“Give Me a Body Then”: Abdellatif Kechiche and the Cinema of the Flesh



In Cinema 2, Gilles Deleuze establishes a circuit between the cinema, the body and thought. According to his theory, in several films that were made in the postwar era, “the body is no longer an obstacle that separates thought from itself, that which it has to overcome to reach thinking. It is on the contrary that which it plunges into, in order to reach the unthought, that is life.” The body forces us to think what is concealed from thought – life. By analyzing scenes from La vie d’Adèle (2013) by Abdellatif Kechiche, I will argue that in a cinema of the flesh, the postures of the body and its close framing – the aesthetics of closeness in filming the body – give cinema the possibility of constructing an image which is directly related to the means of direct experience and that the more profound meaning of the film is not predicated on the information given by script, plot, characters and action, but by the ability of capturing the passing of time within the body.

Keywords: Deleuze, Merleau-Ponty, The Time-Image, Cinema of the flesh, Phenomenological realism.