Mille Gilles: A Thousand Gilles

Directed by Ijsbrand van Veelen

44 minutes / Color
English subtitles
Release: 2002
Copyright: 1997

Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995) was one of the foremost philosophers of the 20th Century. A popular university lecturer and prolific writer, his two most well known books, each written with Felix Guattari, were The Anti-Oedipus (1972) and A Thousand Plateaus (1980). His theories in the inter-connected areas of art, literature, philosophy and psychoanalysis reverberated far beyond academia. "Perhaps one day, this century will be known as Deluzian," wrote Michel Foucault.

From "nomadism" and "deterritorialization" to "Rhizomes," MILLE GILLES explores some of the main areas of Deleuze's post-structural, anti-hierarchical writings. But going beyond that specific discussion, and maybe more significantly, the film also examines how Deleuze and his ideas inspired people around the world, in many different disciplines and fields of endeavor.

Including a rare (short) sequence with Deleuze himself, MILLE GILLES includes interviews and encounters with eight creative people who draw on Deleuze and his work. Architects Greg Lynn and Lars Spuybroek, musicians D.J. Spooky and David Shea, artist Lydia Dona, designer and software developer Bernard Cache, management consultant and organizational theorist Jules Koster, and professor and writer on film and media Patricia Pisters. They discuss not just "what did Deleuze mean," but what impact his ideas have had on them, and their different fields.

When Deleuze died, Roger-Pol Droit wrote in Le Monde: "No one knows what distant posterity will remember of a body of work that contemporaries probably understand only a little. Thought, with Deleuze, is the experience of life rather than reason."

While it may not yet be possible to say what people remember of Deleuze's work, with MILLE GILLES we do approach to what has been made of it.

"Patricia Pisters' exposition which runs throughout the film is, as one would expect from her authority, informed, clear and intellectually generous... More than the confident repetitions of familiar phrases, the fragility of the film image, as a picture without support, explains the key concepts against the grain of the text. A valiant attempt to break habitual ways of thinking."—Leonardo Digital Reviews

"An interesting glimpse of Deleuze as he is being taken up outside of the world of academic philosophy. Van Veelen weaves together… interviews with architects, musicians, artists, and a management advisor in order to illustrate some pivotal Deleuzian themes… But more interesting than their explication of these ideas… is the way these professionals embody them in their creative experiments. Mille Gilles is one record of such creative efforts, presenting the work of some of those who make Deleuze's work and ideas central to their projects."—Janus Head Online

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