Gestural Cinema?, on two texts by Giorgio Agamben, 'Notes on Gesture' (1992) and 'Difference and Repetition: On Guy Debord's Films' (1995)

Benjamin Noys


Gilles Deleuze\'s two-volume theory of film, _Cinema 1: The Movement-Image_ and _Cinema 2: The Time-Image_, have slowly been making an impact on Anglo-American film studies. The special issue of _Film-Philosophy_ on his work (vol. 5, 2001) and David Rodowick\'s excellent introduction, _Gilles Deleuze\'s Time Machine_ (1997), are just two signs, among many, of the growing interest in Deleuze\'s writings on cinema. His work has also inspired the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben to propose a new theory of film that significantly departs from Deleuze. Agamben has developed a new theory of \'gestural cinema\', arguing that \'*the element of cinema is gesture and not image*\'. [1] He has also argued that this new theory of gestural cinema means that cinema belongs, essentially, to the realm of ethics and politics, and not aesthetics. It is this new theory that I want to introduce.

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