From Movement-Image to Time-Image

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Time and movement, according to Deleuze, are two essential elements of cinema, while movement is a measurement of time and indirectly represents time. Cinema before the World War II mainly focused on the movements of characters. Time can be felt only through movement, and that is why Deleuze coined the concept “movement-image”. Over centuries time in cinema has gradually broken away from the subordination to movement and begun to stand for itself and provided more possibilities for various movements. The transition from movement-image to time-image took place inevitably responding to the crisis of the action-image. Action-image, along with perception-image and affect-image are various forms of movement-images. According to Deleuze, traditional Hollywood cinema develops its story mainly based on action-image. However, the crisis of the action-image came, defined by the slackening of the sensory-motor connections (Deleuze 3). In an effective sensory-motor schema, people’s senses are guided by the change of images which present action-images directly to the viewers. Before the World War II, cinema portrayed a world in which actions generate situations which in turn generate new actions that link up in a progressive and emancipative series (Reid). But the cruel war shattered people’s reason and deprived them of their capacity to react to a perplexing situation. When people were suspicious of dubious relations of events and could not manage complex emotions, the complete and fluent stories that cinema had tried to describe fell into fragments that could not be linked by movement-images. As a result, the World War II is taken by Deleuze as the watershed after which “the movement-image of the so-called classical cinema gave way, in the post-war period, to a direct time-image (Deleuze xi). The action-image culminated in Hitchcock’s work which brought perfection as well as the crisis. In Hitchcock’s works, every variation of the movement-image, with biases...
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