Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts


Theory and Criticism


Dr. Christopher Keep


This thesis aims to demonstrate how cinema, despite its diffusion from celluloid projection into different forms and arenas of media (primarily digital), still has the power to articulate the relationship between thought and images and produce concepts for philosophical practice. This thesis also aims to appropriate from Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy several concepts for the study of cinema itself, and for the understanding of cinema as it is produced by Jean-Luc Godard. Using two of Godard’s recent films: In Praise of Love (2001), and Goodbye to Language (2014), this paper will elaborate the relevance to contemporary filmmaking of Cinema 2’s concept of the interstice, the idea that there is an interruption or void that emerges from the connection between two images, and the accompanying claim that the cinema is required to “restore our belief in the world.” The first chapter attempts a genealogy of the interstice through the paintings of Diego Velázquez and the criticism of Élie Faure and Michel Foucault. The second chapter examines the role of painting and projection in Godard’s work to demonstrate how the filmmaker creates a new 3D aesthetic derived from Deleuze’s concepts. The third chapter turns these concerns to the writings of Andrè Bazin, and other 20th century philosophers, particularly Walter Benjamin and his concept of weak Messianism, to show the necessity of Deleuze’s ideas to the continued hope of a cinema that could lead towards utopia.