Time-Traveling Image: Gilles Deleuze on Science-Fiction Film

Journal of Aesthetic Education 50 (4):31-44 (2016)
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The first section of this article focuses on the treatment of “time travel” in science-fiction literature and film as presented in the secondary literature in that field. The first anthology I will consider has a metaphysical focus, including (a) relating the time travel of science fiction to the banal time travel of all living beings, as we move inexorably toward the future; and (b) arguing for the filmstrip as the ultimate metaphor for time. The second anthology I will consider has a more political focus, arguing that the “special effects” form of science-fiction films, rather than the visual or narrative content of science-fiction-films, is truly imaginative and futural. The second section of this article ties together a variety of concepts and insights between time-travel cinema and Deleuze’s Cinema 1, suggesting (among other things) that (c) time-traveling characters in cinema function as a redoubled phenomenon of the “mobile sections” of Bergsonian duration (in reference to Henri Bergson), and (d) time-travel cinema vividly illustrates the imagistic nature of the entire world.

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Joshua M. Hall
University of Alabama, Birmingham

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