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Deleuze and the Animal$
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Colin Gardner and Patricia MacCormack

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474422734

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474422734.001.0001

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Becoming-Animal Cinema Narrative

Becoming-Animal Cinema Narrative

(p.266) Chapter 13 Becoming-Animal Cinema Narrative
Deleuze and the Animal

Dennis Rothermel

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter connects distinctive animal territories to specific uses of film language through a series of case studies, most notably Robert Bresson’s Au hasard Balthazar (1966), Michelangelo Frammartino’s Le Quattro Volte (2011), Bela Tarr’s The Turin Horse (2011), and Ang Lee’s Life of Pi (2012). Significantly, becoming-animal cannot be represented by conventional point-of-view and shot-reverse-shot editing (the structural mainstay of filmic suture), because it ties the animal to the conventional (and thus delimiting) human vectorial space of Deleuze’s action-image. Instead, inspired by Pier Paolo Pasolini’s seminal essay, ‘The “Cinema of Poetry”’, the chapter notes that all four filmmakers resort to a form of free-indirect discourse, whereby animality fills up the film from the inside as formative of the representation rather than rendering the subject within the structure of representation. Not unlike T.S. Eliot’s objective correlative, where the character’s subjectivity is presented objectively in and through the mise-en-scène as well as individual focalisation (in this case the character is also on-screen), animal perception is able to be expressed by a form of camera self-consciousness, what Deleuze calls ‘cinema a special kind of cinema where the camera makes itself felt.

Keywords:   Bresson, Frammartino, Tarr, Ang Lee, Pasolini, free indirect discourse, becoming-animal

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