Radical Measures: 9/11 and|as Deleuze's Time-Image [1]

Daniel Ziegert

The modern fact is that we no longer believe in this world. We do not even believe in the events which happen to us, love, death, as if they only half concerned us. It is not we who make cinema; it is the world, which looks to us like a bad film. (Deleuze 171)

1. Introduction: 9/11 through Deleuze

[1] 9/11 is certainly "one of the most defining moments of our time" (9/11, TC 0:00:21, my emphasis). However, most witnesses, commentators and intellectuals generally lacked a register to write about, to make sense of, basically to define this event without using metaphors like dream, nightmare, and very often film to approach the events that flickered on TV-screens worldwide. [2]

[2] Like Žižek [3] with his psychoanalytical approach, many of the initial 9/11 commentaries pointed to a shattered relationship between reality and fiction.

"Like a Movie" (9/11. USA 2001, Dir.: Jules Naudet; Gédéon Naudet; James Hanlon, TC: 0:40:06). Click to play.

Instead of seeing the images as what they were, "we" immediately related them to a register of action-images, specifically those depicting disaster. Additionally, many discourses limited themselves to grappling with epistemological, hard science questons: why and how was it possible to hijack four planes, and why could CIA and FBI not prevent the terrible events? [4] Academic responses from the humanities and especially film and visual studies have been surprisingly sparse until quite recently. [5] But as the number of panels and talks at conferences of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies since 2002 shows, scholarly interest in approaching medial aspects of 9/11 has constantly grown. [6] This development parallels or follows that of Hollywood's productions dealing with and thereby rendering "fictional" the attacks, such as United 93 and WTC.

[3] A void has opened up between the largely subjective essays written shortly after the attacks, [7] the "discourses of sobriety," [8] and more recent work focusing on political aspects and effects of the images [9] – therefore, already on a level of what the images mean rather than what they are. This void opens up conceptual [10] approaches to images of 9/11. While there is important work being done on issues of culture, race and gender in relation to a post-9/11 world, scholars must also inquire more basically as to what it is in the moving image(s) that constitutes or supports these issues. It is precisely in this void where this essay – through an appropriation and re-activation of Gilles Deleuze's "time-image" – may offer a productive perspective on 9/11-images and a post-9/11 mediascape beyond questions of ontology and psychology. [11]

[4] Aspects of the time-image have entered both audiovisual and, as a result, intellectual discourses. The initial effects (of an exposure to time-images of 9/11) can be traced by analyzing both films and essays dealing with the attacks on the Twin Towers through a close reading of Cinema 2. To this end, this article will closely investigate the by now iconic 9/11 footage showing the first plane hitting the World Trade Center's north tower. Shot by documentary filmmaker Jules Naudet it is the only known video material depicting the first impact, and was sold to the image agency Gamma and broadcast worldwide on the same day. It was also used in the successful documentary 9/11, [12] along with scenes shot inside the north tower. This thirty-six-second shot will be regarded both as an isolated film image, as part of a set, i.e. the documentary film 9/11, and as a part of a larger whole (minor "w"), that is, the filmic discourse of the historical event known as 9/11. By identifying the sequence as a time-image, it will open a perspective to understand more clearly the obvious problems of description and representation regarding the events of that day in September 2001. The images' contents will then be read through Deleuze's concept of the time image and some of Žižek's and Baudrillard's comments on the events of 9/11.

[5] One needs to attend to some initial problems in applying Deleuze's thoughts on cinema to the images discussed here. [13] First, 9/11 has never been released theatrically and therefore does not fall into the scope of cinematic representation proper. Deleuze only marginally speaks about "[t]he electronic image, that is the tele and video image, the numerical image coming into being, [which] either had to transform cinema or to replace it, to mark its death" (265). Since, however, this transformation of cinema has to a large extent taken place since 1985 when Cinema 2 was first published, we need to adopt the concepts towards not only a post-modern cinema, but rather towards post-cinematic cinema. The small screen has become a potent contestant to the movie-theatres, and even more so with digitalized media, digital distribution via DVD and, more recently, online-services. With his remark on the numerical – i.e. digital – image, Deleuze has shown his foresight regarding technical advancement effecting moving images. Therefore, the Cinema books' concepts must be extended accordingly and be transformed analogous to the way that the newer media and technologies have transformed the cinema.

