An ecocritical revaluation of the cinematic time-image: Tarkovsky’s Solaris

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Publication details

Mules, W 2018, 'An ecocritical revaluation of the cinematic time-image: Tarkovsky’s Solaris', Transformations: Journal of Media, Culture & Technology, no. 32, pp. 38-59.

Article available on Open Access

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This article undertakes an ecocritical revaluation of the cinematic time-image through a consideration of Andrei Tarkovsky’s concept of time-pressure developed in his book Sculpting in Time. Responding to Adrian Ivakhov’s proposal for a film theory capable of redeeming the perceptual continuum of the human and the other-than-human threatened by ecological catastrophe, the article proposes a revaluation of the material reality of the film-world of Tarkovsky’s film Solaris insofar as it makes real connections with nature as a complex whole, through the dissipating potentials of entropy. Drawing on Tarkovsky’s ideas and filmic practice, I define time-pressure as an image of time traversing its own becoming, forming a naturalistic time-image in a becoming-whole that includes an image of the whole opening to the Beyond: the absolute otherness beyond the frame. In contrast to Gilles Deleuze’s asynthetic time-image (Cinema 1, Cinema 2), which remains cut off from real connections, Tarkovsky’s naturalistic time-image is able to account for real connections as a revaluation of cinematic perception shifting from anthropocinematic to ecocinematic seeing.

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