Too Late, Too Soon
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Too Late, Too Soon book
This chapter describes these three kinds of ‘limits’ that are the conditions of possibility of the cinematic experience as Erlebnis always at the edge of Erfahrung: the body as limit, time as limit, and agency as limit. The conjunction suggests a focus on three aspect of experience, already alluded to: ‘embodiment,’ ‘time,’ and ‘agency’ as those modalities of experience that can be associated with experience as a limit, and its negative correlative, the limits of experience. Limit experiences are above all limits in our sense of body and embodiment, agency and helplessness, time and its apparent irreversibility. While classical cinema potentially deals with all these temporalities, for film noir the same temporalities constitute an impossible temporal horizon, where there can be no single time-frame: in the time of the limit experience it is invariably too soon/too late, it is invariably now and always.