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Animal WorldsFilm, Philosophy and Time$
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Laura McMahon

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474446389

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474446389.001.0001

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Actual/Virtual: Bovines ou la vraie vie des vaches

Actual/Virtual: Bovines ou la vraie vie des vaches

(p.161) Chapter 5 Actual/Virtual: Bovines ou la vraie vie des vaches
Animal Worlds

Laura McMahon

Edinburgh University Press

Gras’s Bovines/A Cow’s Life is a contemplative documentary reflection on a herd of Charolais cows, offering up delayed, wandering images of bovine life. The film invites particular links to be drawn between the ‘pure optical and sound situations’ of the Deleuzian time-image and the account of animal art and expressive territory given by Deleuze and Guattari in What is Philosophy?. Building also on Bailly’s notion of pensivity, while expanding this account beyond its privileging of the gaze (through attention to bovine sounds in the film), this chapter allows for further development of dynamics of worlding traced in previous chapters. Yet it also suggests that Bovines allows us to probe the possible limitations of Deleuze and Guattari’s thought. In risking a privileging of what Hallward calls, in his critique of Deleuze, ‘virtual creatings’ over ‘actual creatures’, the film’s time-images might be seen as aestheticising political paralysis over political action, favouring a celebration of biovitality over a critique of biopolitics. While Bovines’s pastoral setting and lingering, durational aesthetic thus stage a set of ambivalences and contradictions, the film also points to the limitations, as well as the ongoing possibilities, of a Deleuzo-Guattarian engagement with cinema’s animal worlds.

Keywords:   Emmanuel Gras, Bovines, cow, Deleuze, Guattari, Bailly, time-image, virtual, pensivity

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