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New York: Oxford, pp. Deleuze, G. Cinema, Volume 1 and 2. Translated by H.

On the Possibility of Cinematic Philosophy

Tomlinson and B. Descartes, R. Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy. Translated by D. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishers. Eldridge, R.

Screenplays: Crash Course Film Production #1

Projections: The Journal for Movies and Mind 3. CrossRef Google Scholar. Frampton, D. London: Wallflower Books. Gendler, T. New York: Garland.

On the Possibility of Cinematic Philosophy | SpringerLink

Granger, H. Film and Philosophy 8, pp. Kant, I. The Critique of Pure Reason. Translated by N. London: Macmillan. Knight, D. Jones and S. Vice, eds. Ethics in Film. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Le Mi Doeuff,. The Philosophical Imaginary. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Livingston, P. Smith and T. Wartenberg, pp. Mulhall, S. On Film , 2nd edn.

‘Thinking Cinematically before Deleuze’

London: Routledge. Nietzsche, F. Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Cynthia Freeland, for one, argues that it is embodied evil that is horrifying; and that horror-viewing is an opportunity to contemplate evil Daniel Shaw thinks we enjoy identifying with evil, with the monster, that we enjoy the thrill of that forbidden power Another film form grounded in the imagination and in speculative thought is science fiction, which gives vision to our hopes and fears for the future.

How important are the hopes and fears we bring to film?

Philosophy of Film

The philosophical approach to emotion in cinema, with our imaginative sympathy to fiction, suggests that emotion can be shared, that emotion is contagious: films create moods that make certain emotions more likely, suggests Greg M. Smith; and Alex Neill makes a distinction between sympathy and empathy, with empathy involving more direct identification There has been scientific research into the responses of neurons, and how watching an act—real or symbolic—inclines a certain amount of identification, as if we were involved, as if we were performing an act.

Cinema provides news, speculation, imagination, thought—and catharsis. However, the film thinkers David Bordwell and Noel Carroll, two cognitive philosophers, are less interested in stories than many, and are wary of interpretations that involve established narrative explanations, such as those relative to Marx, Freud, or Derrida and their disciples They, Bordwell and Carroll, seem concerned with conventions, attuned to traditional forms and genres.

Whereas, Daniel Frampton encourages attention to cinematic properties, to movement-image and time-image, to how films think; and, while interested in film technique, Frampton remains open to various forms of interpretations, including that of film and social theories Kevin Stoehr delineates the difference between a passive, pervasive nihilism that denies all meaning, and an active nihilism that is used as a critical strategy to destroy old meanings and establish new meaning Film noir is nihilistic, often passively so.

Difference is recurring: Plato evaluated works regarding morality, and Kant evaluated works regarding aesthetics; and philosophers can take either or both positions to one extent or another Films such as Groundhog Day and The African Queen show the possibility of self-correction and self-improvement, morality in action.

In Film and Philosophy: Taking Movies Seriously , forms of social thought—critiques of race, class, and gender—are summarized.

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It is noted as well that regarding class, regarding economic relations, in film, individual aspirations of upward mobility are often affirmed, while group hindrances and group protests are not often sympathetically shown or valued. In terms of the images of women, or of women as objects, there can be negatively reactionary aspects in the films one would expect to be progressive, and liberating aspects in films one might expect to be conservative.

In Silence of the Lambs , women are victims and even the woman police officer must go to a criminal male for help in solving a case. Daniel Shaw asks a provocative question 97 : can feminists describe sexual equality in a way that makes it attractive to all? What is an ideal relationship? Of course, Stanley Cavell is returned to at different points in the text, including in regard to gender.


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It is a focus that can be useful to ordinary people. Yet, Tom Wartenberg sees the class connection between lovers, with class as a binding force Love affairs in film—especially between people from different social groups—allow the audience to face and sometimes move beyond its prejudices.

Comparison, contrast, and choice are all part of intellectual, personal, and social evaluation. Philosophical representations and summaries can be less rigorous than asking—through the evolution of a scenario, through acts and their effects and contemplation—fundamental questions about human existence, according to some thinkers and filmmakers.


  1. The Contemporary Debate.
  2. Mimesis Journals | International Lexicon of Aesthetics | Philosophy of Film.
  3. ‘Thinking Cinematically before Deleuze’.
  4. Bernd Herzogenrath, ed. Film as Philosophy.
  5. We live in a post-truth “Rashômon” world—filmmakers know it, but philosophers don’t?
  6. To the Edge of the World: The Story of the Trans-Siberian Railway!
  7. Pacific : silicon chips and surfboards, coral reefs and atom bombs, brutal dictators, fading empires, and the coming collision of the worlds superpowers.

Experience can educate and corrupt. How do we maintain or regain a sense of possibility, of value? What is it to be human? How far do we accept what we do not know and cannot control? It is a respectable addition to the shelf of books produced on film and philosophy in recent years; and yet, it makes me long to read once more Richard A. Gilmore looks carefully at a film such as The Searchers and finds things many might not see at first glance: it is a movie in which the lead character, Ethan, is fooled by a Comanche trap, and has trouble locating his abducted and presumably assaulted niece, making him a failed or failing hero.

Bibliography

Human beings can be beautiful, intelligent, and true, but are frequently a mess, and that mess shows up in art and some philosophers—such as Richard A. Gilmore in Doing Philosophy at the Movies —are able to untangle that. With evidence found in the film itself, Gilmore speculates that the long journey of The Searchers lead character has been, actually, for self-acceptance, for reconciliation with his own loss and pain and his thoughts of vengeance and murder have been inadequate responses to that pain. With a language of genuine depth and easy splendor, Gilmore shows how there is an idea, a story, an understanding, beneath the obvious story in a film—significant understandings that correspond to, and even expand, established philosophical concerns.

In the seven essays devoted to film exploration in Doing Philosophy at the Movies , Gilmore brings together some distinctive films and illuminates them with the ideas of John Dewey, Martin Heidegger, Nietzsche, Charles Sanders Pierce, Plato, Richard Rorty, and Wittgenstein, among other thinkers.

Gilmore examines the film The Usual Suspects , focused on a search for a great criminal, and also Vertigo : both are films of deception and detection. In the former, a policeman learns late that his is not the only mind, when he himself is outsmarted.