[6] Secondly, Deleuze does not discuss documentary film at length, and when he does, he turns his attention exclusively to direct cinema, or cinéma vérité. [14] As work on the documentary genre has shown, however, identifiable historical and formal categories for documentary film genres can no longer be considered discrete; many traits are shared by very different kinds of documentaries. [15] Even though 9/11 is clearly a "conventional" television documentary, it shares some of the aspects Deleuze discusses in Jean Rouch's or Pierre Perrault's films. [16]

[7] Lastly, the basic distinction between movement-image and time-image is one of difference, however not a subtractive one:

There are many possible transformations, almost imperceptible passages, and also combinations between the movement image and the time image. It cannot be said that one is more important than the other, whether more beautiful or more profound. All that can be said is that the movement-image does not give us a time-image. (Deleuze 270)

Deleuze does not suggest modern cinema (which tends towards the time-image [17]) were "better" than classical cinema. [18] His distinction need not be used to put a qualitative label on a specific image or film. Rather one needs to be aware of cinema's passages in their becoming, and in their reversal or (re)subordination to sensory-motor schemata. The passages and combinations are productive and positive, and constitute this study's project: following these fleeting instances back through one's own and a collective recollection-image, to find traces of time-images related to 9/11.

2. The Banal, the Extraordinary, and the Seer

... if everyday banality is so important, it is because, being subject to sensory-motor schemata which are automatic and pre-established, it is all the more liable, on the least disturbance of equilibrium between stimulus and response (as in the scene with the little maid in Umberto D), suddenly to free itself from the laws of this schema and reveal itself in a visual and sound nakedness crudeness and brutality which makes it unbearable, giving it the pace of a dream or nightmare. (Deleuze 3)

[8] There are a number of ways in which the time-image "crystallizes." Two involve depictions of either very banal sights – everyday situations – or extraordinary ones, which tend towards the sublime. [19] In course of the first twenty minutes of 9/11, the filmmakers foreground the routine elements of being a rookie fireman. [20] When the film procedes to the morning of September 11, the narration likewise asserts that it began like any other day. As the firemen are called to a gas leak, the off-camera commentaries repeatedly note that this would be merely a routine job. Calmly, the men move to the streets and are shown in several shots as they work at the scene. The uninterrupted take of the actual impact begins with the chief of the firehouse (Chief Joseph Pfeifer) taking measurements on the ground for gas, as a number of firemen stand around waiting (TC: 00:24:27).

"Impact North Tower" (9/11,TC: 0:24:27). Click to play.

Out of this banal situation, in which nothing "special" happens and nothing "extraordinary" is shown, the camera pans to the left toward the out-of-frame Twin Towers, following the noise of an overhead plane. It is here where banality and shock collide, in an infinitely brief moment.

A purely optical and sound situation does not extend into action any more than it is induced by an action. It makes us grasp, it is supposed to make us grasp, something intolerable and unbearable. Not a brutality as nervous aggression, an exaggerated violence that can always be extracted from the sensory-motor relations in the action image. Nor is it a matter of scenes of terror, although there are sometimes corpses and blood. It is a matter of something too powerful, or too unjust, but sometimes also too beautiful, and which henceforth outstrips our sensory-motor capacities. (Deleuze 18)

Even though this image shows an act of terror, it neither shows blood nor bodies. In fact, the film will never present images of death or mutilation. Rather, it shows the building, the plane, its impact, and the fire. From these signs, one can clearly deduce the terrible loss of life, but no more than that. One must also distinguish between the shot/image as it was originally broadcast on September 11, 2001, and the shot as it functions within the documentary screened for the first time six months later: on first seeing the planes hit the building, there were no established sensory-motor links for the spectator. The image did not directly relate to other images other than those showing direct effects – onlookers (seers) in the streets, the burning towers, sights of Manhattan, etc. – or the image's repetition. Only later, on the basis of military intelligence and other discourses of sobriety, the images linked up to other images (e.g. of the terrorists at the airports), and were thereby linked to explanations and schemata of reason. Although we are dealing with an identical image, the respective functions may differ. In other words, both kinds of images – movement and time-image – overlap. On first seeing the image, even on seeing the same image repeated many times, the impact of the plane was purely optical. One could not but look at the image on the screen. As much as Jules Naudet's gaze and his camera were drawn to the crash, witnesses were drawn to look at the screen to see the image over and over again. This immobile stare was also paralleled by images from stationary cameras recording the events on New York rooftops.

