Post-deconstructive realism? Nancy’s cinema of contact

Laura McMahon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper traces the trajectory of Jean-Luc Nancy's invocation of the real – and attendant issues of the body, exteriority, presence and touch – across a range of his writings on film, including texts on Abbas Kiarostami, Claire Denis, Nicolas Klotz and Jean Renoir. Articulating a manifestation of the real shaped by opening and withdrawal, revelation and concealment, Nancy's thinking of cinema allows for the possibility to engage with notions of contact, evidence and worldly presentation much further than a deconstructive unease with such terms might permit. Drawing on what Jacques Derrida has named Nancy's ‘post-deconstructive realism’, this paper argues that in redeeming the real in the wake of deconstruction, Nancy provides fertile ground for thinking about existence, presence, justice and ethics in cinema.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-93
Number of pages21
JournalNew Review of Film and Television Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Jean-Luc Nancy
  • Abbas Kiarostami
  • Claire Denis
  • evidence
  • justice
  • realism


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