My question: does the cinematic image have a grammar? My hypothesis: that which is rejected leaves an indelible mark on what is selected. In exploring what makes the cinematic image ?irreal'' (critical to both, the question and the hypothesis) an analysis of the film Yuva shows how the image is constructed on the basis of an infinite oscillation between presence and absence because each is marked by a trace of the other. In the cinematic image the trace reconstructs the notion of spectral time as the link between real time and filmic time crucial to creating the illusion of visual narrative coherence. Further, through an analysis of the film Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. I explore another relationship - between consumers in an advanced capitalist society. This relationship is mediated by images. The image now becomes a heterotopic site par excellence in the interface between consumer and image. The image is the extended space that was once the domain of the commodity. As an extended space it has become a heterotopic site characterized by excessive functionality wherein the most important function is not for it to be put to use as much as it is to be possessed.