[9] In the case of the documentary 9/11, Jules Naudet, who operated the camera, becomes a seer [21] who at first can do no more than stare and record his own gazing through the apparatus. He, however quickly, resorts to an action, that is, an attempt to frame the event. First, he uses the camera's zoom, then he halts for a moment before moving to the right to find a "better" perspective. The brutal shift from a banal situation to one that is "beyond discourse" [22] causes a rupture in the sensory-motor schema which is quickly sutured by seemingly appropriate actions: The filmmakers Jules and later Gédéon Naudet turn to actively capturing the sights of the real, while the firemen rush to the rescue. As a number of parallel storylines [23] unfold, the filmmakers take on the status of characters in the film. [24] Deleuze discusses the "story" as the "third instance between description and narration, which conventionally affirmed the 'True' from the point of view of the veracity of every possible story" (148). He then turns to documentary filmmaking and the specific relationship of camera and character, subjective and objective perspective, true and false, in this specific regime.

[10] Jules and Gédéon often record themselves, e.g. while cleaning the lens, checking the camera, or even interacting with it. This parallels Deleuze's interpretation of both Pasolini's "cinema of poetry" (ibid.) and cinéma vérité, namely in the simulation or mimesis of the character's vision by the camera. As noted before, 9/11 is clearly not cinéma vérité, [25] yet the relationship between objective and subjective, between the seer and the act of seeing, are dissolved in the film. [26]

According to convention, what the camera "sees" is called objective, and what the character sees is called subjective ... Now it is essential that the camera sees the character himself: it is one and the same character who sometimes sees and sometimes is seen. But it is also the same camera [sic] which gives us the character seen and what the character sees. (147-8)

By recording images of 9/11, the brothers simultaneously recorded their own gaze/gazing. By strongly linking the camera to the person operating it, however, the gaze is recorded without an intermediary image showing the act of gazing. As a default (first narrative and then on basis of the images themselves) the camera is always related to one of the brothers. Even if we are shown (unmarked) external footage [27] depicting other seers, the perspective adopts the same "seeing-function" [28] (19) internal to the Naudet images. All cameras/seers become indiscernibly the Naudets and they become the "perfect" witness, the seers to see for the world. Not only do they see what "we" have seen on the day (reactivated by intercutting news and archival footage), but they also see more and share this through their images, creating a perfect "cinema of the seer."

"'Deleuzian' Seers" (9/11, TC: 0:32:55). Click to play.

3. Organic, Crystalline, and New Images

[11] In 9/11, two "regimes of the image," the organic and the crystalline (Deleuze 126), are active. [29] For Deleuze, in neo-realism, the pure or crystalline descriptions of the shooting locations constituted "their own object." They were independent of "their motor extension" dominant in organic descriptions where locations only formed a backdrop for the action-schemata (126). Adopting the latter regime to 9/11, the actions of the firemen are directly linked to the space and the situations. In the case of the descriptions of the first impact or the collapse of the towers, this no longer holds true. These moments rather represent pure descriptions, even though at times the seer resorts to action. The film as a set of images clearly follows a "regime of localizable relations, actual linkages, legal causal, and logical connections" (126-127); however, it does so as a reaction to images, which clearly resist this regime. The descriptions affect the relationship of real and imaginary. Jean Baudrillard identified a struggle, a "duel," between reality and images specifically in a post-9/11 world that represents a violence of and in the image. [30] Deleuze approached this internal violence of images differently:

The two modes of existence are now combined in a circuit where the real and the imaginary, the actual and the virtual, chase after each other, exchange their roles and become indiscernible. (127)

The reality/image dichotomy in Baudrillard's writing by itself is not compatible with a Bergsonian conception of the image as adopted by Deleuze. [31] But the "duel" clearly points to an act of becoming, not in a synthetic way, nor leading to a meta-reality or meta-fiction. Rather, it can never be decided which side prevails. There are thus two ways to understand Baudrillard's discussion of the image after 9/11, both of which remain true to the concept of the time-image in distinct ways: First, we must understand that we are dealing with a film in which "[p]assages from one regime to the other ... can take place imperceptibly" (127) or even overlap constantly. Here the "duel" takes place in course of the film, and at times either the real/reality or the imaginary/ fiction pole would prevail. Second, we should recognize that the duel takes place inside of a single image or shot, and it cannot finally be decided, leading to a crystal image or time-image par excellence.

