SHUTTER ISLAND PDF
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This alone, however, is not sufficient to support the claim that Scorsese is doing anything new, even on a Deleuzian reading. Rather, with the schizosign, the force of time pervades the very images themselves, at each moment of the film. The great Scorsesean themes of God, identity, and madness all crystallize in this film, engendering a proliferation of images rife with mutually exclusive senses, without ever providing any evaluative criterion by which the viewer might determine which is the true sense and which the false, precisely because all of the senses are simultaneously necessitated by the logic of the film.
They think with movement-images and time-images instead of concepts.
However, Bergson argues that movement and space are qualitatively distinct, as the path covered, being spatial, is infinitely divisible, while movement, being temporal, is indivisible; or rather divisible only by way of a qualitative change in its nature.
With the advent of the mathematical physics of the scientific revolution, however, movement is related no longer to ideal forms or privileged instants, but rather, to any-instant-whatever. We can therefore define the cinema as the system which reproduces movement by relating it to the any-instant-whatever.
Deleuze argues that cinema occupies a privileged role, precisely because of its employment of the any-instant-whatever. But any movement at all reconfigures the whole of which it is a part. For example, when lecturing, the professor paces back and forth, thus modifying the relations between herself and her students. In short, any movement reconfigures a localized arrangement of things in the world and expresses a qualitative change in the whole.
Just as the organism is its processes of incorporation and elimination, and is incomprehensible without these processes, so too does the concept of the Whole entail that the Whole is in constant self-transformation. Since this framework circulates around the immediate relations of an agent to the objects and obstacles surrounding him, it is dominated by an organically structured cause-and-effect relationship.
As such, the regime of the movement-image is characterized in terms of the sensory-motor schema, by which the organism receives perceptions and, on their basis, engages in actions, in an effort to reconfigure his own immediate situation.
Hence, time, on this regime, is subordinated to the movement of narrative. Against the organic composition of the movement-image, Deleuze poses the crystalline composition of the time-image; the milieu is dispersive here, like a crystal disseminating reflections.
Against the rational organization of the classical cinema, Deleuze poses the indiscernibility of the modern cinema. Narrative disruptions, proliferations of reflective images, and the overlapping of conflicting recollection-images produce this indiscernibility.
In Difference and Repetition, his account of the virtual-actual dichotomy focuses primarily on the differential relations of forces out of which the givenness of the empirical world emerges. The virtual for Bergson is memory itself, the past as both the condition of and as persistently co-present with the present itself. The past for Bergson does not slip into non-being; rather, it continues to shape and to inhabit the present, at each moment.
These two regimes, movement- image and time-image, are distinguished by the break that occurs with the crisis of the action-image. The Holocaust had demonstrated the depths of human cruelty. The exportation of American culture was homogenizing much of the rest of the world. The shady underside of capitalist prosperity was beginning to make itself apparent, in the emerging voices of oppressed minorities and in the decay of neglected inner cities.
First, situations in film become dispersive, rather than globalizing. The connections binding together the subject with his milieu are no longer absolute—settings, characters, and objects are no longer simply present to aid or challenge the protagonist.
Secondly, the causal chain of the cosmos appears fragmented, such that nothing rationally binds together moment to moment or time to space.
Incomprehensibility is no longer merely an obstacle that an agent might overcome; the incomprehensible is part of the milieu itself. It is therefore not difficult to see how the fragmentation of the crisis of the action- image leads directly to the indiscernibility of the actual and the virtual in the regime of the time-image.
But while the crisis of the action-image is characterized by a pessimistic immersion in the filth of corruption, the regime of the time-image offers us new, affirmative ways of seeing time.
Shutter Island (pdf)
Deleuze discusses Scorsese under the banner of this crisis, focusing almost exclusively on Taxi Driver. Someday a real rain will come and wash all the scum off the streets. Becoming enamored with a zealous political campaign worker named Betsy, Bickle briefly shares her faith in Senator Charles Palantine and his presidential promise.
