Ágnes Pethő

E-mail address: petho.agnes@gmail.com
Home institution:
Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania,
Department of Film, Photography and Media
Academic position: associate professor
Areas of research: cinematic self-reflexivity, intermediality, the
poetics of modern and postmodern cinema
Title of the presentation: Cinema and the Phenomenology of
?Becoming? Intermedial


Most important Publications

  • Cinema and Intermediality. The Passion for the In-Between, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011. ISBN (10):1-4438-2879-3, ISBN (13): 978-1-4438-2879-6 (432 pages)
  • Ágnes Pethő (ed.): Words and Images on the Screen. Language, Literature, Moving Pictures. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008. ISBN (10) 1-84718-843-5, ISBN (13) 97818847188434 (393 pages)
  • Múzsák tükre. Az intermedialitás és az önreflexió poétikája a filmben. [Mirror of the Muses. The Poetics of Intermediality and Self-Reflexivity in Film] Miercurea-Ciuc, Pro- Print, 2003. ISBN (10) 1-84718-843-5, ISBN (13) 97818847188434 (330 pages)

Title of the presentation

Cinema and the Phenomenology of ?Becoming? Intermedial


I would like to argue for the necessity of re-defining both mediality and intermediality as something divorced from models of ?text,? ?texture? and ?reading.? Although the theory of intermediality originates in the theories of intertextuality (as conceived by Julia Kristeva), and up to this day there are several advocates of the structuralist, semiotic approach to the idea of categorizing intermedial relations into endless taxonomies deriving from the model of intertextuality, intermediality ? I contend ? should not be thought of as an extension of intertextuality over the domain comprising multiple media relationships. Intermediality and most of all intermediality in the cinema is not something one ?deciphers,? it is something one perceives or senses. In this respect I adhere to Henk Oosterling?s idea who speaks of intermediality in general as being ?sensational? (in a Deleuzean sense, as he described it in his analysis of Bacon?s paintings) rather than ?conceptual,? ?reflective? rather than ?reflexive.? Whereas ?reading? intertextual relations engages our intellectual capacities, ?reading? intermedial relations requires an embodied spectator: film is, more than anything else, a profoundly sensuous experience. The world of the screen does not ?communicate? a message to us: it reaches out and ?touches? us and we cannot escape the allure of ?touching? it, feeling it with every fibre of our being.

?Sensing? the intermediality of film is therefore grounded in the (inter)sensuality of cinema itself. I think therefore that the possible import of phenomenological approaches to film in the interpretation of cinematic intermediality has not been stressed enough. Even with more recent approaches in which the perception of intermediality is described on the model of the duality of ?figure? and ?ground? (e.g. Joachim Paech) a more intellectual kind of ?reflexivity? prevails over the acknowledgement of the sensual aspects of the cinematic experience. In my presentation I propose to outline some of the possible sensual ?thresholds? of intermediality in cinema where ?coming in touch with the medium? is experienced as either ?touching the images? or, reversely, ?the touch of the images,? and where cinematic mediality is perceived through intermediality, as cinema foregrounds some other, immanent medium within its own configuration. Here I will also introduce the possibility of making use of Deleuze and Guattari?s notion of ?becoming? and present, among others, examples of the emergence of the ?photo-filmic? in modern cinema as a threshold between cinema and photography, as a juncture where the ?cinematic? unfolds into the ?photographic? or vice versa.

? Back to Participants