[12] Again, the impact's image must be regarded by itself and in its link to the documentary where it also works as a recollection image evoking memories of 9/11.

By raising themselves to the indiscerniblility of the real and the imaginary, the signs of the crystal go beyond all psychology of the recollection or dream, and all physics of action. (Deleuze 274)

As both functions coincide at times, and while there is a shift toward one or the other, there is a constant becoming time-image, as well as there is the time-image's becoming in its indiscernability.

[13] If we understand images of 9/11 in their initial existence as television images, another aspect can be added. For Deleuze, these images have lost their "out-of-field," making possible a new "omni-directional space," in which the links from one image to the next are "perpetual" and reminiscent of "any-spaces-whatever" (265). Yet, these clear links of the new image to the time-image are not automatically the future of the time-image, but "electronic images will have to be based on still another will to art [like the one that affected the development from the movement-image towards the time-image], or on yet unknown aspects of the time image" (266). As has been shown thus far regarding 9/11, electronic images can be organic as well as crystalline, movement as well as time-image. Considering that the time-image "has haunted cinema" from its beginning, it seems appropriate that it is also, in the same way, a part of the new, electronic image in accordance to Deleuze's comment on this new regime. In this way the movement/time-image can become central concepts in what has earlier been called post-cinematic cinema, rather than modern, post-modern, or even post-post-modern cinema.

4. Power of the False, the Electronic Automatism, and Will to Truth

[14] 9/11 is structured on the recollections of firemen who survived the collapse of the towers. As a scrolled text at the beginning of the film puts it: "this is their story." In this way the film does not offer any objective facts or figures explaining any part of the event scientifically or, in other words, as "hard facts." Relating the statements in the film, and also the images as their visual descriptions, to the concept "powers of the false," entails no moral judgment whatsoever.

The power of the false exists only from the perspective of a series of powers, always referring to each other and passing into one another. So that investigators, witnesses and innocent or guilty heroes will participate in the same power of the false the degrees of which they will embody, at each stage of the narration ... The truthful man will form part of the chain, at one end like the artist, at the other end to the nth power of the false. (Deleuze 133-4)

Therefore, the characters in 9/11 tell their specific truth. But truth in wake of the time image takes on a new meaning, which goes beyond "'each has its own truth,' a variability of content" (131). Here one must again distinguish between the film as a set of images, tending towards a sensory-motor schema as a whole, and the single time-images it contains with indiscernability as a central aspect. "Their story" is being told in such a way that the viewer cannot but empathically sense the danger, the fear and later, the grief felt by the characters in the film.

[15] Here, however, "the artist" will not be the main forger of truth (creator of "a" truth), but a new extrinsic [32] "automaton" as production instance:

The configuration of power was also inverted, and, instead of converging on a single, mysterious leader, inspirer of dreams, commander of actions, power was diluted in an information network where 'decision-makers' managed control, processing and stock across intersections of insomniacs and seers ... (265)

Deleuze here argues that in Hitler's Germany the psychological automata of the movement-image had been enslaved and would have to be replaced by something new, which would necessarily bring about "a mutation in form" (265), namely the shift towards television and electronic images. 9/11 then is exactly what Deleuze describes as "new automaton" and at the same time a monster. 9/11-images were literally part of a power network, an information network, that quickly distributed the (time-)images relatively freely. Professional and amateur footage depicting the attacks was broadcast worldwide almost instantly. Even if these images were not "artistic" in a romantic sense, they contained the power of the false by offering pure descriptions and infinite potential linkages beyond conventional schemata. This instant distribution made way for the time-image's power of the false to crystallize before it was again subsumed by motor-extensions of news media and political reason. [33]

