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The Pulse in CinemaThe Aesthetics of Horror$
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Sharon Jane Mee

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474475846

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474475846.001.0001

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The Rhythm of Life: The Pulse in the Spectator

The Rhythm of Life: The Pulse in the Spectator

(p.63) Chapter 2 The Rhythm of Life: The Pulse in the Spectator
The Pulse in Cinema

Sharon Jane Mee

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter discusses the concept of the Open in the work of Gilles Deleuze and Jean-François Lyotard. The literal pulse of the body and its movement in response to the world provides scope for arguing that the defining characteristic of an affective spectatorship must be the Open. In Georges Franju’s Le Sang des bêtes/Blood of the Beasts (1949), the rhythms of life encapsulate the shocks, bursts, or surges of energetic flow that connect and open the animals in the slaughterhouse to the ‘felt’ sensations of the spectator. Drawing on Deleuze’s theory of sensation as a diastolic-systolic opening and Lyotard’s conceptualisation of a libidinal economy wherein passages of intensity travel the open ‘libidinal skin’, the behaviour of the rhythm of life, in this chapter, is characterised as a pulse.

Keywords:   rhythm, pulse, Open, sensation, libidinal economy, Deleuze, Lyotard, Franju

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