Cinema, Cliché, and Thought Outside Itself
In Deleuze’s Cinema 1: The Movement-Image and Cinema 2: The Time-Image, the cliché appears as merely one concern in a web of others, and here I would like to argue for its significance in distinguishing the nature of the two regimes of thought associated with the movement-image and the time-image. While Deleuze contends that artists and filmmakers must struggle with the cliché, it seems to me that he does not stress enough that filmmakers often make vital use of the clichés of continuity and spatio-temporal orientation that have been developed in the medium’s short history. It is in making use of these clichés, though not for the purpose of parody alone, that filmmakers are able to most forcefully make visible the limits that clichés set on cinematic thought, and the points at which thought moves outside these limits. In order to make my arguments I will consider the filmic style of Yasujiro Ozu, and Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love.
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