[16] 9/11 clearly shows how this "violence" was directed at the Naudets' time-images. Though both Jules and Gédéon, along with the fireman James Hanlon, are credited as directors and executive producers, the film as a whole was assembled by a "network of 'decision-makers'" [34]: There were three additional executive producers, an additional "post-production director," a "senior broadcast producer" and another five producer/editors involved. These figures make visible a link between this new "configurations of power" and how these "new methods may invalidate all will to art, or make it into a business, a pornography, a Hitlerism..." (266). The "will to art" is not the will to find or support a Truth, but to support pure becoming of thought, which crystallizes in the time-image. The will to truth, as an aspect of the "will to power," [35] only remains intrinsic to the images, which remain time-images, if only as a potential. It is under attack by "reactive forces" (Deleuze, Nietzsche 96) which from the outside, through means of contextualization (in general) and editing (specifically), attack the powers of becoming as represented by the time-image itself.

5. Conclusion: Layers of Reality and the Radical Time-Image

[17] This essay by no means claims that either Žižek or Baudrillard, or any of the commentators Klaus Theweleit so brilliantly examines in his book-length essay Der Knall, [36] use Deleuzian cinema-concepts by accident, or without noticing. Rather, they all try to show how "extrinsic forces" – basically "the Real" – duel with the imaginary realm in a Lacanian sense resulting in a certain "ressentiment": Even though "the desert of the real" broke through for a moment, a new world is more or less quickly constructed, on basis of the old "symbolic" system that had been shattered by the attacks and the images of 9/11. Though these analyses certainly offer concrete ways of understanding, by filling gaps ripped opened by the event, they all quickly go beyond what the world saw that day: images.

We are not longer in the situation of a relationship between the actual image and other virtual images, recollection, or dreams, which thus become actual in turn: this is still a mode of linkage. We are in a situation of a relationship between the actual image and its own virtual image, to the extent that there is no longer any linkage of the real with the imaginary, but indiscernability of the two, a perpetual exchange. (273, my emphasis)

Thinking about these images with Deleuze requires a new model of thought. One must initially accept the possibility of actual images constantly coinciding with their own virtual images.

[18] What an analysis of 9/11 images brings to brings into focus is that the linkage between actual images and their virtual images, as identified by Deleuze exemplarily for the cinema, can – and should – be extended to "new-images." What shook commentators like Baudrillard, Bronfen, and Žižek was precisely their confrontation with the radical notion of the time-image and its effects. On seeing direct images of time, one need not distinguish any longer, as one has been shown thought in its becoming. As a result, it has become impossible to "react" intellectually in a given action-schema of "applied" theory. Eventually, though, by means of metaphor and "technical determination" (280), the time-image is stripped of its powers and (re)submerged by sensory-motor schemata of mainstream media-production, politics and, if only potentially, through the critical practice of cultural theory.

[19] Deleuze's concepts can be very productive in analyzing this process. They must, however, be thought, transformed and applied radically, necessitating a thorough knowledge of this philosophic project generally. [37] In the case of 9/11, the confrontation with a radical event and radical images calls for a radical approach. The indiscernability of real and fiction, objective and subjective, actual and virtual made it impossible to clearly opt for either one or the other in any analysis of 9/11. Therefore, one can slightly modify an earlier quotation saying no "technical determination whether applied (psychoanalysis [Žižek, Bronfen], linguistics [Baudrillard]), or reflexive is sufficient to constitute the concepts" of 9/11-time-images. The time-images of 9/11, however, can.


[1] I would like to thank thank Daniel Humphrey for a very helpful revision of this essay.

[2] Cf. e.g.: Slavoj Žižek, "Welcome to the Desert of the Real"; Jean Baudrillard, "The Spirit of Terrorism"; Elizabeth Bronfen, "Der unsagbare Kern/The Unspeakable Core" (the title alone refers to an 'unspeakable' center outside of language or discourse.); Susan Sontag was one of few American intellectuals commenting in newspapers (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany) directly following the event. She was, however, living in Berlin at the time. Note that these exemplary commentators all witnessed the event via media-coverage and television.

[3] Using the term "desert of the real," initially coined by Baudrillard and famously used in The Matrix, Žižek analyses how the perception of 9/11 was affected by memories of "the most breathtaking scenes in the catastrophe big productions." Accordingly, "America got what it fantasized about" (386-7). The safe but virtual "sphere" that America had created before the attacks was shattered by a Real event, through the attacks, leaving as a solution either coping, or – more likely – suture by transporting the aggression again to the "Outside" of that sphere (389).

