1. Gregory Minissale (2010). Beyond Internalism and Externalism: Husserl and Sartre's Image Consciousness in Hitchcock And. Buñuel. Film-Philosophy 14 (1):174-201.
    Husserl and Sartre’s analyses of mental imagery and some of the latest cognitive research on vision provide a framework for understanding a number of films by Hitchcock (Psycho and Rear Window) and Buñuel (Un Chien Andalou), films which similarly probe the subtleties and uses of mental imagery. One of the many ways to enjoy these films is to see them as explorations of visual phenomenology; they allow us to enact, as well as reflect upon, mental images as part of the (...)
    Direct download (6 more)  
    My bibliography  
    Export citation  
Back    All discussions

Is anyone interested in film and consciousness?
Perhaps we could begin with Hitchcock and Husserl/Sartre?

Is anyone interested in film and consciousness?
This sounds like a great project, and I will definitely keep my eye on the developing thoughts of fellow posters. Before providing any analysis it would probably serve me best if I re-watch the films you have proposed. However, as great place to start off, one can look to Slavoj Zizek's interpretation of Hitchcock (I'm limited in my computer resources right now, but a quick Youtube search of Zizek + Hitchcock should turn up results to one of his lectures). He provides a great analysis on Hitchcockian "hill formula" that is evident in several of his films, in which the main discourse of conflict between the male, and female lead almost always takes place on a geographical location that overlooks observers, all the while excluding them from the conflict that is occurring above. I'll apologize now for this very hasty, and minor analysis, but perhaps we can regard this as a physical interpretation of an epoche wherein the conflict taking place upon the hill is void of the reality of the individual's down below. It's almost as if Hitchcock is presenting a scene within a scene that transcends the ongoing interactions of the lowly observers. This suspension, or bracketing that takes place is one in which the subject (the leads) are experiencing, on the most subjective level, a conflict that goes entirely unnoticed by those at the bottom of the hill. I interpret this to be a universal epoche, the actions of the lead character transcends any social stigma, or judgments of the onlookers who can physically view the situation, and yet are oblivious to it.  The leader is entirely free to act in any way which he pleases without taking into consideration the external reality that goes on beyond the bottom of the hill.

Is anyone interested in film and consciousness?
Hi Rami,

Thank you for responding. I will try to find the Zizek. Very interesting what you have to say about having two sets of characters, one more aware of what is going on than the other (which mimics the audience's 'knowingness'). Of course, this is thematically treated in Hitchcock and in 'Rear Window' where we see a very clear example of how the audience is put into a position of superior knowledge, privy to Scottie's telescope (we 'peer' through it and his window), indeed, Scottie acts as our avatar!  But Scottie is not aware of us looking at him. So we obtain a temporary vantage point (higher knowledge or awareness) where we are looking at somebody looking at somebody else (quite a dizzying ladder of gazes). I say temporary because Hitchcock turns the tables and gets the killer (Raymond Burr) to look back at 'us' though his spectacles in one dramatic volte face, through the window, back through Scottie's telescope and then to us. The ladder of gazes isuddenly collapses. The shifts in self-consciousness are dramatised and projected with visual engagment and with the grammar of the frames (cinema screen, camera aperture, telescope, window, spectacles). Each frame is a capturing of attention, or as you say, a bracketing out of ordinary assmptions about reality for a reflexive, analytical thought. Hitchcock's use of the telescope and the fact that Scottie is a photograper references cinema and making images and so there is also a kind of self-reflexivity going on here, where the mise en scene and its props (camera, telescope, window) reference cinematic devices of camera and studio. I am sure that analytical philosophers would not hesitate to point out that there are discrepancies between the Hitchcockian cimenatic device of the frame and the Husserlian epoche, although there seem to be some similarities. Luckily I am only speaking metaphorically.