are not abstract and separate entities. They actualize themselves in examples that mark their fusion and that provide an occasion for them to individuate themselves through a series of moments and figures whose history is no longer at all chronological but stratigraphic, foliated. This is why Deleuze's philosophy is a concrete philosophy: it is sensitive to the concretion of images and of thoughts or, more specifically, to the concrescence of their dimensions at the heart of an interpenetration that opens them to one another along axes or on planes that are called “Nature” and are consolidated in the course of a natural history. That Deleuze reactivates, under the sign of the conjunction of image and thought, a philosophy of Nature, a Naturphilosophie, lost since Schelling, might seem strange; but this . . .

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