Criticism 45.4 (2003) 529-532
[Access article in PDF]
The pleasure of seeing not one but three new works on Deleuze authored by Ronald Bogue is increased by understanding the intelligent manner in which Routledge has edited material that initially was intended for publication in a single volume. Accompanying Deleuze on Cinema (under review here) are also Deleuze on Literature and Deleuze on Music, Painting, and the Arts. The first in North America to have concisely articulated an introductory text, Deleuze and Guattari (Routledge, 1989), Bogue has worked for over a decade to achieve the current threefold examination of the Deleuzian corpus. The strategy for Deleuze on Cinema continues the efficient and thorough approach that Bogue adopts in all of his works. For in his introduction, Bogue explains that his task is not to extend Deleuze's analyses into new studies on film; rather, he proposes to develop further both how Deleuze's analyses are situated in relation to contemporary philosophy and how his dense arguments may be understood through a coherent conceptual framework. [End Page 529]
In chapter 1, "Bergson and Cinema," Bogue studies the theoretical bases of Deleuze's reflections on cinema in his successive studies Cinema 1: The Movement-Image (1983) and Cinema 2: The Time-Image (1985). As Bogue emphasizes in the introduction, Deleuze develops philosophical concepts proper to cinema, particularly of the shift in cinema between a logic of the movement-image (roughly pre-World War II) into one of the time-image (following the collapse of the sensorimotor schema). In this light, the opening chapter situates Deleuze's project squarely within his continued elucidation of Bergson's conception of time, with Deleuze drawing heavily, says Bogue, from his earlier studies of Bergson (notably, the 1966 Bergsonism). The specific hinge for this explication is "the most puzzling of Bergsonian propositions—that the things we commonly call space and time are merely extremes of the contraction and dilation of a single durée, or duration . . . as a time-space flux of a vibrational whole" (3). Hence the purpose of chapter 1 is to consider how Deleuze applies his conception of Bergsonian principles to time and movement in the cinematic image. Bogue opens the book, then, around the two axes, vertical and horizontal, that Deleuze identifies in the movement-image. Says Bogue: "In the following chapters we will consider the ways in which great directors shape this signaletic matter through the vertical processes of framing, cuts, shots, and montage [chapter 2], and through the horizontal processes of long-shot perception-images, medium-shot action-images, and close-up affection-images [chapter 3]" (39).
The reader will note quickly, however, that Bogue's study reaches far beyond a relatively simple tripartite typology and criss-crossing axes. For, after examining globally the importance of frame, shot, and montage, he closely explicates the elaborate taxonomy of images and signs that Deleuze develops in Cinema 1 inspired by the semiotics of Charles Sanders Peirce. Bogue makes clear that despite this important reference, Deleuze remains chiefly inspired by Bergson, only taking what he needs from Peirce, specifically his three modes of being, Firstness, Secondness, and Thirdness. Deleuze then conjoins these to the already posited trio of images as follows: "Rather than tying the perception-image to Thirdness, Deleuze posits the existence of a fourth movement-image corresponding to the category of Thirdness, the relation-image . . . and then treats the perception-image as a species of image that lies outside Peirce's classification schema (a Zeroness)" (67-68). To these Deleuze adds two more types (the impulse-image and the reflection-image) and then goes on to differentiate each image three ways: "by its genesis; by its composition as function of the interval; and by its composition as function of the whole" (69).
Fortunately, Bogue tracks this taxonomical expansion with two very crucial tables (70-71), one of the images and corresponding signs of the movement-image (both "signs of composition" and "signs of genesis"), the other comparing the Cinema 1 glossary with a...