Toward an Anarchist Film Theory: Reflections on the Politics of Cinema

The final third of this article discuses the notion of a nomadic cinema, and uses Deleuze to help set out an anarchist film theory and define how an anarchist cinema might function.

Cinema, like art more generally, is both an artistic genre and a politico-economic institution. On the one hand there is film, a medium which disseminates moving images via the projection of light through celluloid onto a screen. Individual films or “movies,” in turn, are discrete aesthetic objects that are distinguished and analyzed vis-à-vis their form and content. On the other hand there is the film industry – the elaborate network of artistic, technical, and economic apparatuses which plan, produce, market, and display films to audiences. Since its inception, both the aesthetic and political aspects of cinema have been subject to various forms of theoretical analysis which have been subject to critique in turn. In this paper I offer a brief survey of these analyses and critiques followed by a sketch of an alternative approach to film theory. Drawing upon the ideas of Foucault and Deleuze, this “anarchist” film theory seeks to present a viable critical methodology while at the same time elucidating the liberatory potential of film.

Author Name: 
Jun, Nathan
Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies
Jun, Nathan, Toward an Anarchist Film Theory: Reflections on the Politics of Cinema, Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies, 1 (2010), pp. 139-161