Projection of Multiple Fantasies

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  • Title: Projection of Multiple Fantasies: De-subjectivity of Images in Long Day’s Journey into Night
  • Author(s): Yu Yang
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Common Ground Open
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of the Image
  • Keywords: Bi Gan, De-subjectivity, Falsification, Fantasy, Gilles Deleuze, Long Day’s Journey into Night, Recollection-Image
  • Volume: 13
  • Issue: 1
  • Date: May 05, 2022
  • ISSN: 2154-8560 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2154-8579 (Online)
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Yang, Yu. 2022. "Projection of Multiple Fantasies: De-subjectivity of Images in Long Day’s Journey into Night." The International Journal of the Image 13 (1): 63-79. doi:10.18848/2154-8560/CGP/v13i01/63-79.
  • Extent: 17 pages

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Gilles Deleuze demonstrated the key role of flashback in dealing with the relationship between actual image and recollection-image when interpreting the temporality of images. He established two criteria for judging whether a flashback implies a recollection-image by stating that: (1) it serves as some kind of prompt in the narrative to make the viewer perceive that the scene has entered a flashback; (2) it relies on fate or forking time. But Deleuze also mentioned that, if the context or condition disappears, the recollection-image represented by the flashback will lose its support, at which point, the pure recollection will also disappear. In this case, the actual image no longer forms a connection with the sensor-motor, but is suspended, which produces a fantasmatic effect. Bi Gan extends this suspension in his film “Long Day’s Journey into Night” by removing the character being referred to in the flashback, stripping it from figure and confining it in the voice-over. The film features an extreme use of several effects in the sensory-motor situations and the flashbacks, as described in Deleuze’s “Cinema 2: Time-Image,” namely recollection, dream, and falsification. Thus, the boundary between flashback and reality is completely broken. In addition, Bi Gan uses doppelgangers in the second part of the film to reconstruct the ambiguity of actual images and recollection-images in the first part, turning them into pure fantasies. This essay will analyze issues relating to the images and characters in “Long Day’s Journey into Night” and show how this film constitutes a typical case of recollection-images transformed into fantasies through the power of falsification.