Philosophy of MotionPictures is a first-of-its-kind, bottom-up introduction to this bourgeoning field of study. Topics include film as art, medium specificity, defining motionpictures, representation, editing, narrative, emotion and evaluation. Clearly written and supported with a wealth of examples Explores characterizations of key elements of motionpictures –the shot, the sequence, the erotetic narrative, and its modes of affective address.
Introduction -- An improbable alliance : Peter Wollen's "The auteur theory" -- Visual stylometry : Barry Salt's "Statistical style analysis of motionpictures" -- Between Shakespeare and Sirk : Thomas Elsaesser's "Tales of sound and fury: observations on the family melodrama" -- From iconicity to semiotic articulation : Christian Metz's "cinema: language or language system?" and language and cinema -- Film as a specific signifying practice : Stephen Heath's "On screen, in frame: film and ideology" -- Against theories (...) of reflection : Laura Mulvey's "Visual pleasure and narrative cinema" -- Early cinema spectatorship : Tom Gunning's "The cinema of attraction(s): early film, its spectator, and the avant-garde" -- Another Lacan : "the universal: suture revisited" -- The death of the camera : Edward Branigan's "What is a camera?" -- Conclusion: teaching theory. (shrink)
This is a book about the nature of film: about the nature of moving images, about the viewer's relation to film, and about the kinds of narrative that film is capable of presenting. It represents a very decisive break with the semiotic and psychoanalytic theories of film which have dominated discussion over the last twenty years. The central thesis is that film is essentially a pictorial medium and that the movement of film images is real rather than illusory. A general (...) theory of pictorial representation is presented, which insists on the realism of pictures and the impossibility of assimilating them to language. It criticises attempts to explain the psychology of film viewing in terms of the viewer's imaginary occupation of a position within the world of film. On the contrary, film viewing is nearly always impersonal. (shrink)
This volume of new essays energizes a growing movement in film theory which questions and seeks to overturn many of the assumptions that have governed film theory for the last twenty years. The book brings together film scholars and philosophers in a united commitment to the standards of argumentation that characterize analytic philosophy rather than a single doctrinal approach. The essays address such topics as authorship, emotion, ideology, representation, and expression in film.
Examines the overlap between film and philosophy in three distinct ways: epistemological issues in film-making and viewing; aesthetic theory and film; and film as a medium of philosophical expression. This title available in eBook format. Click here for more information . Visit our eBookstore at: www.ebookstore.tandf.co.uk.
The increasingly popular idea that cinematic fictions can "do" philosophy raises some difficult questions. Who is actually doing the philosophizing? Is it the philosophical commentator who reads general arguments or theories into the stories conveyed by a film? Could it be the film-maker, or a group of collaborating film-makers, who raise and try to answer philosophical questions with a film? Is there something about the experience of films that is especially suited to the stimulation of worthwhile philosophical reflections? In (...) the first part of this book, Paisley Livingston surveys positions and arguments surrounding the cinema's philosophical value. He raises criticisms of bold theses in this area and defends a moderate view of film's possible contributions to philosophy. In the second part of the book he defends an intentionalist approach that focuses on the film-makers' philosophical background assumptions, sources, and aims. Livingston outlines intentionalist interpretative principles as well as an account of authorship in cinema. The third part of the book exemplifies this intentionalist approach with reference to the work of Ingmar Bergman. Livingston explores the connection between Bergman's work and the Swedish director's primary philosophical source-a treatise in philosophical psychology authored by the Finnish philosopher, Eino Kaila. Bergman proclaimed that reading this book was a tremendous philosophical experience for him and that he "built on this ground." With reference to materials in the newly created Ingmar Bergman archive, Livingston shows how Bergman took up Kaila's topics in his cinematic explorations of motivated irrationality, inauthenticity, and the problem of self-knowledge. (shrink)