He becomes obsessed with liberating a twelve-year old prostitute named Iris, a runaway who has been taken in by a pimp Sport , who will not allow her to leave his employ.
The assassination attempt foiled, Bickle returns to the building where Sport conducts his business, gunning him down in cold blood. He then pauses, frantically trying to absorb his deed, before storming into the building and killing everyone who stands between him and Iris.
Bickle then sits on the floor opposite the terrified Iris, and attempts to kill himself, but finding all of his weapons are empty, he sits and waits for the police to arrive. The milieu of Taxi Driver is indeed fragmented and dispersive, without clear obstacles or challenges.
Bickle moves arbitrarily from one pursuit to the next. An encounter with a jealous husband sparks his initial thoughts of violence; a moment of fear sends him from the rally to the apartment complex, contributing accidentally to his transformation from outlaw to hero. This all happens without his embodying the acts he has committed; he seems almost surprised when he first shoots Sport.
There is no longer a rational link between input and output, world and protagonist; the action-image has collapsed. But the crisis of the action-image, though it points to the need for new signs in the cinema, does not provide any of these signs.
It is still, properly speaking, under the regime of the movement-image, as its historical culmination. Scorsese in effect forces you to study the threads on the rug he is preparing, with lugubrious deliberateness, to pull out from under you. As the final revelations approach, the stakes diminish precipitously, and the sense that the whole movie has been a strained and pointless contrivance starts to take hold. Come on Taking a leisurely stroll, were we?
When I came downstairs in my home and I saw that tree in my living room, it reached out for me like a divine hand God loves violence. Sure you have. Why else would there be so much of it?
We wage war, we burn sacrifices and pillage and plunder, and tear at the flesh of our brothers, and why? Because God gave us violence to wage in his honor. If the constraints of society were lifted, and I was all that stood between you and a meal, you would crack my skull with a rock and eat my meaty parts If I was to sink my teeth into your eye right now, would you be able to stop me before I blinded you?
The Warden offers an altogether different understanding of God, not as the origin of order and reason, but rather of conflict and force. The tree that crashed through his window appears to him to be the hand of God, who cares nothing for human pretensions to justice or morality, and who revels in the sheer power of jubilant destruction. There is no justice or order, the Warden says, save for the triumph of the powerful.
He speaks in a worshipful way of a God who is, quite literally, mad.
This scene alone provokes us to reconsider the film—what would it mean, after all, if God were mad? Let me suspend this question for the moment, in order to address the arrangement of the images in the film. Everything significant that we learn about Teddy, his past, his motivations, etc, comes by way of a dream-image, a recollection-image, or an hallucination-image.
There are several noteworthy points to be made with respect to these images. Regarding the dream-images, there is a linear temporal progression. The first dream-image, the first night, begins in his city apartment, looking out the window on what appears to be mid-day or early afternoon.
Dolores walks into the next room suddenly located in front of the picture window looking out of their lakeside home , and the time has changed from afternoon to sunset. In the second dream-image, the timeline is continued. The dream-images thus pass, linearly, from afternoon, to sunset, to late night, to mid-morning.
There is thus a progression taking place, and this progression manifests as the images themselves telling the tale of the profound and pervasive sense of guilt that Teddy carries. The nameless German Commandant, whose failed suicide attempt had left him in considerable pain and whose successful completion of that attempt Teddy prevents is in desperate and prolonged agony.
Coupled with this is his general horror at the number of people he has killed. But, in the second dream-image, we see more. Teddy once again walks slowly through the camp at Dachau, past the piles of bodies, and upon his first encounter with them, they remain the monolithic mass they had been before.
But on a second look, the nameless and the faceless shed their anonymity. Specific faces—this woman, this child—emerge from the anonymous mass. Soon, in the living room of Dr. Where before he felt a general sense of guilt for arriving too late to Dachau, it has now become a more precise guilt at the inability to save these three specific children.
