Violently Oscillating: Science, Repetition and Affective Transmutation in Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz

Deleuze Studies 3 (1):73-96 (2009)
This essay looks at Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz to trace the film's transformation of a mechanistic scientific discourse into affective indeterminacy. Through patterns of repetition of a key event, the film considers its protagonist as a complex web of constantly shifting forces – a network of biological, social, political and semiotic flows coalescing in a body that exists in a state of perpetual oscillation between force and mutilation, ecstasy and pain. The role of physics and other materialist discourses in the film is thus not to fixate subjectivity, but rather to provide a passage into its affective transformations and the intense desubjectification that results
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