Do humans have free Will? What distinguishes morally right from morally wrong action? Does God exist? Does life have meaning? What is the ultimate nature of reality? What are the limits of human knowledge? Philosophy through Film offers a stimulating new way to explore the basic questions of philosophy. Each chapter uses a popular film to examine one such topic- from free will and skepticism to personal identity and artificial intelligence- in an approachable yet philosophically rigorous manner. A (...) wide range of films is employed all of which are readily available through major video rental chains. This unique and engaging introduction provides an exciting new way to learn about philosophy, and connects complicated philosophical questions to the familiar settings of popular culture. (shrink)
In the post-Newtonian world motion is assumed to be a simple category which relates to the locomotion of bodies in space, and is usually associated only with physics. Philosophy, God and Motion shows that this is a relatively recent understanding of motion and that prior to the scientific revolution motion was a much broader and more mysterious category, applying to moral as well as physical movements. Simon Oliver presents fresh interpretations of key figures in (...) the history of western thought including Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas and Newton, examining the thinkers' handling of the concept of motion. Through close readings of seminal texts in ancient and medieval cosmology and early modern natural philosophy, the book moves from antique to modern times investigating how motion has been of great significance within theology, philosophy and science. Particularly important is the relation between motion and God, following Aristotle traditional doctrines of God have understood the divine as the 'unmoved mover' while post-Holocaust theologians have suggested that in order to be compassionate God must undergo the motion of suffering. Philosophy, God and Motion suggests that there may be an authentically theological, as well as a natural scientific understanding of motion. (shrink)
Philosophy and film. Why film and philosophy? -- Philosophy and film spectatorship -- Epistemology and metaphysics. Knowing what's what in Total recall -- Ontology and The matrix -- It's all in the mind: AI artificial intelligence and robot love -- La jetee and the promise of time travel -- The human condition. Fate and choice: the philosophy of Minority report -- Personal identity: the case of Memento -- The spectacle of horror: Funny games -- Looking for (...) meaning in all the wrong places (Ikiru, "to live") -- Ethics and values. Crimes and misdemeanors and the fragility of moral motivation -- Lives of others: moral luck and regret -- The dark knight: Batman on deontology and consequentialism -- Dangerous childhood: La promesse and the possibility of virtue. (shrink)
Appropriate for both academic readers and informed general enthusiasts of the cinema it addresses, the book demonstrates both philosophy's particular usefulness for the analysis of modernist cinema and film form's inherent potential for ...
Since their publication, these books have had a profound impact on the study of film and philosophy. Film, media, and cultural studies scholars still grapple today with how they can most productively incorporate Deleuze's thought.
New Takes in Film-Philosophy offers a space for the advancement of the film-philosophy debate by some of its major figures. Fifteen leading academics from Philosophy and Film Studies develop new approaches to film-philosophy, broaden theoretical analyses of the topic and map out problems and possibilities for its future. The collection examines theoretical issues about the relationship between film and philosophy; looks at the relationships film-philosophy has to other media such as photography and literature; and (...) applies theoretical approaches to particular films and directors. Written in a clear style that assumes no previous knowledge of any particular philosopher, this collection will appeal to advanced students and scholars in philosophy, film studies, cultural studies, media studies and the arts. _. (shrink)
Preface : The film-envy of philosophy -- Introduction : nobody knows anything! -- Illustrating manuscripts -- Bordwell and other cogitators -- Žižek and the cinema of perversion -- Deleuze's kinematic philosophy -- Cavell, Badiou and other ontologists -- Extended cognitions and the speeds of cinema -- Fabulation, process and event -- Refractions of reality, or, What is thinking anyway? -- Conclusion : code unknown - a bastard theory for a bastard act.