Having emerged from the mass, they are now his responsibility. This acceptance of responsibility culminates, finally, in his breakdown and collapse in the lighthouse, where we get the recollection-image of Teddy killing his wife, after discovering that she had murdered their children. The images, as we said, tell a story. However, the images themselves leave it ambiguous as to whether or not Teddy actually did the deeds that the images depict.
Sometimes they make choices that ofend us. That is their right. It is our right to disagree with them. Psychologists Jonathan D. Leavitt and Nicholas J. The studies were considered necessary when the researchers began to notice the incongru- ence between the idea that knowledge can spoil a ilm and the fact that readers so often return to beloved stories. Recent advances in adaptation studies address others. For instance, the idea of the spoiler insists too much on the idea of a pure or virginal text.
The concept reasserts the same moralistic overtones raised by discussions of idelity. The need to protect some aspects of a ilm assumes that a movie can only be experienced once, and only then if its secret has been properly preserved. Ebert himself would almost certainly reject this idea if it were directly put to him. The logic of his rejection is outlined in the very same article that argues for discreet discussions.
Following Leavitt and Christenfeld, awareness of criti- cal plot points will aid rather than aggravate the kind of thinking Ebert privileges and especially in a ilm like Million Dollar Baby.
Advance notice of those choices and a lit- eral return to the moments in the story in which such choices are made should permit more thought not less. An initial viewing might allow little more than reactions.
Actual thoughts might only appear once the initial shock has been absorbed. Such a belief confuses witness- ing with watching. Witnessing a ilm is not unlike witnessing any other event: the event involuntarily transpires without any opportunity for the viewer to inluence what is happening. Viewers passively recognize that something has happened. Admittedly, this view aligns with some notions of what it means to view a ilm. The image submerges the viewer.
Terrence Raferty makes a similar remark in a piece for The New Yorker. From this view, audi- ences almost always witness what transpires. The two most productive counters to passive forms of engagement come from constructivists, on the one hand, and adaptation theorists on the other. The best responses might be formed by some combination of these two perspectives.
For their part, constructivists consider the ways in which an openly con- structed expression invites audiences to reconstruct the work in front of them. Shaped by the work of Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell , the constructiv- ist perspective contends that spectators play a critical role in determining what a ilm means. This work is prompted by cues in the ilm, to be sure, but not even these elements remain one thing. Their shape and character await spectatorial reconstruction.
This reconstruction will not occur pas- sively; it requires an active response from spectators. Those who accept an invitation to reconstruct the ilm a ilmmaker gives them ind themselves in the midst of an active and ongoing interpretative project that goes beyond merely witnessing what transpires. Thomas Leitch , in particular, has taken exception to the idea of the passive spectator.
The best forms of writing are, after all, examples of critical reading. Writing, therefore, accounts for read- ing. Leitch ofers cinematic adaptation as the best support for his claim since cinematic adaptations keep alive the stories society deems worth retelling. In this way, adaptations are always already a kind of re-watching.
The acceptance of adaptations establishes some desire to re-experience some stories. These new experiences are not imprints of earlier ones. For this rewriting to occur, spectators must watch rather than simply witness the ilm before them. Jeremy Strong presents a convincing account of how watching can lead to rewriting. Each instance of reconstruction occurs only after spectators become aware of the plot. Such awareness aids a speciic kind of spectatorial work: watching leads to rewriting which leads to reconstruction.
The ultimate meaning of the text is not yet inally dis- covered. As such, awareness rarely ruins a ilm. The ilm itself is in a way still under development, and a still-in-progress ilm can hardly be spoiled. Not every viewer will welcome the opportunity to reconstruct a ilm. Audiences are certainly entitled to more passive experiences with a ilm.
