In Cinema 1 and Cinema 2, Gilles Deleuze posits a huge change in the nature of cinematic time in the postwar years. In “Postscript on the Societies of Control,” he also claims to identify a change in power relations and control strategies that takes in a number of other media transformations. Taken together, these arguments point toward a broader transformation in the history of thought that is developed across Deleuze’s work, but also raise a number of problems. This essay will critique and rearticulate the terms of Deleuze’s media philosophy in relation to work by Paul Virilio on media and warfare. This critique is organized around a study of the recent films of Jean-Luc Godard, which focus on the recurrence of the images of the mainstream culture industry and their transformation in wartime Sarajevo. It argues that Godard’s work is concerned with a cinema of cliché, following Deleuze’s conceptualization of cliché in Cinema 1 and Cinema 2, and that this raises important political dimensions to Deleuze’s cinema philosophy and his theorization of media control.
Godard in Sarajevo: Media Control in Deleuze and Virilio
Phillip Roberts is a researcher for the University of York and the National Media Museum, Bradford. He is editor of the Early Popular Visual Culture special issue “Social Control and Early Visual Culture” (2014) and coeditor of Schizoanalysis and Visual Culture (2011). He is currently researching media transformation in the late nineteenth century, focusing on the magic lantern and other image-making devices.