In the Place of Abandonment: Rohrwacher, Martel, and 'Miracles'

Ramsey McGlazer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This essay analyses Italian director Alice Rohrwacher’s Corpo celeste (2011) and Argentinean filmmaker Lucrecia Martel’s La ciénaga (2001) and considers the relation between the two films. Attending to the films’ shared interest in ‘miracles’ that are as minor and apparently inconsequential as they are elusive, I show that such miracles, reminiscent of others in recent critical theory, figure in both films as means of exiting or altering a present that otherwise appears foreclosed. Miracles become means of restoring what Gilles Deleuze calls ‘belief in the world’, however minimally. In this way, both Corpo celeste and La ciénaga point to the continued salience of Deleuze’s account in Cinema 2 of suspended action and subsequent ‘learning to see’. But both films also foreground, differently and in ways that Deleuze could not have foreseen, the difficulties of such learning in contexts of impasse, economic crisis, austerity and abandonment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-320
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • Alice Rohrwacher
  • Gilles Delueze
  • Lucrecia Martel
  • Abandonment
  • Impasse
  • Miracles
  • Sensory-motor break
  • Time-image


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