The magic of cinema: time as becoming in Strangers in Good Company

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Pamela H. Gravagne


This article examines the ability of cinema to alter our perception and experience of time and ageing by analysing the film, Strangers in Good Company, as an example of what Gilles Deleuze called a time-image film in his philosophy of cinema. By looking at the cinematic representation of time as culturally contingent and open to change, and the boundary between representation and reality as thin, Deleuze’s theorisation of time-image cinema presents us with a way of understanding time as a kind of magic that can free us to live and become rather than as a succession of equally metered, linear moments. The experience of the older women who ’’act’’ in this movie confirms Deleuze’s thinking, when their brief filmic reprieve from the exigencies of chronological and linear time spills over into their ’’real’’ lives, allowing them to move beyond static representations of old age that tie them to deteriorating bodies and negative identities into an open future of becoming.


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