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From History to Haecceity: Spatial Reframings of the Past in Post-heritage Cinema

Elise Wortel, Independent Scholar

 

Abstract: This article investigates the transformation of history into haecceities that allow us to grasp history through a nonlinear, cinematic sensation of pure past. Here, cinema merges classical knowledge of historical facts with the lived reality of the unrecorded past. Experiments with spatial reframings of the past in The Lady and the Duke, The King's Daughters, The White Ribbon and Coco Before Chanel are discussed to create nonlinear sensations of duration that link with Deleuze and Guattari's notions of affect and haecceity, which transform history into cinematic sets of speed, movement, and texture. Furthermore, the article analyses how the traditionally linear narrative of history is transposed into the abstract sensation of time through haecceity as pure past, where time and space come together to put the sensory quality of memory to the fore. Shifting the perspective from the linear account of history to the multilinear effects of affect and haecceity this analysis challenges the cultural hegemony of representation that favours a homogeneous image of thought. Focussing on the material and performative quality of the film image, the article analyses the spatiotemporal relations that create an analytical perception through the senses.

 

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ISSN 2009-4078

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Film and Screen Media at University College Cork, 2011-2018
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