The Untimely-Image On Contours of the New in Political Film-Thinking
Abstract: This study creates and develops a concept called the untimely-image including two sub-concepts called contours of the new and the untimely-site. The untimely-image concerns the clearing for and the expression of figures of “potential” in thought in the form of moving-images. The aim of these concepts is to form a critical framework for evaluating and conceptualizing political film as expressive, not of the new itself but of its “untimely” contours.The untimely-image, and its many implications, is developed over the course of six chapters. Chapter 1 extensively defines “contours” and “new” as operative in this study, and also introduces a theme that runs through all the chapters: how to think the contours of the new in relation to the cult of the new in consumer culture and in relation to the larger mechanisms of advanced capitalism. Chapter 2 defines the parameters of the untimely-image as specifically regarding moving images, and continues the development of this concept. In Chapters 3 to 6, The Wire (David Simon, 2002-2008) serves the double function of complicating and giving specification to the elaboration of the untimely-image as well as a case in which the untimely-image is used as a critical framework. The Wire and the untimely-image relate in processes of juxtaposition, wherein they meet, cross over, separate, and reproblematize each other. An untimely-image is fully defined in relation to concrete political issues. The untimely-image is therefore advanced by articulating the components and characteristics that, independently of the concrete issue, remain in every case, as well as by putting the concept to work regarding two specific problems in The Wire: its expression of blackness and its mapping of advanced capitalism.
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