Deleuze’s Cinema 2: The Time-Image

Deleuze Cinema 2: The Time-Image
Area: History of Rhetoric and Memory Studies
•    Time is out of joint
o    Derrida in Specters
o    Movement is subordinated to time
•    The body no longer moves: it’s the developer of time, it shows time through tiredness and waiting
•    What is present is not the image itself, but what the image represents
•    Recollection is only a former present
“The Crystals of Time”
Critical moments in the text
•    “There is no virtual which does not become actual in relation to the actual, the latter becoming virtual through the same relation: it is a place and its obverse which are totally reversible”
•    72: “the monsters in Freaks are monsters only because they have been forced to move into their explicit role, and it is through a dark vengeance that they find themselves again and regain a strange clarity which arrives in the lightning to interrupt their role”
•    72: “the virtual image of the public role becomes actual, bit in relation to the virtual image of a private crime, which beceomes actual in turn and replaces the first image.”
•    Is it the dead who belong to us, or we who belong to them?
•    “Time is money: art had to make itself international industrial art, that is, cinema, in order to buy space and time as imaginary warrants of human capital”
•    An image has to be present and past, still present and already past
o    The past coexists with the present it was
•    Bergson: We are interior in time
•    Kant: time as the form of interiority, in the sense that we are internal to time
•    Proust: We are internal to time, which divides itself into two, make sthe present pass and the past be preserved
1)    68: “In Bergsonian terms, the real object is reflected in a mirror-image as in the virtual object which, from its side and simultaneously, envelops or reflects the real: there is not ‘coalescence’ between the two. There is a formation of an image with two sides actual and virtual.
2)    69: Two problems that arise for Deleuze: 1—what are these consolidates of actual and virtual which define a crystalline structure? 2—what is the genetic process which appears in these structures?
3)    70: Exchange—“the mirror-image is virtual in relation to the actual character that eth mirror catches, but it is actual in the mirror which now leaves the character with only a virtuality and pushes film back out-of-field. […] when virtual images proliferate like this, all together they absorb the entire actuality of the character, at the same time as the character is no more than one virtuality among others.”
4)    70: Principle of indiscernability reaches it peak: a perfect crystal image where the multiple mirrors have assumed the actuality of the two characters.
5)    72: “We no longer know which is the role and which is the crime”
6)    73: “This is the circuit of two virtual images which continually become actual in relation to each other, and are continually revived.”
7)    74: “The crystal is expression.  Expression moves form the mirror to the seed.  It is the same circuit which passes through three figures:
a.    actual/virtual
b.    limpid/opaque
c.    seed/environment
In fact, the seed is on the one hand the virtual image which will crystallize and environment which is as present amorphous; but on the other hand the latter must have a structure which is virtually crystallizable, in relation to which the seed now plays the role of actual image.
8)    78: “The cinema confronts its most internal presupposition, money, and the movement-image makes way for the time-image in one and the same operation.”
9)    78: “The film is movement, but the film within the film is money, it time.  The crystal image thus receives the principle which is its foundation: endlessly relaunching exchange which is dissymmetrical, unequal and without equivalence, giving image for money, giving time for images, converting time, the transparent side, and money, the opaque side, like a spinning top on its end.
10)    79: It is clearly necessary for it to pass on for the new present to arrive, and it is clearly necessary for it to pass at the same time as it is present, at the moment that it is the present.  Thus the image has to be present and past, still present and already past, at once and at the same time.  If it was not already past at the same time as present, the present would never pass on.  The past does not follow the present that it is no longer, it coexists with the present it was. The present is the actual image, and its comtemporaneous past is the virtual image, the image in a mirror.
a.    Bergson’s ‘paramnesia’: recollection of the present
11)    79: “The virtual image in the pure state is defined, not in accordance with a new present in relation to which it would be (relatively) past, but in accordance with the actual present of which it is the past, absolutely and simultaneously.
12)    80: “It is the virtual image which corresponds to a particular actual image, instead of being actualized, of having to be actualized in a different actual image”
13)    81: “Since the past is constituted not after the present that it was but at the same time, time has to split itself in two at each moment as present and past, which differ from each other in nature, or, what amounts to the same thing, it has to split the present in two heterogeneous directions, one of which is launched towards the future while the other falls into the past.  Time has to split at the same time as it sets itself out or unrolls itself: it splits in two dissymmetrical jets, one of which makes all the present pass on, while the other preserves all the past.  Time consists of this split, and it is this, it is time, that we see in the crystal.”
14)    82: Bergson on time: “the past coexists with the present that is has been; the past is preserved in itself as past in general (non-chronological); at each moment time splits itself into present and past present that passes and past which is preserved…duration is subjective.”
15)    83: The actual image and the virtual image coexist and crystallize; they enter into a circuit which brings up constantly back from one to the other; they form one and the same ‘scene’ where the characters belong to the real and yet play a role.”
16)    87: ”What we see through the pane or in the crystal is time, in its double movement of making presents pass, replacing one by the next while going towards the future but also of preserving all the past, dropping it into an obscure depth.”
17)    96: “This is the idea, or rather the revelation, that something arrives too late.  Caught in time, this could perhaps have avoided the natural decomposition and historical dismantling of the crystal-image. […] This something that comes too late is always the perceptual and sensual revelation of a unity of nature and man.  Thus it is not  a simple lack; it is the node of being of this grandiose revelation.  The ‘too-late’ is not an accident that takes place in time but a dimension of time itself.
