Adieu au langage: Cinema and Post-Linguistic Image

Edited by Felice Cimatti and Stefano Oliva


Between the 1960s and the 1980s, reflection on cinema questioned the relationship between image and language, drawing in particular on the tools of semiotics. Authors such as Christian Metz, Pier Paolo Pasolini and even Gilles Deleuze made important contributions on the theme of the classification of cinematographic ‘signs’. But some developments in contemporary cinema allow us to ask a different question: how can cinema lead beyond language? The recent production of Jean-Luc Godard, for instance, is rather dedicated to an imagery that is not an immediate transcription of reality but the post-linguistic outcome of frequenting a world dominated by language. Consider, for example, Adieu au langage (2014), a film-essay in which the image tends to sever its ties with the logos (and subjectivity) in order to draw on an autonomous and ‘real’ consistency. In fact, this recent production is rooted in a cinematic tradition that ranges from the ‘mystical cinema’ of Jean Epstein to the paradoxical subjective without subject of the last scene of Michelangelo Antonioni's The Passenger, and from the exemplary case of the donkey in Robert Bresson's Au hasard Balthazar to the cinema of Jean Painlevé (think of the masterpiece Les amours de la pieuvre). Starting from this perspective, it is possible to investigate the relationship between cinema and language considering the way cinema possibly manages to overcome the limits of sense.

This issue of “Aesthetica Pre-Print” reflects on cinema and language from the perspective of a post-linguistic outcome of the cinematographic image. The topics addressed by this issue include (but are not limited to):

  • Linguistic symbol and cinematographic image;
  • Cinema, Silence and Mysticism;
  • Film Studies and Psychoanalytic inquiry;
  • Visibility and invisibility in the cinematographic image;
  • Aesthetic sense and linguistic non-sense.


Deadline for paper submission: September 30st, 2022

Languages admitted: English, Italian

Length of the paper: up to 40.000 characters (selected bibliography excluded)

All submitted papers must include a short abstract in English and five keywords also in English

Please prepare your submission for double-blind peer-review.