One might frame these more passive encounters as a form of witnessing. Reconstruction assumes a more active engagement. Given that familiarity is one of the primary pivot-points between witness- ing and watching, one might reasonably assume that every instance of witnessing brings one closer to a more active engagement.
Greater familiarity with the plot, which is to say greater familiarity with the way the story is being presented in a particular way for a particular efect, works similarly. To become more aware of the plot is to appreciate more fully the ways in which the story is full of meaning.
Stated another way, plot awareness emphasizes the extent to which a story is constructed, which can, in turn, invite reconstruction. In this way, the more familiar one is with a plot the more one can participate in the reconstruction of the project. If this view is accepted, then one might just as well accept the idea that knowledge aids rather than frustrates active spectatorship. The most basic kind of knowing described by Hutcheon occurs when one knows both an adaptation and the text being adapted.
It might even enhance it. One might just as well consider the work that begins with knowing as a kind of coming to know, too. Awareness of the story and the plot pushes spectators and readers to construct and reconstruct both stories anew. This doubling cannot be spoiled. It is, in fact, entirely dependent on the right balance between some knowing and some coming-to-know.
Hutcheon extends her notion of knowing beyond the transactions that occur for those who know an adapted piece of literature and the movie it helps shape. Spectators that know the rules of a genre, for instance, experience the same kinds of lipping back and forth between the work they know and the work they are experiencing.
These spectators experience the same vacillations between the works they know and the work they are experiencing. The same possibility exists for those who know the tendencies of a director or actor as expressed in other ilms. All three additional types of knowing allow the same doubling and lipping between what is known and what is becoming known.
In every instance, the active spectator can remain engaged by a ilm even after the onscreen surprises have been experienced. To watch a ilm a second, third, or fourth time can implicate spectators in the same ongoing pro- cess of construction and reconstruction other types of knowing involve.
Admittedly, the can in the above statement is more than just extra information. Rewatching can invite a knowing audience to engage in the processes Hutcheon describes, but it will not do so Rewatching Shutter Island as a Knowing Audience automatically. Spectators must watch a ilm rather than simply witness it before they can rewatch it. Watching can never be passive.
One has to participate in the reconstruc- tion of what is recognized as a construct. The diference between automatic and passive instances of witnessing and engaged and active accounts of watching is signiicant.
The former leaves patrons running from the onscreen representation of a train arriving at a station; the latter solicits spectators to become more aware of what it means to watch this arrival. Stated another way, an insistence on the reactionary aspects of ilm abandons viewers in the cave, while a focus on the types of spectatorial responses described by con- structivists and adaptation theorists alike brings the inner-workings of the cave to light.
One might only become aware of these inner-workings, though, once the surprises of the cave have been spoiled. The audience suddenly realizes that the two principal actors, Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Rufalo, have been playing the part of one character while really being another.
DiCaprio has played at being a US Marshal investigating the disappearance of a patient from an isolated mental hospital. DiCaprio turns out to be Andrew Laeddis, a patient of the very institution he has been investigating. His investigation has been an elaborate attempt to silence the guilt he feels over the horrible crime he has witnessed and committed. Careful analysis reveals that Scorsese loads the turns his inale makes with more than a reveal.
Both the above mentioned lighthouse scene and the inal conversation in the ilm divulge as much about what it means to watch a ilm as they do about this one story.
Shutter Island PDF
The lighthouse scene, in particular, unfolds in a way that draws attention to what it means to watch a ilm. The scene is so obviously staged that audiences cannot miss this aspect of it. Every scene in a movie is, of course, staged; the diference between most every other scene and this one is the extent to which the moment is at once realistic and staged. Each element is, after all, part of a plan to prove that Teddy Daniels is actually Andrew Laeddis, the sixty-seventh patient at Asheclife.
The scene opens with Laeddis kicking in the door. The camera cuts to a carefully arranged scenario. Dr Cawley Ben Kingsley sits at a desk surrounded by lights, papers, and a recording device. An easel stands to his left. The prop is covered in such a way that it promises to participate in the scene when the moment is right. Diegetically, the arrangement raises suspicions against Dr Cawley.