[4] See especially: "The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States' final report": «http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/index.htm».

[5] E.g. Daniel Sherman; Terry Nardin, Terror, Culture, Politics – Rethinking 9/11 (2005); Wheeler Winston Dixon, Film and Television after 9/11 (2004); Matthias N. Lorenz (Ed.), Narrative des Entsetzens – Künstlerische, mediale und intellektuelle Deutungen des 11. September 2001 (2004).

[6] In 2008 there were four panels devoted to 9/11 or post-9/11 aspects in media studies (eleven talks). In 2007, there were two panels and eight talks. In 2006, one panel dealt with homeland security issues and one with "Entertainment TV after 9/11" (seven talks). In 2005, there was only one talk and in 2004, two talks on the topic.

[7] Based on percepts and affects fused by images of 9/11.

[8] Bill Nichols suggests that documentary films, too, can take part in this specific form of discourse: "Documentary film has a kinship with those other nonfictional systems that together make up what we may call the discourses of sobriety. Science, economics, politics, foreign policy, education, religion, welfare – these systems assume they have instrumental power; they can and should alter the world itself, they can effect action and entail consequences. [...] Discourses of sobriety are sobering because they regard their relation to the real as direct, immediate, transparent" (3f.).

[9] Situating the percepts and affects in the realm of dominant sensori-motor schemata, to make "sense," create "a Truth," on basis of the percepts and affects.

[10] "A theory of cinema is not "about" cinema, but about the concepts that cinema gives rise to and which are themselves related to other concepts corresponding to other practices ... Cinema itself is a new practice of images and signs, whose theory philosophy must produce as conceptual practice. For no technical determination, whether applied (psychoanalysis, linguistics) or reflexive, is sufficient to constitute the concepts of cinema itself" (Deleuze 280).

[11] "Where the movement-image ideally conceives the relation between image and thought in the forms of identity and totality – an ever expanding ontology – the time-image imagines the same relation as nonidentity: thought as a deterritorialized and nomadic becoming, a creative act" (Rodowick 17).

[12] First broadcast in the US on March 11th, 2002 it was the most watched non-sports program of the year. It was eventually broadcast in 142 countries worldwide, and has been released on DVD. (Cf. Romero/ Carter; Carter 2002b).

[13] Deleuze remarks on the problem of using specific terminology in relation to "scientific propositions outside their own sphere. It is the danger of arbitrary metaphor or forced application" (Deleuze 129). Here, however, the concepts of cinema are being carefully transformed according to Deleuzian philosophical approaches: "In every concept there are usually bits or components that come from other concepts, which corresponded to other problems and presupposed other planes [...]. On the other hand a concept also has a becoming that involves its relationship with concept situated on the same plane" (Deleuze and Guattari 18).

[14] The discussion on documentary takes up less than five pages (149-153) of both cinema books.

[15] On modes of the documentary film see Nichols 32 ff. Michael Renov speaks of "Four Fundamental Tendencies of Documentary" which are equally permeatable (21 ff.).

[16] Cf. Deleuze 149-153.

[17] "The direct time-image is the phantom which has always haunted the cinema, but it took modern cinema to give a body to this phantom" (Deleuze 41).

[18] Deleuze speaks of "bad cinema," but what he refers to are films "un-filmic" in the sense that they neither give us the movement-image nor the time-image. In this way we must understand this rating from a clear philosophical perspective. In this way "bad cinema" can only be such, which as a practice does not give rise to the creation of specific cinematic concepts.

[19] "In fact, what constitutes the sublime is that the imagination suffers a shock which pushes it to the limit and forces thought to think the whole as intellectual totality which goes beyond the imagination" (Deleuze 157). "The cinematographic image must have a shock effect on thought, and force thought to think itself as much as thinking the whole. This is the very definition of the sublime" (Deleuze 158).

[20] Originally the film was planned as a "coming of age story" about probationary fireman Tony, who starts his career at "Ladder One" in downtown Manhattan. The Naudet brothers had taken an extensive amount of footage throughout the summer of 2001. During that time there had been no major fires or dangerous events. This situation is condensed in a montage sequence, showing Tony performing routine tasks around the firehouse (TC: 00:08:29-00:09:20).

