The existence of tension in the context of the time-image concept: The film I’m thinking of ending thingsMurat Aytaş, Serhat Koca, Selçuk Ulutaş
Two basic Deleuzian concepts in cinema education involve time. In order to create the first concept, the old usage pattern involves the motion-image concept, whose basic foundation is Newtonian physics and the assembly line. The other concept is time-image, which involves Bergson’s reading on philosophy, educational physics in physics, and the criticism of modernity. The time-image is not designed to be formed by a change in the second world structure. This use of time can reveal the potential of the viewer to create subjectivities through the crystallization of images. Timeimage is not about thinking of explaining how this works or how to use it in a non-crystallizing order. Accordingly, based on the relationship between time-image and tension in the analysis, Charlie Kaufman’s film I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020) is about a philosophical analysis regarding the concept of time-image from a Deleuzian perspective. This study analyzes the movie, which was chosen for its time-image cinema, within the framework of the concepts of chronosigns, in which chronological connections are broken with the category of a cinematic sign, which Deleuze expresses as lectosigns. The analysis of the case film through the philosophical concepts expressed in the theoretical part of the study is thought to contribute to the cinema literature by considering the limitations of studies in this field.
Gerilimin zaman-imge bağlamında varoluşu: Her şeyi bitirmeyi düşünüyorumMurat Aytaş, Serhat Koca, Selçuk Ulutaş
Zaman üzerine sinema felsefesinde karşımıza iki temel Deleuzyen kavram çıkmaktadır. Bu kavramlardan ilki zamanı yaratabilmek için antik felsefi gelenek, Newton fiziği ve kapitalizmin montaj hattı ile bağlantılı bir şekilde harekete dayanan hareket-imge kavramıdır. Hareket-imge kavramı sinemada karşılığını duyusal-motor şemada sunulan eylem-tepki birliğinin varlığı ile bulur ve nedensonuç ilişkileriyle ilerleyen ve sağladığı zaman-mekân bütünlüğü ile kendi içinde tutarlı bir kurmaca dünya sunan filmlere karşılık gelir. Diğer kavram ise felsefede Bergson, fizikte kuantum fiziği ve sosyolojide modernite eleştirileri bağlamında okuması yapılabilecek olan zaman-imgedir. Zaman-imge İkinci Dünya Savaşı sonrasında önemli yönetmelerin kullandıkları sinematik anlatımla, zamanı edimsel değil, virtüel bir şekilde yaratarak geçmiş ve şimdinin bir aradalığını sunan zamanın hareketten bağımsız bir imgesini tanımlar. Zamanın bu kullanımı imgelerin kristalleşmesi ile izleyicinin öznellikler yaratabilmesi potansiyelini ortaya çıkarır. Bu çalışma zaman-imgenin ve kristalleşmenin klasik olmayan bir gerilimi yaratmakta nasıl yöntemler kullandığını açıklamayı amaçlamaktadır. Amaç kapsamında çalışmada belirsizlik, zaman-imge ve gerilim arasındaki bağlantı Charlie Kaufman’ın Her Şeyi Bitirmeyi Düşünüyorum (2020) isimli filmi, Deleuzyen bir bakış açısıyla zaman-imge kavramı ekseninde felsefi eleştiri yöntemi ile incelenmiştir. Zaman-imge sinemasına ilişkin olarak seçilen film Deleuze tarafından “Okuma işareti” (Lectosign) olarak ifade edilen sinematik gösterge kategorisi ile kronolojik bağlantıların koparıldığı “Zaman işareti” (Cronosign) kavramları çerçevesinde analize tabi tutulmuştur. Film anlatısının, eylemden bağımsız bir zaman imgesi sunduğunu ve zaman-imge sinemasına özgü anlatım stratejilerinin yarattığı belirsizliğin, filmde klasik anlatıya özgü gerilim stratejileri dışında bir gerilim duygusu yaratılmasına olanak sağladığını söylemek mümkündür.