Why is film becoming increasingly important to philosophers? Is it because it can be a helpful tool in teaching philosophy, in illustrating it? Or is it because film can also think for itself, because it can create its own philosophy? In fact, a popular claim amongst film philosophers is that film is no mere handmaiden to philosophy, that it does more than simply illustrate philosophical texts: rather, film itself can philosophise in direct audio-visual terms. Approaches that purport (...) to grant to film the possibility of being more than illustrative can be found in the subtractive ontology of Alain Badiou, the Wittgensteinian analyses of Stanley Cavell, and the materialist semiotics of Gilles Deleuze. In each case there is a claim that film can think in its own way. Too often, however, when philosophers claim to find indigenous philosophical value in film, it is only on account of refracting it through their own thought: film philosophizes because it accords with a favored kind of extant philosophy. Refractions of Reality: Philosophy and the Moving Image is the first book to examine all the central issues surrounding the vexed relationship between the film image and philosophy. In it, John Mullarkey tackles the work of particular philosophers and theorists (Zizek, Deleuze, Cavell, Bordwell, Badiou, Branigan, Rancière, Frampton, and many others) as well as general philosophical positions (Analytical and Continental, Cognitivist and Culturalist, Psychoanalytic and Phenomenological). Moreover, he also offers an incisive analysis and explanation of several prominent forms of film theorizing, providing a metalogical account of their mutual advantages and deficiencies that will prove immensely useful to anyone interested in the details of particular theories of film presently circulating, as well as correcting, revising, and revisioning the field of film theory as a whole. Throughout, Mullarkey asks whether the reduction of film to text is unavoidable. In particular: must philosophy (and theory) always transform film into pretexts for illustration? What would it take to imagine how film might itself theorize without reducing it to standard forms of thought and philosophy? Finally, and fundamentally, must we change our definition of philosophy and even of thought itself in order to accommodate the specificities that come with the claim that film can produce philosophical theory? If a ‘non-philosophy’ like film can think philosophically, what does that imply for orthodox theory and philosophy? (shrink)
"Tough, smart, superbly engaging, The Material Ghost is a terrific book." -- Edward W. Said In The Material Ghost , Gilberto Perez draws on his lifelong love of the movies as well as his work as a film scholar to write a lively, wide-ranging, penetrating study of films and filmmakers and the nature of the art form. For Perez, film is complex and richly contradictory, lifelike and dreamlike at once, a peculiar mix of reality and imagination. "The images on the (...) screen," he writes, "carry in them something of the world itself, something material, and yet something transposed, transformed into another world: the material ghost." "Dazzling... The sheer intelligence at work in these lucid pages is exhilarating." -- Alfred Guzzetti, Boston Book Review "A pleasure. Gilberto Perez is one of the smartest film critics writing anywhere." -- Jonathan Rosenbaum "Strikes an ideal balance between insightful analysis and graceful writing... A model of thoughtful criticism." -- David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor "Brilliantly polemical in his critique of cynical reason ('the official philosophy of late capitalism'), no less passionate in defending the truth-value of cinema, Perez seems to be the clearest heir to the great humanist critic André Bazin." -- Sight & amp Sound "The chapters on Keaton and Renoir are stunning, full of perceptive remarks the chapter on Godard is a persuasive rehabilitation none of the chapters is without memorable insights." -- Michael Wood, London Review of Books "Gilberto Perez's ambitious, abundant, and cultivated book--the fruit of decades of thinking and teaching -- accompanies readers on a journey of discovery into the wonder of film." -- Stanley Cavell "Few books of film criticism in the past twenty-five years have been so enjoyable or instructive... [Perez] has excellent things to say about authorship, about documentaries, about popular genres, about cinematic point of view and narrative technique, about actors, and above all about camera style... He makes us want to look once more at the remarkable pictures he discusses." -- James Naremore, Cineaste. (shrink)
Time travelers and battles between people and machines provoke old philosophical questions: Can the past really be changed? How do we differentiate ourselves from machines? Can machines have an inner life? Brown (philosophy & critical thinking, LaGuardia Community Coll.) and Decker (philosophy, Eastern Washington Univ.; coeditor, Star Wars and Philosophy ) collect 19 essays by primarily young academics who pursue these questions with entertaining verve and philosophical skill. The Terminator story is about something well intentioned—a defense project—going (...) wrong, but none of the essays here presses this issue to a clear conclusion (readers whose interest is aroused would do well to read Wendell Wallach and Colin Allen's Moral Machines , concerned with actual machines and ones that might soon exist). Among the book's bright spots are contributions from Harry Chotiner and Jennifer Culver that show us something about how the movies work and explore the feminist issues posed by placing Sarah Connor at the center of the story. One essayist, Phillip Seng, addresses the philosophical trouble at the heart of the tale: telling good from evil in politics is hard. This book will earn a place in libraries by presenting serious issues in a way that attracts readers.—Leslie Armour, Dominican Univ. Coll., Ottawa, Ont. (shrink)
Philosophy Goes to the Movies is a new kind of introduction to philosophy that makes use of the movies to explore philosophical ideas and positions. From art-house movies like Cinema Paradiso to Hollywood blockbusters like The Matrix, the movies we have grown up with provide us with a world of memorable images, events and situations that can be used to illustrate, illuminate and provoke philosophical thought.