[21] Talking about Italian neo-realism Deleuze states: "... this is a cinema of the seer and no longer of the agent" (2; 126). In fact, 9/11 deals at length with this distinction. In the course of the film both brothers film inside and outside the WTC. At one point Gédéon Naudet says: "I knew there was nothing I could do [...] But as a cameraman there was something I could do. And that was to document what was happening. So the cameraman took over" (TC: 1:05:56). Due to a profound inability to act, to turn perception into action, the mechanized perception qua video-recording becomes a way of re-establishing a sensory-motor schema. He therefore turns seeing into an action.

[22] The "Real" in a Lacanian sense, i.e. as being beyond discourse, caused the inability to "find the right words" to describe the event (Cf. Evans). Here, it is interesting to see that one of the reactions to the event in the shot discussed here is a repeated "shit, holy shit" on the audio track, uttered by a speaker off-screen.

[23] Between the first plane crash and the return to the firehouse, the film uses pairings of characters to propel and organize the story in an extended parallel montage. Jules is for a long time associated with Chief Pfeiffer inside Tower 1 (storyline: organizing the rescue/the collapse of Tower 1). Gédéon films Tony at the firehouse. Tony leaves with a retired battalion chief (storyline: "the rookie"). As soon the both Jules and Gédéon lose their respective subjects, off-commentary links the "empty" images to the brother's search for each other (storyline: "my brother may be dead").

[24] Jules describes their status: "That day we were chosen to be the witness" (TC 0:03:53). Beyond that they become major characters in their emotional search for each other. The viewer knows throughout that both are alive, but the brothers' uncertainty becomes a major plot point, which is eventually resolved in the firehouse, after all fireman of "Ladder One" have safely returned.

[25] Instead of presenting a minority of little known foreign issues, 9/11 is rather a reactionary, nationalistic and pathos-laden support of American Imperialism. E.g. one of the central – and highly emotional – scenes in "the pile"-sequence is the raising of a giant Star Spangled Banner on a ruined building overlooking Ground Zero. Also, the character Tony claims he would go to war to kill people if his country asked him to do so, after what he had seen on 9/11. In relation to the Afghanistan and Iraq interventions, Tony mirrors the uncritical political and media climate of the time directly following 9/11.

[26] "In short, pure optical and sound situations can have two poles – objective and subjective, real and imaginary, physical and mental. But they give rise to opsigns and sonsigns, which bring the poles into continual contact, and which, in one direction or the other, guarantee passages and conversions, tending towards a point of indiscernability (and not of confusion)" (9).

[27] The closing credits list the following sources of additional footage: WTC: The First 24 Hours (USA, F, dir.: Etienne Sauret); Mark Wainger and the 9/11 Memorial Foundation; Timelapse Film Footage; CNN Image Source; and Luc Lorchesne Images.

[28] "The purely optical and sound situation gives rise to a seeing function, at once fantasy and report, criticism and compassion, whilst sensory-motor situations, no matter how violent, are directed to a pragmatic visual function [sic] which 'tolerates' or 'puts up with' practically anything, from the moment it becomes involved in a system of actions and reactions" (19).

[29] Note that neither the organic regime and the movement-image, nor the crystalline regime and the time-image are synonymous terms. The regimes are rather environments in which the respective image comes into being on basis of a number of factors, such as description and narration.

[30] Cf. Jean Baudrillard, "The Spirit of Terrorism." Here he states: "What happens then to the real event, if everywhere the image, the fiction, the virtual, infuses reality? In this present case, one might perceive (maybe with a certain relief) a resurgence of the real, and of the violence of the real, in a supposedly virtual universe. 'This is the end of all your virtual stories – that is real!' ... It is not the violence of the real that is first there, with the added thrill of the image; rather the image is there first, with the added thrill of the real." Cf. also: "The Violence of the Image": "All what reintegrates the image in the third dimension is a potential violence done to the image. Not only the spatial dimension of relief and stereoscopy, but even that of movement, of time (in the movie), or that of meaning and message – all that reintegrate the image in our world and destroys it as a parallel world." This violence done to the image is indeed a "duel" between real and virtual, though Baudrillard often problematically uses virtual/fictional/imaginary synonymously in these essays. It can be argued, however, that this problem is a result of the multi-layered nature of the time-images of the post-9/11 world.

