Gilles Deleuze and early cinema: The modernity of the emancipated time

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Although the transition from the movement-image to the time-image is among the most commented-upon Deleuzian problems, Gilles Deleuze neglected the previous transition from images in movement' to the first regime of the movement-images. As my approach will be transhistorical, focusing especially on early silent movies and recently expanded cinema through early moving images (Lumiere Brothers) and 1970s structural films (Malcolm Le Grice), I will reflect on how we can think time and moving images outside of this closed Deleuzian movement-image/time-image conceptual framework. In other words, we can ask: how can we expand this conceptual framework? Drawing on David Martin-Jones' attraction-image', my aim is to explore the role of early cinema and the reasons for Gilles Deleuze's own historical and technical (mis)judgement of early silent cinema. In this sense, the emergent studies on the history of early silent movies, and the growing field of Deleuzian studies on film, together have an important role on the philosophical and historiographical analysis of film's expression of time and modernity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-250
Number of pages17
JournalEarly Popular Visual Culture
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


  • Gilles Deleuze
  • David Martin-Jones
  • Philosophy of film
  • Early cinema
  • Lumiere
  • Malcolm Le Grice


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