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Profile: John Marmysz (College of Marin)
  1. John Marmysz (2014). Scotland as a Site of Sacrifice. Film International 12 (2):6-17.
    Friedrich Nietzsche delineates three stages of sacrificial behavior. The first stage consists of the sacrifice of particular human beings to a god. The second stage involves the sacrifice of one’s own instincts to a god, and the third stage culminates in the sacrifice of God himself. This last stage describes the death of God and signals the “final cruelty” of our present times. Our age is the age of nihilism, the point in history during which humans “sacrifice God for the (...)
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  2. John Marmysz (2014). The Myth of Scotland as Nowhere in Particular. International Journal of Scottish Theatre and Screen 7 (1):28-44.
    In a number of recent films, Scotland has served as the setting for dramas that could have taken place anywhere. This has occurred in two related ways: First, there are films such as Perfect Sense (2011) and Under the Skin (2013). These films involve storylines that, while they do take place in Scotland, do not require the country as a setting. Second, there are films such as Prometheus (2012),The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Cloud Atlas (2012), and World War Z (2013). (...)
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  3. John Marmysz (2013). The Lure of the Mob: Contemporary Cinematic Depictions of Skinhead Authenticity. Journal of Popular Culture 46 (3):626-646.
    In this paper I examine the history and style of the real-life skinhead subculture in order to clarify its nature and to highlight its preoccupation with the ideal of "authenticity." I then use the insights thus gained in order to understand why it is that the skinhead characters in such fictional films as Romper Stomper, American History X and The Believer are, despite their neo-Nazism, granted a sympathetic depiction.
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  4. John Marmysz (2012). Rooting for the Fascists in James Cameron's Avatar. Film and Philosophy 16.
    Conservative critics have united in attacking James Cameron’s newest blockbuster Avatar for its “liberal” political message. But underneath all of the manifest liberalism of Avatar there is also a latent message. In his valorization of the organic, primal, interconnectedness of Na’vi culture and his denigration of the mechanical, modern, disconnectedness of human culture, Cameron runs very close to advocating a form of fascism. -/- In this paper I describe the overarching philosophical perspective of fascism, and then I draw on the (...)
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  5. John Marmysz (2012). The Path of Philosophy: Truth, Wonder, and Distress. Wadsworth.
    The Path of Philosophy introduces you to the study of philosophy through a compelling narrative in which the world's most important philosophers appear as characters. The text traces the history of Western philosophy from its beginnings in ancient Greece to contemporary developments in the modern world. Threads running through the text demonstrate how philosophy is unique and distinct from religion and science, while at the same time showing how all three disciplines are interrelated. Exceptionally well written and cohesive, the text (...)
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  6. John Marmysz (2011). David Martin-Jones (2010) Scotland: Global Cinema: Genres, Modes and Identities. Film-Philosophy 15 (2):159-165.
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  7. John Marmysz (2011). Review of Scotland: Global Cinema: Genres, Modes and Identities. [REVIEW] Film-Philosophy 15 (2):159-165.
    A review of Scotland: Global Cinema, by David Martin-Jones.
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  8. John Marmysz (2010). Comic Relief: A Comprehensive Philosophy of Humor. [REVIEW] Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 68 (3):305-308.
    A review of John Morrreall's book Comic Relief: A Comprehensive Philosophy of Humor.
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  9. Scott A. Lukas & John Marmysz (eds.) (2009). Fear, Cultural Anxiety, and Transformation: Horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy Films Remade. Lexington Books.
    This collection was inspired by the observation that film remakes offer us the opportunity to revisit important issues, stories, themes, and topics in a manner that is especially relevant and meaningful to contemporary audiences. Like mythic stories that are told again and again in differing ways, film remakes present us with updated perspectives on timeless ideas. While some remakes succeed and others fail aesthetically, they always say something about the culture in which_and for which_they are produced. Contributors explore the ways (...)
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  10. John Marmysz (2004). Cultural Change and Nihilism in the Rollerball Films. Film and Philosophy 8:91-111.
    In 2002, a remake of the 1975 film Rollerball was released in theaters. It flopped at the box-office, disappearing quickly from movie screens and reappearing shortly thereafter on home video. While aesthetically horrendous, the remake of Rollerball is instructive, as it provides a point of contrast to the original film, highlighting a change in our culture’s manner of engagement with the difficult philosophical problem of nihilism. Both films share a roughly similar plot, yet in the differing manners that they explore (...)
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  11. John Marmysz (2003). Laughing at Nothing: Humor as a Response to Nihilism. SUNY Press.
    Disputing the common misconception that nihilism is wholly negative and necessarily damaging to the human spirit, John Marmysz offers a clear and complete definition to argue that it is compatible, and indeed preferably responded to, with an attitude of good humor. He carefully scrutinizes the phenomenon of nihilism as it appears in the works, lives, and actions of key figures in the history of philosophy, literature, politics, and theology, including Nietzsche, Heidegger, Camus, and Mishima. While suggesting that there ultimately is (...)
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  12. John Marmysz (2002). War, Occupation, and Creativity. [REVIEW] Consciousness, Literature and the Arts 3 (2).
    A review of War, Occupation, and Creativity: Japan and East Asia 1920-1960, edited by Marlene Mayo and Thomas Rimer, with H. Eleanor Kerkham.
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  13. John Marmysz (2002). The Cutting Edge Between Trash Cinema and High Art. [REVIEW] Film-Philosophy 6 (8).
    A review of Joan Hawkins' Cutting Edge: Art-Horror and the Horrific Avant-gard.
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  14. John Marmysz (2001). Humor, Sublimity and Incongruity. Consciousness, Literature and the Arts 2 (3).
    Humorous laughter is related to the sublime experience in that it involves the transformation of a potentially unpleasant perception into a pleasurable experience. However, whereas sublimity is associated with feelings of awe and respect, humorous laughter is associated with feelings of superiority and contempt. This difference is a result of the fact that sublimity is an affective response involving an individual’s perception of vulnerability while humorous laughter is a response involving perceived invulnerability.
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  15. John Marmysz (1996). From Night to Day: Nihilism and the Living Dead. Film and Philosophy 3:138-143.
    Upon its release in 1968, George Romero's Night of the Living Dead was attacked by many critics as an exploitative low budget film of questionable moral value. I argue in this paper that Night of the Living Dead is indeed nihilistic, but in a deeper philosophical sense than the critics had in mind.
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