Layering Images, Thwarting Fables: Deleuze, Rancière and the Allegories of Cinema


  • Agustín Zarzosa Purchase College, SUNY, US


Film fables, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Rancière, Movement-image, Time-image


This essay evaluates Jacques Rancière’s apparently devastating critique of Gilles Deleuze’s film philosophy. In “From One Image to Another,” Rancière offers two arguments about Deleuze’s distinction between the movement-image and the time- image. First, Rancière questions whether this distinction could correspond to the historical distinction between classical and modern cinema. Second, Rancière claims that this distinction remains allegorical to the extent that Deleuze derives it from film fables.

I claim that Rancière’s arguments involve a perspective foreign to Deleuze’s ontology. Rancière’s first argument overlooks that Deleuze evokes history to explain not a development in the natural history of images but our lack of belief in the action-image. Rancière’s second argument relies on the assumption that fable and image entertain a dialectical—rather than an expressive—relationship. In evaluating Rancière’s criticism of Deleuze, I offer an alternative account of these two apparent contradictions in Deleuze’s film philosophy.

Author Biography

Agustín Zarzosa, Purchase College, SUNY, US

Agustin Zarzosa is assistant professor of Cinema Studies at Purchase College, SUNY. He received his Ph.D. in Film and Television at UCLA. His essays have appeared in New Review of Film and Television Studies, Scope, Colloquy and Discourse. His book Captive Affects, Elastic Sufferings: Redefining Melodrama in Film and Television is forthcoming from Lexington Books.




How to Cite

Zarzosa, A. (2011). Layering Images, Thwarting Fables: Deleuze, Rancière and the Allegories of Cinema. Cinema: Journal of Philosophy and the Moving Image, (2), 36–60. Retrieved from