Regarding the concept of time, many thinkers in the fields of history, philosophy, physics, literature, and sociology have tried to put forward a comprehensive definition for it. The concept of time is frequently discussed in terms of its ontological existence and absence, its chronological flow or virtuality, its relationship with ideology and production forms, its position in daily life, and differences in perception and relativity and has also been one of the most important elements of art. As a matter of fact, similarities and differences are found between the direct relationship time has with people and the production of time and art. In general, a relationship exists between the potential art has to produce an aesthetic force on people and the creation of time with art or cinema in particular. French film theorist Gilles Deleuze (1989) was one of the first names to reveal this relationship by categorizing time in cinema. Two basic Deleuzian concepts are related to the concept of time in the philosophy of cinema. The first of these concepts is motion-image, which is based on Newtonian physics and the ancient philosophical tradition. The second is the time-image, which is read in the context of a quantum understanding regarding physics, of Bergson (2005) regarding philosophy, and of the modernity criticism in sociology.
The time-image concept is used to describe an important philosophical trend in cinema that started in the 1950s and continues until today. Time-image is an important heading in Deleuze’s (1989) film classification and refers to images that Henri Bergson (2005) has described as being filled with time. Deleuze speaks of images of time in a wide variety of genres and forms produced on screen. The definition of time-image in Deleuze’s (1989) Cinema II offers a philosophical and mathematical explanation for different aspects of the time-image. As Deleuze defines it, time-image emerges as an image beyond movement that can be recognized as images of duration, images of change, images of relationship, and images of volume through different processes. Deleuze’s methodological approach to time ranges from motion-image and from an indirect image of time that comes from the emotional domains of cognition, perception, and events to a direct image of time. Deleuze described the direct time-image as the ghost that has always haunted cinema and states that modern cinema should give this ghost a body. Contrary to the actuality of the movement-image, the time-image is virtual.
In accordance with the time model he adopted from Henri Bergson (2005), the crystalline or multifaceted structure of Deleuze’s time-image is created by the matching, mirroring, and indistinguishable oscillating of the virtual past with the real present. Accordingly, the past can be accessed by the shortest route when a current image or event triggers a relationship with a similar image or event in another layer of the past. As the past and the present merge in this remembrance, the time-image emerges. Time crystals, or time-images, allow time to escape an event and move within the event, thus creating stronger cinema. Meanwhile, movement-image is based on an organic regime of identity, unity, and integrity. In this case, one encounters a deterministic universe in which events are connected in a chronological continuum. Inevitably, a past emerges that leads to the present, and one has faith in a future that will exist and that can be predicted from the present. Alternatively, the time-image regime replaces this deterministic universe with a probabilistic one.
In postwar films, directors realized that, just as the image of motion can be used to create tension, the image of time can also be used to create introspection. In mainstream cinema, however, the tension was realized with various cinematographic arrangements. The tension produced in such films in which the motion-image is dominant is related to uncertainty. In the relationship among time, image, and tension, the uncertainty that causes tension is never seen to be terminated, with the expected information never being given to the audience. In this context, the time-image cinema presented by Deleuze creates a feeling of uncertainty in the audience that is stronger than the motion-image cinema presents and is open to introspection. Unlike motion-image cinema that removes the sense of tension experienced by the audience by eliminating the uncertainty it creates, time-image cinema makes the uncertainty and accordingly the feeling of tension permanent.
This study uses the method of philosophical criticism to examine the film I’m Thinking of Ending Everything (Kaufman, 2020), which is thought to philosophize about itself, and how it does this. The study examines how the film creates tension as an aesthetic strategy along the axis of the concepts of time-image and crystal image that enable a film to philosophize about itself, and the concepts of chronosigns, lectosigns, and noosigns, which Deleuze (1989) borrowed from Pierce and adapted to the cinema. The film presents a direct image of time with the narrative it constructs by bringing the past to the present. The cinematic use of time-image also enabled the production of a sense of tension by creating uncertainty in the film. While the film subjectivizes the narrative with the frequent use of a voice-over narrator, the audience encounters a narrative that does not convey the story information and interrupts the narrative flow, instead of a narrator who supports the image. The dissonance between the image and the sound not only increases the ambiguities in the story by interrupting the audience’s creation of an integrated temporal perception, but also makes the narrative open to new occurrences. The incongruous, disconnected narrative structure of the film, in which imagination and reality are intertwined, pushes the narrative into the background and allows the audience to be freed from the way of perceiving and thinking that is given with the crystal regime. The uncertainty created by not disclosing a lot of narrative information in the film has enabled the sense of tension to gain continuity as the timeimage brings the past and the present together.