[31] At the end of "The Violence of the Image," Baudrillard actually concludes with an interesting appropriation of Deleuze. He calls the photographic "image transtheoretical object. Not as an artistic or realistic activity, but as a becoming-image of the object, as becoming-image of the thought, as symbolic terminal for the analytic process, together with its resolution into an object existing for its own – neither real nor objective as soon as it becomes an image, the object raises no problems anymore, it is the immediate solution to what is perfectly insoluble from the point of view of analysis" (my emphasis). What Baudrillard describes here from the point of view of a photographic image is clearly the crystal-image or the time-image. The image has become image in the Bergsonian way, as its own object, and in a Deleuzian way, as an object that has at its core a latent indiscernability, thereby a constant becoming.

[32] "A return to the extrinsic point of view obviously becomes necessary: the technological and social evolution of automata" (265). Here Deleuze widens the scope of his discussion beyond the mere images and includes "technological and social" factors into the discussion of the coming about and development of the time-image.

[33] And also, as a reaction independently produced conspiracy films like e.g.: Loose/ Change.

[34] For a description how the broadcasting rights for the footage were acquired by CBS cf.: Carter 2002b.

[35] Cf. Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy, 94-97. Deleuze argues, in opposition to traditional philosophy, that Nietzsche relates "truth to a concrete will of its own, to a type of forces, to a quality of the will to power" (95). Since truth creates itself as a becoming, it is beyond the grasp of philosophy and science. With the will to power Nietzsche "resolves the crisis of truth ... in favour [sic] of the false and its artistic, creative power... (Deleuze, Cinema 2 131).

[36] Unfortunately there is no English translation available. Theweleit examines essays by Georg Seesslen, Elisabeth Bronfen, Jean Baudrillard, Karl-Heinz Stockhausen, Susan Sontag, Alexander Kluge, Boris Groys, Niklas Luhmann, Slavoj Žižek and others, finding that these texts share a certain sceptisicm towards the notion of reality after 9/11. Theweleit convincingly dismantles some of the resulting new "realities" constructed in these essays. Eventually he concludes: "If images were merely representations, mediated replays of a real, existing, material world, the worldwide audience at the television sets would not really have seen the collapsing towers, as reality of itself but only as representation of a Real taking place in New York. Something else is the case; The eye-witnesses of the towers' crashes have seen something different, than the people at the TV-screens, but both saw something totally Real. [...] We have been functioning on the tracks of different parallel realities, between which we can go or 'switch' back and forth. [...] None of these realities is more real or unreal in principle than the other. They do, however exist in gradations of different intensities. [...] What one saw at the movies may be significant in a very different way; but it no more unreal or even more 'illuionary' than what happened in New York" (261, translation my own).

[37] This may be the reason that it took DN Rodowick's study of Deleuze's Cinema 1 and Cinema 2 to fuse an interest or present an entry into the matter in Anglo-American film-studies. Cf. more recently Bogue.

Works Cited

9/11 (film). USA 2001, Dir.: Jules Naudet, Gédéon Naudet, James Hanlon.

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—. "The Violence of the Image." European Graduate School 2003. 10 April 2008.

Bogue, Ronald: Deleuze on Cinema (Deleuze and the Arts 1). New York: Routledge, 2003.

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Carter, Bill: "CBS to Broadcast Videotape Shot Inside the Towers During Trade Center Attacks." In: The New York Times 6 February 2002a: Section B 4.

—. "Threats and Responses. On Television: Extensive Coverage Brings Strong Ratings for the Day." In: The New York Times 13 September 2002b: Section A13.

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Lorenz, Matthias N. (Ed.): Narrative des Entsetzens – Künstlerische, mediale und intellektuelle Deutungen des 11. September 2001. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2004.

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Romero, Simon; Carter, Bill: "CBS and Nextel Weighing Benefits in Success of 9/11 Documentary." In: The New York Times 13 March 2002: Section C 11.

Sherman, Daniel; Nardin, Terry: Terror, Culture, Politics: Rethinking 9/11. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2005.

Theweleit, Klaus: Der Knall. Frankfurt: Zeitschrift Fuer Philosophie, 2002.

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