This book looks at the ways in which The Matrix Trilogy adapts Jean Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation, and in doing so creates its own distinctive philosophical position. Where previous work in the field has presented the trilogy as a simple ‘beginner’s guide’ to philosophy, this study offers a new methodology for inter-relating philosophy and film texts, focusing on the conceptual role played by imagery in both types of text. This focus on the figurative enables a new-found appreciation of (...) the liveliness of philosophical writing and the multiple philosophical dimensions of Hollywood films. The book opens with a critical overview of existing philosophical writing on The Matrix Trilogy and goes on to draw on adaptation theory and feminist philosophy in order to create a new methodology for interlinking philosophical and filmic texts. Three chapters are devoted to detailed textual analysis of the films, tracing the ways in which the imagery that dominates Baudrillard’s writing is adapted and transformed by the trilogy’s complex visuals and soundtrack. The conclusion situates the methodology developed throughout the book in relation to other approaches currently emerging in the new field of Film-Philosophy. The book’s multi-disciplinary approach encompasses Philosophy, Film Studies and Adaptation Theory and will be of interest to undergraduates and postgraduates studying these subjects. It also forms part of the developing interdisciplinary field of Film-Philosophy. The detailed textual analysis of The Matrix Trilogy will also be of interest to anyone wishing to deepen their understanding of the multi-faceted nature of this seminal work. (shrink)
The Philosopher at the End of the Universe demonstrates how anyone can grasp the basic concepts of philosophy while still holding a bucket of popcorn. Mark Rowlands makes philosophy utterly relevant to our everyday lives and reveals its most potent messages using nothing more than a little humor and the plotlines of some of the most spectacular, expensive, high-octane films on the planet. Learn about: The Nature of Reality from The Matrix , Good and Evil from Star Wars (...) , Morality from Aliens , Personal Identity from Total Recall , The Mind-Body dilemma from Terminator , Free Will from Minority Report , Death and the Meaning of Life from Blade Runner , and much more. A search for knowledge about ourselves and the world around us with a star-studded cast that includes: Tom Cruise, Plato, Harrison Ford, Immanuel Kant, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigourney Weaver, Rene? Descartes, and Keanu Reeves. Rowlands anchors his discussions in easily understood everyday terms and relates them in a manner easy to identify with. Interspersed with a ready joke or two, he wonderfully explains why those SciFi movies we love so much are much deeper than they appear to be on the surface. Mark Rowlands's entertaining and stimulating guide is perfect for anyone searching for knowledge of the world around us. If Keanu can understand Descartes surely everyone can. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction Part One. The Spectacular Life of Spider-Man? 1. Does Peter Parker Have a Good Life? Neil Mussett 2. What Price Atonement? Peter Parker and the Infinite Debt Taneli Kukkonen "My Name is Peter Parker": Unmasking the Right and the Good Mark D. White Part Two. Responsibility-Man 4. "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility": Spider-Man, Christian Ethics, and the Problem of Evil Adam Barkman 5. Does Great Power Bring Great Responsibility? Spider-Man and the Good Samaritan J. (...) Keeping 6. With Great Power Comes Great Culpability: How Blameworthy is Spider-Man for Uncle Ben's Death? Philip Tallon Part Three. Spider-Sense and the Self 7. Why is My Spider-Sense Tingling? Andrew Terjesen 8. Red or Black: Perception, Identity and Self Meaghan P. Godwin 9. With Great Power: Heroism, Villainy, and Bodily Transformation Mark K. Spencer Part Four. Arachnids "R" Us: Technology and the Human, All Too Human 10. Transhumanism: Or, Is It Right to Make a Spider-Man? Ron Novy 11. Maximum Clonage: What the Clone Saga Can Teach Us About Human Cloning Jason Southworth and John Timm Part Five. Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man 12. Justice versus Romantic Love: Can Spider-Man Champion Justice and Be with Mary Jane at the Same Time? Charles Taliaferro and Tricia Little 13. Friendship, and Being Spider-Man Tony Spanakos 14. Spidey's Tangled Web of Obligations: Fighting Friends and Dependents Gone Bad Christopher Robichaud Part Six. The Amazing Speaking Spider: Jokes, Stories, and the Choices We Make 15. The Quipslinger: The Morality of Spider-Man's Jokes Daniel P. Malloy 16. The Sound and Fury Behind "One More Day" Marks D. White 17. Spider-Man and the Importance of Getting Your Story Straight Jonathan J. Sanford Contributors Index . (shrink)
