Rhizomatic Time and Temporal Poetics in American Beauty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This essay deals with the temporality of film through an examination of narrative, structure and image in Sam Mendes' film American Beauty (2000), referring to both Gilles Deleuze and Henri Bergson's work on time. I argue that the repetition of formal elements (images, settings, colours, shapes, and textures) creates a kind of internal rhyme that is suggested appeals to human aesthetic rhythmic sensibilities and invites the spectator's imaginative interplay. This temporal pattern speaks of a particularly human rhythmic design, and provides an escape from the ‘standardised, context free, homogeneous’ clock time ‘that structures and times our daily lives’.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Pages (from-to)22-28
Number of pages6
JournalFilm Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006

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