I'm Glad I'm Not Me: Subjective Dissolution, Schizoanalysis and Post-Structuralist Ethics in the Films of Todd Haynes

Helen Darby


This article reads a selection of films by Todd Haynes - Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1987), Velvet Goldmine (1998) and I'm Not There (2007) - through the post-structuralist lens of Deleuzian theorising about the self as a networked singularity rather than an essential subject.

The overall aim of the piece is to consider Haynes' films as artefacts that require the participatory audience to be involved in their making. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari's concept of the schizo is addressed to investigate how a schizo consciousness can be opened by the Event of viewing art that uses incommensurable extremes of meta-textual referentiality. Further to this productive opening, I examine how such post-structuralist ontology can necessitate ethical concern.

I conclude that Todd Haynes' film-making is specifically schizoanalytical in that it opens instances wherein the non-essential non-subject can encounter the vertigo of falling away from representation. I contend that this experience and the post-structuralist world view conveyed through it, is radically ethical because it resists the annihilation of possibility that is inherent to essentialism.


Haynes; Deleuze; New Queer Cinema

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