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From One Movement to Another: Histoire(s) Du Cinma and Poetic Revealing

Brown, Gregory M.
This thesis attempts to consider how historiography can be understood and visualized in its plurality through the various aesthetic and stylistic features of cinema. Working against more traditional notions of historiography in cinema studies, I offer the suggestion that scholars should give greater consideration to cinematic movement as a tangible quality of the medium that resists its many "settled" historical claims. By establishing the primacy of cinematic movement within film history I posit that a shift towards more figurative or poetic representations of history are necessary in order to understand historiography as it really is; in other words, in its multiplicity. I suggest that Jean-Luc Godard's expansive Histoire(s) du cinma offers such a way of visualizing and thinking the multiplicity of histories at work in cinema studies. Through a close reading of Histoire(s), specific attention is given to the role of Godard's aesthetic ideas and their ability to reveal poetic possibilities through video superimposition and montage. Ultimately, Histoire(s) reveals a pluralistic account of cinema history where disparate historical periods converge and are re-thought in Godard's images.