The cliché, its politics, overcoming the cliché – towards the time-image: towards a working method:

On the one hand, the image constantly sinks to the state of cliché: because it is introduced into sensory-motor linkages, because it itself organizes or induces these linkages, because we never perceive everything that is in the image, because it is made for that purpose (so that we do not perceive everything, so that the cliché hides the image from us…). Civilization of the image? In fact, its a civilization of the cliché where all the powers have an interest in hiding images from us, not necessarily in hiding the same thing from us, but in hiding something in the image. On the other hand, at the same time, the image constantly attempts to break through the cliché, to get out of the cliché. There is no knowing how far a real image may lead: the importance of becoming visionary or seer. A change of conscience or of heart is not enough […]”

(Deleuze, 1985/2012: 20)

Options to get to the image hidden by cliché, option one:

 “Sometimes it is necessary to restore the lost parts. To rediscover everything that cannot be seen in the image, everything that has been removed to make it ‘interesting’.

(Deleuze, 1985/2012: 20)

Option two: “But sometimes, on the contrary, it is necessary to make holes, to introduce voids and white spaces, to rarify the image, by suppressing many things that have been added to make us believe that we were seeing everything. It is necessary to make a division or make emptiness in order to find the whole again.”

(Deleuze, 1985/2012: 20-21)

A third option follows, parody: “the creators […] have the idea that the new image has to stand up against the cliché on its own ground, make a higher bid than the postcard, add to it and parody it, as a better way of getting over the problem […] The creators invent obsessive framings, empty or disconnected spaces, even still lifes […] Enough, for victory, to parody the cliché, not to make holes in it and empty it.”

(Deleuze, 1985/2012: 21)

In summary: “It is not enough to disturb the sensory motor connections. It is necessary to combine the optical-sound image with the enormous forces that are not those of a simply intellectual consciousness, nor of the social one, but of a profound, vital intuition.”

(Deleuze, 1985/2012: 21)

Here a note cites Lawrence as saying “it is in the still lifes that Cézanne wins his battle against clichés”, to which Deleuze adds “We have seen how the same remarks applied to Ozu” (1985/2012: 274, n38 [sic: n39 in the text]). He means a time that only human consciousness confuses by making sense of it as much as making nonsense of it, by the dramatics of causality and linearity as much as by the hysterics of affective investment which makes some events seem to upset the whole of the still pool of time.

This is the triple reversal which defines a beyond of movement.”

(Deleuze, 1985/2012: 22)

To these ‘enormous forces’ of vitality belong three reversals:

1) the time-image – chronosign (Deleuze, 1985/2012: 22)

First, while the movement-image and its sensory-motor signs were in a relationship only with an indirect image of time (dependent on montage), the pure optical and sound image, its opsigns and sonsigns, are directly connected to a time-image which has subordinated movement. It is this reversal which means that time is no longer the measure of movement but movement is the perspective of time”…

(Deleuze, 1985/2012: 21)

2) the readable image – lectosign (Deleuze, 1985/2012: 22)

In the second place, at the same time as they eye takes up a clairvoyant function, the sound as well as the visual elements of the image enter into internal relations which means that the whole image has to be ‘read’, no less than seen, readable as well as visible. For the eye of the seer as of the soothsayer, it is the ‘literalness’ of the perceptible world which constitutes it like a book. Here again all reference of the image of description to an object assumed to be independent does not disappear, but it is now subordinated to the internal elements and relations which tend to replace the object and to delete it where it does appear, continually displacing it. […] The cinema is going to become an analytic of the image”…

(Deleuze, 1985/2012: 21-22)

3) the thinking image – noosign (Deleuze, 1985/2012: 22)

Finally, the fixity of the camera does not represent the only alternative to movement. Even when it is mobile, the camera is no longer content sometimes to follow the characters’ movement, sometimes itself to undertake movements of which they are merely the object, but in every case it subordinates description of space to the functions of thought. This is not the simple distinction between the subjective and the objective, the real and the imaginary, it is on the contrary their indiscernability which will endow the camera with a rich array of functions, and entail a new conception of the frame and reframings. Hitchcock’s premonition will come true: a camera-consciousness which would no longer be defined by the movements it is able to follow or make, but by the mental connections it is able to enter into. And it becomes questioning, responding, objecting, provoking, theoramatizing, hypothesizing, experimenting, in accordance with an open list of logical conjunctions (‘or’, ‘therefore’, ‘if’, ‘because’, ‘actually’, ‘although …’), or in accordance with the functions of thought in a cinéma-vérité, which, as Rouch says, means rather truth of cinema [vérité du cinéma].”

(Deleuze, 1985/2012: 22)………….

Deleuze, G. (1985/2005). Cinema 2 (H. Tomlinson and R. Galatea Trans.)(2nd Ed.). London, England: Continuum. (Original work published as Cinéma 2 (1985)).