In this essay, we explore a non-standard model of the unconscious, what Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari call the “productive unconscious,” to correct the too-often reductive tendencies of psychoanalysis and film. This introduces the image of a form of thinking we may find in our encounters with film that aims more at pleasure-taking than problem-solving and that, in so doing, really gets us to think. Drawing on this productive unconscious, we come to a richer appreciation of classic Hollywood cinema, a new understanding of classic, nouveau vague and neo-realist films, and we enjoy the chance to ignore the rules and reconsider thinking in philosophy and film.

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