Movie Evolution

Topics: Jacques Derrida

The first joint volume, Anti-Oedipus (1972), was a bestseller in France, a true success of the scandal, and placed Deleuze in the spotlight as a public intellectual. Then they wrote Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature (1975), followed by a book that, at least in the eyes of some, competes in Difference and Repetition for the title of Deleuze, “A Thousand Plateaus” (1980). The 1980s were a decade of independent works for Deleuze: “Francis Bacon: Logic of Sensation” (1981); “Cinema I: The Movement-Image” (1983); “Cinema II: The Time-Image” (1985); “Foucault” (1986); and “The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque” (1988).

He then resumed his collaboration with Guattari for their final joint work, “What is Philosophy?” (1991). His final years were spent in very ill health, although he did manage to publish a remarkable short essay, “Immanence: A Life” in 1995, before taking his own life on November 4, 1995.

Gilles Deleuze is often equated with the non-Hegelian “philosophy of difference”, which resembles the thought of Jacques Derrida. However, Deleuzian inspiration flowed more than Nietzsche’s than Heidegger’s, and his method is not deconstruction.

Before proposing his own highly complicated and interdisciplinary concept of the image of thought, which he called “transcendental empiricism” presented in “Difference and Repetition” and “Logic of Meaning”, he wrote many original papers on the French post-war philosophy regarding historical figures and numerous aesthetic studies. Deleuze’s career dates back to 1945, although he remained unknown until 1962 when the publication “Nietzsche and Philosophy” appeared, and his work remained beyond the reach of the English-speaking world until the early nineties when his more important individual works were translated.

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Deleuze’s thought does not conform to any official theoretical doctrine, even if some ideas bring to mind deconstruction or postmodernism. Despite his long-standing acquaintance with Jean-François Lyotard, Deleuze was not interested directly in such issues as postmodern thought, the end of history, or the fall of metaphysics. Despite many years of friendship and support from Foucault, Deleuze did not accept the practice of the method of an empirical study of historical discourses, which proved to be very influential within the new historicism and other critical approaches. Instead, his attention completely focused on the persistent and systematic project of renewing the philosophy itself, understood as the art of creating concepts rather than logical calculations, legitimizing science, or the doctrine of reflecting reality. His work is always affirmative even when he criticizes himself and never favors any thought model in the long run, e.g. the textual model of deconstruction. Representative of poststructuralism, a critic of dialectical materialism, psychoanalysis, and structuralism. Considered one of the postmodern thinkers. The concept map of Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy includes designs such as the Immanence Plan, Virtual Plan, Body Without Organs, Schizoanalysis, Rhizome, or Deterritorialization.


Cinematography has a special place in Deleuze’s thoughts. Despite the triviality of the statement, it should be assumed that Gilles Deleuze sees pictures in the cinema – but justified primarily because of his applicable approach to cinematographic analysis. The essence of cinema is not Deleuze’s plots, characters, and situations. In his view, there are films with no plot, no characters, and no identifiable situations, but all the films are illustrative in different ways. There are many types of images in each movie, and the movies themselves can be ordered by the dominant type of image. Deleuze devoted the above-mentioned two books to the division and description of films due to their images: “Cinéma I. L`Image-Mouvement” from 1983 and “Cinéma II. L`Image-tempts” from 1985. The titles of individual volumes refer to two basic types of images, within which the remaining ones fit. It is also a division into two cinema periods, deliberately separated by World War II. Before the war, the analysis concerned classical cinema, image-motion cinema, and after the war image-time cinema. Deleuze’s image-time cinema refers only to European cinema. The reason is trivial and its analysis is interesting. What the Americans did not directly feel is World War II. This war is a source of crisis in the cinema, which can no longer depict the world as it was before 1939. Cinema most of all plays favor the thesis maintained by Deleuze about the autonomy of a work of art about the real world, the world of everyday experience.

The starting point of the Delesian concept of cinema is the last chapter of Bergson’s Creative Evolution entitled Cinematographic mechanism of thinking and mechanistic illusion. Bergson distinguishes there two constitutive elements for the cinematographic mechanism. The first element is a rotating film reel. The second element is the screen onto which the images from the tape are projected. In the first element, the philosopher finds movement as such. “Movement exists here: it is in the instrument.” It is movement, as well as time, in its impersonal forms, which are a condition for the appearance of images on the screen, i.e. the second element that presents the appearance of movement – movement in the form of rapidly changing, but in its essence static images. Deleuze adopts the Bergsonian model of the cinematographic mechanism in the sense that he agrees that natural perception yields to what Bergson called the mechanistic illusion. Contrary to Bergson, the philosopher of difference claims, however, that cinema allows for a different kind of perception, and thus allows you to experience not static sections of motion or time, but motion and time as duration, just becoming motion and time. He also argues that the dislike Bergson had for the cinema, accusing him of “repeating” the mechanistic illusion proper to everyday experience, was caused, on the one hand, by a misunderstanding of the essence of cinema, and on the other, by the quality of cinema and movies in 1907, that is when he wrote his “Creative evolution”. In Bergson’s view, the mechanistic illusion experienced by the viewer in the cinema would be to take still, successive images as a movement. In this way, Deleuze sums up Bergson’s interpretation of the cinema: “In essence, the film, by reconstructing movement with the help of stationary episodes, only accomplishes what the oldest thought has already done (…), which is what natural perception does.” The cinematographic mechanism must be in the mind; the mind has its internal cinematograph. Deleuze also notes that Bergson’s dislike is not clear-cut: on the one hand, Bergson seems to be dominated by the position presented above, associated with the ancient concept of movement (cinema as a model for mechanistic illusion, for taking still images as motion). Bergson, followed by Deleuze, also refers in this context to the way psychology referred to the image.

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Movie Evolution. (2022, May 14). Retrieved from

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