Introduction -- How orphans believe: Deleuze, national cinema and Majidi's The color of paradise. Deleuze: on realism and movement-Image -- Deleuze: neorealism (and a brief analysis of Kiarostami's life and nothing more) -- Majidi: The color of paradise -- Deleuze and Majidi: the faith of Mohammad -- "What are filmmakers for in needy times?" On Heidegger and Kiarostami's Taste of cherry -- An overview of Kiarostami's Taste of cherry and the question of the medium -- Heidegger on art and truth (...) -- Heidegger and Kiarostami -- Committed perception: Merleau-Ponty and Children of heaven -- Carroll on emotions -- Merleau-Ponty and embodied Imagination -- Censorship and Children of heaven -- Perception and ideology. Regarding you: Lacanian gaze and ethics in Kiarostami's Close-up -- A brief overview of Close-up -- Misreading Lacan's gaze -- The three orders: real, symbolic and imaginary -- The Lacanian gaze -- Gaze in Close-up -- The ethical function of the gaze in Close-up -- Stolen Jouissance: Lacan, feminism and Meshkini's The day I became a woman. A brief overview of The day I became a woman -- Hava: the birth of desire -- From Hava to Ahoo: from demand to desire and jouissance -- Traversing the fantasy: from Hoora to Meshkini -- Meshkini: the fourth woman of the story -- Deafening silence: Bahman Ghobadi's Turtles can fly and marginal politics -- Bahman Ghobadi and Turtles can fly -- The abject -- Can Ghobadi speak? National cinema and national mission, once again -- Hegemonic movement: on the way to the Green Movement -- The future of Iranian cinema is the future of the Green Movement. (shrink)
Introduction : schizoanalysis, digital screens and new brain circuits -- Schizoid minds, delirium cinema and powers of machines of the invisible -- Illusionary perception and powers of the false -- Surveillance screens and powers of affect -- Signs of time : meta/physics of the brain-screen -- Degrees of belief : epistemology of probabilities -- Powers of creation : aesthetics of material-force -- The open archive : cinema as world-memory -- Divine in(ter)vention : micropolitics and resistance -- Logistics of perception 2.0 (...) : multiple screens as affective weapons -- Conclusion : the neuro-image : brain-screens from the future. (shrink)
This book explores Cavell’s writings along converging lines of thought rather than in isolated categories. The author claims that, after Cavell’s celebrated reading of King Lear turned into a nightmarish meditation on Vietnam, he found a more audible voice. Noting that Cavell’s keen ear for the expressive power of ordinary language makes him both a first-rate literary artist and a compelling philosopher of the everyday, he catches what holds Cavell’s manifold interests together. Here the poetry of ideas and presence of (...) mind that animate Cavell’s writing receive readings attuned to the spirit of their composition and its enlivening powers. (shrink)
Introduction: why did philosophy go to the movies? -- The analytic-cognitivist turn. The empire strikes back: critiques of "grand theory" -- The rules of the game: new ontologies of film -- Adaptation: philosophical approaches to narrative -- From cognitivism to film-philosophy. A.I.: cognitivism goes to the movies -- Bande à part: Deleuze and Cavell as film-philosophers -- Scenes from a marriage: film as philosophy -- Cinematic thinking. Hollywood in trouble: David Lynch's Inland empire -- "Chaos reigns": anti-cognitivism (...) in Lars von trier's Antichrist -- Song of the earth: cinematic romanticism in Malick's The new world -- Coda: "the six most beautiful minutes in the history of cinema". (shrink)
