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Cinematicity: City and cinema after Deleuze

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In light of Deleuze’s conception of cinema as an autonomous thinking machine – a ‘spiritual automaton’ in which moving images are substituted for human thought – the article presents the cinema as a pre-eminent thinker of the city. It contextualizes a range of scholarship committed to exploring the potential of Deleuze’s thought in relation to the ‘cinematic city’ – precipitating a Deleuzian encounter with a process that we have chosen to call cinematicity: the automatic thinking of the city by the cinema. In the course of their remarkable co-evolution, cinema’s unhinging of space– time has projected the unhinging of the space–time of the city, forcing its inhabitants to think otherwise about space, time and the human condition in the machine age. Taking these notions as a point of departure, the contributions to this issue, which variously serve to explicate the connections between city and cinema, are introduced, framed by this sense of cinematicity.
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Keywords: Deleuze; cinema; cinematicity; city; movement-image; spiritual automaton; time-image

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Swansea University

Publication date: 01 March 2016

More about this publication?
  • Cities have been increasingly at the forefront of debate in both humanities and social-science disciplines, but there has been relatively little dialogue across these disciplinary boundaries. Journals in social-science fields that use urban-studies methods to look at life in cities rarely explore the cultural aspects of urban life in any depth or delve into close readings of the representation of cities in individual cultural products. As a platform for interdisciplinary scholarship from any and all linguistic, cultural and geographical traditions, the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies prioritizes the urban phenomenon in order to better understand the culture(s) of cities.
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