Out of Time: Desire in Atemporal Cinema

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U of Minnesota Press, 2011 - Art - 285 pages
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In Out of Time, Todd McGowan takes as his starting point the emergence of a temporal aesthetic in cinema that arose in response to the digital era. Linking developments in cinema to current debates within philosophy, McGowan claims that films that change the viewer's relation to time constitute a new cinematic mode: atemporal cinema.
  In atemporal cinema, formal distortions of time introduce spectators to an alternative way of experiencing existence in time--or, more exactly, a way of experiencing existence out of time. McGowan draws on contemporary psychoanalysis, particularly Jacques Lacan, to argue that atemporal cinema unfolds according to the logic of the psychoanalytic notion of the drive rather than that of desire, which has conventionally been the guiding concept of psychoanalytic film studies.
  Despite their thematic diversity, these films distort chronological time with a shared motivation: to reveal the logic of repetition. Like psychoanalysis, McGowan contends, the atemporal mode locates enjoyment in the embrace of repetition rather than in the search for the new and different.
 

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Contents

The Origins of the Atemporal Film
1
1 Temporality after the End of Time in Pulp Fiction
35
Sacrificing the Object in Butterfly Effect
59
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and the Hopelessness of Love
83
4 The Path to Politics in The Constant Gardener
111
The Ethics of Absolute Negativity in 21 Grams
135
Placing Eternity in 2046
157
Peppermint Candy and the End of Progress
181
Irréversible and the Critique of Experience
207
An Infinite Memento
231
Notes
239
Index
279
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About the author (2011)

\Todd McGowan is associate professor of film studies at the University of Vermont. He is the author of The Impossible David Lynch and The Real Gaze: Film Theory after Lacan.

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