The Art of Affect in Film

On “Spencer,” “Inherent Vice,” the films of Sofia Coppola, John Cassavetes — and more! — with pervasive, if unstated, reference to Gilles Deleuze and how filmic affect distinguishes itself from the affect of characters and the mechanics of story, becoming a material (albeit invisible) in its own right.

Art Is the Art of Affect

Andy Warhol’s eight-hour recording of the Empire State Building is an act of cinema—a creation of images, not a report of the real.

What is Affect?

A talk I gave on affect. Be warned: it’s a bit dense.

The Affect of Film Is Not the Affect of Characters

The crying of characters is clearly not the crying of the film.
In Dreyer’s close-up, Falconetti’s face transcends the human, becoming filmic affect.

“Spencer’s” Singular Affect

From Dreyer to Cassavetes to Sofia Coppola

Whereas Larraín forges a singular affect, Cassavetes operates with careening affect.
For Cassavetes, characters are painterly drips of affect careening and colliding.
Sofia Coppola is the Gustave Klimt of cinema—decorative romantic drama.
Larraín is the Mark Rothko of film—one meditative mood, even if Larraín is more angst riddled.

How to Watch PT Anderson’s “Inherent Vice”

The opening of “Inherent Vice” belies exposition, leading with affect rather than reporting.



Former Cal Rhetoric prof. Philosophy, film, pleasure. Wrote this, too:

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