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Animal Worlds

Film, Philosophy and Time

Laura McMahon

Hardback (Forthcoming)

The first sustained exploration of the relations between cinematic time and animal life

Focusing on a recent wave of international art cinema, Animal Worlds offers the first sustained analysis of the relations between cinematic time and animal life. Through an aesthetic of extended duration, films such as Bestiaire (2010), The Turin Horse (2011) and A Cow’s Life (2012) attend to animal worlds of sentience and perception, while registering the governing of life through biopolitical regimes.

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Introduction: Unfurling Worlds

Chapter 1: Cinematic Time and Animal Worlds

Chapter 2 Still/Moving: Bestiaire’s Lives in Limbo

Chapter 3: The Turin Horse: Animal Labour and Lines of Flight

Chapter 4: Leviathan, Meat and the Annihilation of Worlds

Chapter 5: Actual/Virtual: Bovines ou la vraie vie des vaches

Conclusion: Cinematic Worlds and Beyond



About the Author

Laura McMahon is Lecturer in Film and Screen Studies at the University of Cambridge. She is the author of Cinema and Contact (Legenda, 2012) and co-editor, with Michael Lawrence, of Animal Life and the Moving Image (BFI, 2015).


'Animal Worlds is a significant addition to the field of animals in film. There are genuinely novel observations in every chapter, and some much-needed correctives of existing assumptions. The book charts new pathways across the work of Deleuze, and Deleuze and Guattari, linking Deleuze’s writings on cinema with his collaborative writings on animals in A Thousand Plateaus. These new connections extend the scope of Deleuzian film theory on the one hand, and animal studies on the other. In Animal Worlds, cinema is revealed as the art of containment and surpassing. The durational aesthetic examined here seeks out the small gesture and fleeting expression as the marks of life’s exuberance.'

- Dr Anat Pick, Queen Mary University of London

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