The Matrix trilogy is unique among recent popular films in that it is constructed around important philosophical questions--classic questions which have fascinated philosophers and other thinkers for thousands of years. Editor Christopher Grau here presents a collection of new, intriguing essays about some of the powerful and ancient questions broached by The Matrix and its sequels, written by some of the most prominent and reputable philosophers working today. They provide intelligent, accessible, and thought-provoking examinations of the philosophical issues that support (...) the films. Philosophers Explore The Matrix includes an introduction that surveys the use of philosophical ideas in the film. Topics that the contributors tackle include: how a collaborative dream could differ from hallucination, the difference between the Matrix and the "real" world; why living in the Matrix would be considered "bad"; the similarities between the Matrix and Plato's Cave; the moral status of artificially created beings, whether one can behave immorally in illusory circumstances, and the true nature of free will and responsibility. This volume also includes an appendix of classic philosophical writing on these issues by Plato, Berkeley, Descartes, Putnam, and Nozick. Philosophers Explore The Matrix will fascinate any fan of the films who wants to delve deeper into their themes, as well as any student of philosophy who desires an accessible entry into this challenging and profoundly vital world of ideas. (shrink)
In Projecting a Camera, film theorist Edward Branigan offers a groundbreaking approach to understanding film theory. Why, for example, does a camera move? What does a camera "know"? (And when does it know it?) What is the camera's relation to the subject during long static shots? What happens when the screen is blank? Through a wide-ranging engagement with Wittgenstein and theorists of film, he offers one of the most fully developed understandings of the ways in which the camera operates in (...) film. With its thorough grounding in the philosophy of spectatorship and narrative, Projecting a Camera takes the study of film to a new level. With the care and precision that he brought to Narrative Comprehension and Film , Edward Branigan maps the ways in which we must understand the role of the camera, the meaning of the frame, the role of the spectator, and other key components of film-viewing. By analyzing how we think, discuss, and marvel about the films we see, Projecting a Camera, offers insights rich in implications for our understanding of film and film studies. (shrink)
Projecting Illusion offers a systematic analysis of the impression of reality in the cinema and the pleasure it gives to the film spectator. Film provides a compelling experience that can be considered as a form of illusion akin to the experience of day-dream and dream. Examining the concept of illusion and its relationship to fantasy in the experience of visual representation, Richard Allen situates his explanation within the context of an analytical criticism of contemporary film and critical theory. He argues (...) that many contemporary film theorists correctly identify the significance of the impression of reality, although their explanation of it is incorrect because of an invalid philosophical understanding of the relationship between the mind, representation and reality. Offering a clear presentation and critique of the central arguments of contemporary film and critical theory, Allen also touches on fundamental issues in current discourses of philosophy, art history and feminist theory. (shrink)
In the first essay of this book, Stanley Cavell characterizes philosophy as a "willingness to think not about something other than what ordinary human beings think about, but rather to learn to think undistractedly about things that ordinary human beings cannot help thinking about, or anyway cannot help having occur to them, sometimes in fantasy, sometimes as a flash across a landscape." Fantasies of film and television and literature, flashes across the landscape of literary theory, philosophical discourse, and French (...) historiography give Cavell his starting points in these twelve essays. Here is philosophy in and out of "school," understood as a discipline in itself or thought through the works of Shakespeare, Molière, Kierkegaard, Thoreau, Brecht, Makavejev, Bergman, Hitchcock, Astaire, and Keaton. (shrink)
An exploration of the relationship between cinema and existentialism, in terms of their mutual ability to describe the human condition, this book combines analyses of topics in the philosophy of film with an exploration of specific existentialist themes expressed in the films of Fellini, Bergman and Woody Allen, among others.