The debate over whether or not Dr Cawley is who he says he is lingers a little longer. Non-diegetically, the efect reminds audiences that they are watching an intentionally pre-focused movie. The ilmmaker shows audiences what he wants them to see and only at the moment he wants them to see it. The script works similarly and Scorsese emphasizes this point by having the irst words in the scene be delivered in a rehearsed manner.
The ensuing discussion also stresses the interpretative work made necessary when left to watch a scripted, which is to say openly constructed, scene.
Interestingly, the characters themselves perform the very work such a moment requires. Laeddis, and most of the audience with him, assumes this means that the missing Dr Sheehan has inally arrived on the ferry.
His perspective begins to lose its sense of author- ity. This loss continues throughout the exchange. This conirmation is needed if only because some parts of the ilm are so obviously unreal. The blast literally passes through the little girl and the woman Laeddis sees throughout the ilm. In this way, the scene conlates the real and the imaginary. In truth, the whole of the lighthouse does the same. The lighthouse scene encourages audiences to parse other moments in the ilm as well.
For example, the doctor denies the literal existence of Dr Solando Patricia Clarkson , which pushes the knowing audience to reassess the cave scene. New ele- ments take priority in the conversation when one returns to it, too. Laeddis suddenly seems to be telling himself that he is a US Marshal as much as anyone else. The audience only sees this debate when they return to the moment.
On the surface, the transcript proves that the rather odd conversation did actually occur. The more lasting contribution of Rewatching Shutter Island as a Knowing Audience the transcript, though, is the opportunity it gives Dr Cawley and Laeddis to debate the meaning of the words on record. Laeddis rejects this reading.
The Marshal takes the line as proof that he and Laeddis are two diferent people. The inclusion of the transcript invites spectators to the same debate the characters are having.
Mere recognition is not enough. One must determine what has been said, what it means, and the signiicance of both to the ilm. You are a hero, still a U. Marshal only here at Asheclife because of the case. As with earlier statements in the light- house scene, these lines participate in the big reveal, but, even more importantly, they admit the work the ilm leaves the audience to do upon subsequent viewings.
Any com- mitment to one way of telling the story the ilm delivers will necessarily obscure other ways of seeing. The only cure is to see something one did not, could not, or would not see earlier. Dr Cawley helps Laeddis see anew by showing the stubborn character a series of pic- tures of his dead children. The performance forces Laeddis to accept his reality. Dr Cawley stops with the picture of the little girl that has appeared throughout the ilm. One could reduce this moment to little more than a plot point meant to reveal the true story, but the moment seems especially aware of itself as an instance of re- watching.
Laeddis is re-watching an event he has already seen. The audience watches him watching that moment. The inal form of a ilm will ultimately be imag- ined rather than presented.
As such, the inal form of a ilm cannot be spoiled. DiCaprio is always already Laeddis playing Daniels. His playing is a kind of spectatorial identiication with the construct he has created with Daniels. Spectatorial identiication with Daniels turns out to be as troublesome for the audience as it is for Laeddis.These two regimes, movement- image and time-image, are distinguished by the break that occurs with the crisis of the action-image.
Keywords Spoiler, knowing audiences, rewatching, constructivism. The milieu of Taxi Driver is indeed fragmented and dispersive, without clear obstacles or challenges. I disagree with her, however, when she argues that what she calls the neuro-image demands the creation of a new, third regime of the image, following the regimes of the movement-image and of the time-image.
In this way, adaptations are always already a kind of re-watching. On one storyline, Teddy is a United States Marshal, who has volunteered for the opportunity to come to Ashecliffe to search for a missing patient, so that he can investigate the rumors of psychological experimentation taking place at the hospital.
While space is homogeneous, movement is constantly self-differentiating.
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