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Institute of Advanced Study

Dr David Martin-Jones

“I very much enjoyed my time at the IAS. It was a wonderful privilege, and a fantastic opportunity.”

Dr David Martin-Jones, University of St Andrews

IAS Fellow at Van Mildert College, Durham University (October - December 2012)


Dr David Martin-Jones is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at The University of St Andrews. His research engages with world cinemas, taking a philosophical approach to the ways in which national and transnational identities are constructed. Originally from a background in literature, which provided his abiding interest in critical and cultural theory, he transferred into Film Studies with masters and doctoral degrees from the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow respectively. He was appointed to St Andrews in 2004, where he helped build the newest Film Studies programme in the UK, with a distinctive emphasis on transnational cinemas. He is currently the Director of the Centre for Film Studies, the department's research arm.

He has explored national and transnational identity construction in a variety of cinemas from across Europe, Asia and the Americas. His research is at the forefront of the emergent international area of film philosophy, his key expertise lying in the interface between the work of Twentieth Century French philosopher Gilles Deleuze and cinema. Uniquely, Dr Martin-Jones has developed a sustained critique of the Eurocentric nature of Deleuze's philosophy of cinema, by examining the fault lines that emerge when it is considered in conjunction with world cinemas. This was the topic of the closing keynote paper which he gave at the annual Film-Philosophy Conference in 2011. His focus in this area has recently shifted to Latin American philosophy. The first scholar to consider this trajectory within film philosophy, he is breaking new ground by exploring the potential of the work of Enrique Dussel for our understanding of world cinemas.

Dr Martin-Jones is the author of Deleuze, Cinema and National Identity: Narrative Time in National Contexts (2006), Deleuze Reframed (with Damian Sutton, 2008), Scotland: Global Cinema (2009), Deleuze and World Cinemas (2011), and co-editor of Cinema at the Periphery (2010) and Deleuze and Film (2012). This research has been recognised internationally, as is evidenced by two stints as visiting professor at Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil, and invitations to present his research in France, South Korea, China, Brazil and Uruguay. His work has been translated into Spanish, Portugese and Estonian. In addition, his work on cinema in Scotland has received a great deal of press interest. He has been quoted in local and national newspapers, and has appeared on television in a National Geographic documentary.

Shaping the field, Dr Martin-Jones is the co-editor of the Continuum monograph series, Thinking Cinema. He is also a member of several editorial boards, including Deleuze Studies, Film-Philosophy and A/V: The Journal of Deleuzian Studies. In 2012 he led a team of postgraduates in launching an online research database for scholars, the first of its kind: deleuzecinema.com.

Whilst at the IAS, Dr Martin-Jones will be exploring how cinemas from around the world use different philosophical conceptions of time to negotiate varied experiences of modernity. Drawing upon previous work on narrative time, this research will lay the intellectual ground for his next monograph.


IAS Fellow's Public Lecture - The Cinematic Temporalities of Modernity: Gilles Deleuze encounters World Cinemas

13th November 2012, 17:30, The Ustinov Room, Van Mildert College

Gilles Deleuze’s Cinema books of the 1980s were a phenomenal philosophical endeavour, and have had a significant impact on our understanding of time and movement in cinema.

However, the range of films that Deleuze explored, primarily from the USA and Europe, led him to conclusions which can now be considered at once outmoded in terms of the development of Film Studies, and also quite Eurocentric. In short, Deleuze’s concepts of movement-image and time-image need to be reconsidered in light of advances in our knowledge of world cinemas. Accordingly, this paper will constructively critique Deleuze’s image categories, in particular the idea of the time-image, using examples from Hong Kong, India and Brazil to historicise his conclusions. This will not only enable a contemplation of the continued usefulness of his ideas for the field, but also illustrate how different world cinemas conceive of modernity, temporally, in different ways.




Time in conversation with Dr David Martin-Jones

Time in conversation with Dr David Martin-Jones

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Dr David Martin-Jones Publications

Martin-Jones, D. (2013) 'Archival Landscapes and a Non-Anthropocentric ‘Universe Memory’ in Nostalgia de la luz/Nostalgia for the Light (2010)', Third Text,  27(6), pp 707-722

Martin-Jones, D., Montanez, M.S. (2013) 'Uruguay disappears: small cinemas, control Z films, and the aesthetics and politics of auto-erasure', Cinema Journal, 53 (1), ), pp 26 - 51



IAS Insights Paper

Abstract

This article takes a first step towards identifying a non-Eurocentric filmphilosophy. It does so by exploring how cinema expresses, or rather constructs, time. Whilst the narratives of all films can be said to be underpinned by some broadly identifiable philosophical or cosmological conception of time (from the Aristotelian emphasis of Hollywood’s continuity editing to the dharmic cycles of Bollywood’s distinctive episodic cinema of spectacles), the focus here is on how modernity is considered, temporally, in films from different parts of the world. This process begins with a brief introduction to the most important and widely-used concept of cinematic time, that of Gilles Deleuze’s time-image. From the range of different examples that can be offered to outline a varied range of cinematic temporalities of modernity, the Brazilian film directed by Nelson Pereira dos Santos, ‘Como Era Gostoso o Meu Francês/How Tasty was my Little Frenchman’ (1971) is singled out for focused analysis. This rare but wonderful film, known for its postcolonial importance (along with the engaging viewing pleasures it offers, of black humour, full frontal nudity, human sacrifice and cannibalism), provides an opportunity to reconsider the specific meaning of the time-image in relation to world history. When seen in light of the conclusions of philosophers writing in the wake of Immanuel Wallerstein’s world systems analysis, like Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri and Aníbal Quijano, the time-image can be said to express a five-hundred-year history of modernity that commences with the discovery of the Americas. This is not solely to provide a different angle from which to consider the concept of the time-image. Rather, as is noted in the conclusion, it is an attempt to shed new light on the varied cinematic temporalities of modernity evident in contemporary world cinemas, and is therefore a first step towards a non-Eurocentric film-philosophy.

Insights Paper