This book is an innovative attempt by a leading film theorist to locate cinema--from the earliest experiments, via the work of Federico Fellini, Alfred Hitchcock, Roberto Rossellini, Orson Welles and many others, to contemporary European art cinema-- alongside philosophy, painting, geography and travel in terms of a history of modernism. The focal point of Promised Lands is a vast collection of geographical and ethnographic films and photographs made around the world, The Archives of the Planet . Based in Paris, (...) the collection was amassed by a French banker, Albert Kahn, in the 1900s, and for a time it was run by the Professor of Geography at the College de France, Jean Brunhes. The collection is, for Sam Rohdie, an astonishing instance of French modernism comparable to the philosophical work of Henri Bergson. Promised Lands weaves a narrative of speculative and analytical fragments around the rich resources of the collection. Each chapter is named for a real or imaginary place and the sum is a study that, in its interdisciplinary range and its attempt to integrate personal and cultural history, redefines modernism as a shifting geography of artforms, desires, and practices of understanding. (shrink)
"A book well worth reading as its expose of postmoderism has a clarity others would do well to imitate." --Tim Gay in NATFHE Journal Blue Velvet, sex, lies and videotape, Do the Right Thing, and Wall Street are just some of the provocative films that Denzin explores for their portrayal of the postmodern self. He examines the basic thesis that members of the contemporary world are voyeurs who, adrift in a sea of symbols, recognize and anchor themselves through cinema and (...) television. He skillfully weaves this idea back and forth between two kinds of texts: social theory, including poststructuralism, postmodernism, feminism, and marxism; and cinematic representations of life in modern America. The result is a solid assertion that postmodernism has shaped a dramaturgical society where the image has tragically replaced reality. Denzin offers a powerful reading of postmodern American society and the cinematic selves, however distorted, that inhabit this fantasy world. At the same time, he outlines the main contours of postmodern sociology and a postmodern sociological imagination that is responsive to the current historical moment. Images of Postmodern Society will play a key role in understanding the powerful relationship between postmodernism and the cinema for upper level graduates, gradate students, and contemporary scholars of cultural studies, communications, political science, anthropology, sociology, education, history, literary and cinema studies. "The book could be usefully incorporated into undergraduate sociology courses, particularly those that consider media and society, where it might serve as a basis for further discussion and examination of some important issues." --Journal of Communication "Images of Postmodern Society is a good book on two different levels. First, Denzin advances his own theory of postmodernism and, more specifically, of what he calls the "postmodern self," that is interesting and provocative. Second, this is one of the few books on postmodernity that is truly practical, in the sense that the book would be quite a good text to use in courses on the subject, whether they be in philosophy, sociology, film and media studies, cultural studies, and perhaps even anthropology. . . . I would certainly like to use the book for this purpose myself, and I would recommend the book for that purpose to colleagues in the departments mentioned." --Bill Martin, Philosophy Department, DePaul University "Denzin uncovers a profoundly important tension in postmodern culture . . . His work, then, demonstrates that the 'abundance of meaning' found in these films lies in the collision of modernist and postmodernist depictions of cultural practice." --Contemporary Sociology "Norman Denzin, one of the most interesting theorists and ethnographers in American sociology, has turned his critical eye to postmodern theory and contemporary American culture and society. Revitalizing Mills' sociological imagination, Denzin addresses the relations between Hollywood films of the 1980s, their constructions of self, and the structures of lived experience. He offers a postmodern sociology which addresses the increasingly conservative basis of postmodern ideologies of race, class, and gender. It offers an original postmodern critique of the postmodern. Images of Postmodern Society should be and will be widely read and discussed." --Larry Grossberg, University of Illinois. (shrink)
In Film and Phenomenology, Allan Casebier develops a theory of representation first indicated in the writings of the father of phenomenology, Edmund Husserl, and then applies it to the case of cinematic representation. This work provides one of the clearest expositions of Husserl's highly influential but often obscure thought. It also demonstrates the power of phenomenology to illuminate the experience of the art form unique to the twentieth-century cinema. Film and Phenomenology is intended as an antidote to all hitherto existing (...) theories about the nature of cinematic representation, whether issuing from classic sources such as the film theory of Andre Bazin or the post-structuralist synthesis of Lacanian psychoanalysis, Barthesian textual analysis and Metzean cine-semiotics. Casebier shows how a phenomenological account of representation will further the aims of any film theory. Developing a viable feminist film theory, legitimizing the documentary, answering the challenge of Derridean deconstruction, properly theorizing narrativity, Film and Phenomenology argues that theory of film must be Realist both with respect to epistemology and ontological issues. In this way, this work runs contrary to the whole course of contemporary film theory which has been deeply anti-Realist. (shrink)
A selection of essays written by one of the leading critics of film over the last two decades, this volume examines theoretical aspects of film and television through penetrating analyses of such genres as soap opera, documentary, comedy, and such topics as 'sight gags', film metaphor, point-of-view editing, and movie music. Throughout, individual films are considered in depth. Carroll's essays, moreover, represent the cognitivist turn in film studies, containing in-depth criticism of existing approaches to film theory, and heralding a new (...) approach. (shrink)