Tying it all together
1)    What does Deleuze mean by crystals?  Something that is crystallized is simultaneously solid and reflective—just as time is passing and present, present and future.
2)    The crystal is the mirror that reflects the virtual image back to the actual image.  Thus the roles are reversed: even though the actual is seeing the virtual, that reflection is then the actual, not the virtual since this is the only representation the actual will be able to ‘see’
3)    There are three formations of time: present, past, and future.  However, these three are not that seamless.  There is a coexistance, an exchange between them: the present becomes past as it is also becoming future.  The past and the future have this ‘intermediary’ of the present.  There is a reliance of all time on other time.
“Peaks of Present and Sheets of Past”
Critical moments in the text
•    The crystal reverses time’s subordination to movement
•    Memory is not in us—we move in a Being-memory
o    The past is a pre existence, and already-there
•    Time – past  language – sense   thought – idea
•    St. Augustine: present of the future, of the present, and of the past
•    Nietzsche: suppress your recollections or suppress yourselves
1)    98: The crystal reveals a direct time-image, and no longer an indirect image of time deriving form movement.  It does not abstract time; it does better: it reverses its subordination in relation to movement.  The crystal makes visible the hidden ground of time, its differentation into to flows: presents which pass and that of pasts which are preserved.  Time simultaneously makes the presents pass and preserves the past in itself.
2)    98: “It is the same as with perception: just as we perceive things where they are present, in space, we remember where they have passed, in time, and we go out of ourselves just as much in each case.  Memory is not in us; it is we who move in a Being—Memory”
3)    99: “the coexistence of circles” […] “Between the past as pre-existence in general and the present as infinitely contracted past there are all the circles of the past” […] “But they succeed each other only from the point of view of former presents which marked the limit of each of them.  They coexist from the point of view of the actual present which each time represents their common limit or the most contracted of them.”
4)    99: Bergson: time-image → language-image → thought-image
5)    100: “If the present is actually distinguishable form the future and the past, it is because it is presence of something, which precisely stops being present when it is replaced by something else.
6)    100: “it is an empty time that we anticipate recollection, breakup what is actual and locate the recollection once it is formed”
7)    100: St. Augustine
a.    present of the future
b.    present of the present
c.    present of the past
8)    101: Robbe-Grillet: “In his work there is never a succession of passing presents, but a simultaneity of a present of past, a present of present, and a present of future which make time frightening and inexplicable”
9)    105: “The coexistence of sheets of virtual past and the simultaneity of peaks of deactualized present, are the two direct signs of time itself.”
10)    108: “The term baroque is literally appropriate.  In this freeing of depth which now subordinates all other dimensions we should see not only the conquest of a continuum but the temporal nature of this continuum”
11)    109: “And here again cinema is Bergsonisn: it is not a case of psychological memory, made up of recollection-images, as the flashback can conventionally represent it.  It is not a case of succession of presents passing according to chronological time.  It is a case either of an attempting to evoke, produced in an actual present, and preceding the formation of recollection-images, or of the exploration of a sheet of past from which these recollection-images will later arise.  It is an on-this-side-of and beyond of psychological memory.  These two extremes of memory are presented by Bergson as follows: the extension of sheets of past and the contraction of the actual present.”
12)    112: temporary states of permanent crisis
13)    117: “an architecture of the memory such that it explains or develops the coexistent levels of past rather than an art of peaks which implies simultaneous presents […] the disappearance of the centre or fixed point.”
14)    123: Bergson: distinction between the ‘pure recollection’ which is always virtual and the ‘recollection image’ which makes it actual only in relation to a present. Pure recollection should definitely not be confused with the recollection-image which derives from it.”
15)    123: “When I take up position on such a sheet, two things can happen: either I discover there the point I was looking for, which will thus be actualized in a recollection-image, but it is clear that the latter does not posses in itself the mark of the past which it only inherits; or I do not discover the point, because it is on a different sheet which is inaccessible to me, belonging to a different age.”
16)    125: “If feelings are ages of the world, thought is the non-chronological time which corresponds to them.  If feelings are sheets of past, thought, the brain, is the set of non-localizable relations between all these sheets, the continuity which rolls them up and unrolls then like so many lobes, preventing them from halting and becoming fixed in a death-position.”
17)    125: Renais: “something ought to happen around the image, behind the image and even inside the image.  This is what happens when the image becomes time-image.
Tying it all together
1)    Deleuze is concerned with time and images and how these two interplay and confuse (?) time.  We know from the previous chapter that time is based on three moments, and these are easily confused in cinema because the director is concerned with the image, and can play with time as a specific entity.  If time in the film becomes meaningless, where the time lies is easily misunderstood, or even dismissed.
2)    We ‘expect’ cinema to be ordered chronologically, but because the directors are curious about time, too, this is not always the case.
3)    Deleuze examines permanency and time and their layers:
a.    there are temporary states of permanent crisis
b.    a disappearance of a fixed point
c.    if the circles are all coexisting, then maybe there is no permanence excepting of the immediate past upon which the present must rely
Questions about the text/larger context
1)    Why are we seeing the division of time into two (presents of pasts and pasts which are preserved) and the three (presents of past, present, future): how are these different, similar, work together?
2)    Discussion question: “A distinction is always made between the real and the imaginary, the objective and the subjective, the physical and the mental, the actual and the virtual, but that this distinction becomes reversible, and in that sense indiscernible”  How is the distinction always made: isn’t it twisted sometimes?  What about in the previous chapter?


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