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Appears in Collections:Communications, Media and Culture eTheses
Title: Deleuze, Grodal, and the Metaphysics of Cognitive Film Theory
Author(s): Jayakumar, Raghu Menon
Supervisor(s): Neely, Sarah
Keywords: Deleuze
Cognitive Film Theory
Ecological Film Theory
Difference and Repetition
Three Syntheses of Time
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: The broader objective of this study is to provide a critical assessment of the accusations of revelationism, relativism and phoney scientism levelled at Gilles Deleuze by Malcolm Turvey and other theorists belonging to the cognitive movement in film theory. While cognitivists are opposed to continental theory in general, a significant chunk of their criticism has been directed towards Lacanian and Marxist approaches. While cognitivists such as Bordwell, Currie and Smith have made reference to Deleuze in passing, the most systematic attack on his philosophy can be found in Malcolm Turvey's Doubting Vision (2008). Turvey’s work is a polemic directed against certain film theorists who are accused of peddling a ‘revelationist’ idea of cinema. This includes classical theorists such as Epstein and Kracauer, and contemporary philosophers like Deleuze and Cavell. According to Turvey, these theorists ascribe special powers to cinema - powers which have the potential to "reveal" a hidden dimension or an aspect of perception that eludes everyday life. He is severely critical of Deleuze's claim that time-image cinema can render 'visible' the relations of time in its 'pure state'. However, by drawing upon the ontological arguments on time in Bergsonism (1988) and Difference and Repetition (1994), I argue that Turvey and other cognitivists are guilty of offering naive readings of Deleuze without sufficient knowledge of the metaphysical premises that inform his works. Turvey tends to conflate temporality with causal direction, whereas Deleuze conceptualises time as a synthetic process whose production can only be explained in relation to the virtual. Furthermore, by drawing upon the works of Torben Grodal, the thesis attempts a Deleuzian assessment of Ecological Film Theory and concludes that these theories propose reductive accounts of spectatorship that do not sufficiently address the synthetic powers of the passive subject. In his account of the passive and active syntheses in Difference and Repetition, Deleuze provides a richer ontology of aleatory subjectivity that not only explains passivity at the level of the larval subject but also the genesis of representation at the level of the active self.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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