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Film as Philosophy

Bernd Herzogenrath

Publication Year: 2017

Film and philosophy have much in common, and books have been written on film and philosophy. But can films be, or do, philosophy? Can they “think”? Film as Philosophy is the first book to explore this fascinating question historically, thematically, and methodically.

Bringing together leading scholars from universities across the globe, Film as Philosophy presents major new research that leads film studies and philosophy into a productive dialogue. It provides a uniquely sweeping, historical overview of the confluence of film and philosophy for more than a century, considering films from Jean Renoir, Lars von Trier, Jørgen Leth, David Lynch, Michael Haneke, and others; the written works of filmmakers who also theorized on the medium, including Sergei Eisenstein and Jean Epstein; and others who have written on cinema, including Hugo Münsterberg, Béla Balázs, André Bazin, Henri Bergson, Gilles Deleuze, Stanley Cavell, Alain Badiou, Jacques Rancière, and many more. 

Representing a major step toward establishing a media philosophy that puts the status, role, and function of film into a new perspective, Film as Philosophy removes representational techniques from the center of inquiry, replacing these with the medium’s ability to “think.” Hence it accords film with “agency,” and the dialogue between it and philosophy (and even neuroscience) is negotiated anew.

Contributors: Nicole Brenez, U of Paris 3–Sorbonne; Elisabeth Bronfen, U of Zurich; Noël Carroll, CUNY; Tom Conley, Harvard U; Angela Dalle Vacche, Georgia Institute of Technology; Gregory Flaxman, U of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Alex Ling, Western Sydney U; Adrian Martin, Monash U; John Ó Maoilearca, Kingston U, London; Robert Sinnerbrink, Macquarie U, Sydney; Murray Smith, U of Kent, Canterbury; Julia Vassilieva, Monash U, Melbourne; Christophe Wall-Romana, U of Minnesota; and Thomas E. Wartenberg, Mount Holyoke College.

Published by: University of Minnesota Press

Cover

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Half Title, Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Introduction. Film and/as Philosophy: An Elective Affinity?

Bernd Herzogenrath

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pp. vii-xxvi

Media and thinking are intimately related. Our memory, perception, and cognition are not just a given, as weightless, immaterial processes taking place purely mentally behind the walls of our skull, but also always already rest on a medial basis. As Nietzsche claims, “Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts” ...

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1. Striking Poses: Gesture, Image, and Remake in the Cinematic Bergson

John Ó Maoilearca

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pp. 1-22

According to Gilles Deleuze, “Cinema is Bergsonian.”1 Despite the fact that Henri Bergson critiques the cinematographic mechanism in his magnum opus, Creative Evolution (on account of its movement being one applied to still images rather than being immanent to them), Deleuze correctly realizes how central the moving image nonetheless is to Bergson’s philosophy. ...

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2. Hugo Münsterberg, Film, and Philosophy

Robert Sinnerbrink

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pp. 23-44

It is ironic that Hugo Münsterberg, one of the pioneering intellectual figures in the history of film theory and the philosophy of film, was ignored for the best part of a century, a period during which cinema developed into the defining art form of modern times. Even more striking is that his approach to film theory, already a century ago, ...

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3. Different, Even Wholly Irrational Arguments: The Film Philosophy of Béla Balázs

Adrian Martin

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pp. 45-65

In a recent roundtable discussion organized and published by the highbrow American art magazine October on the topic of a current return to the archives of classical film theory, the scholar Anton Kaes asks a good, provocative question: ...

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4. This Is Your Brain on Cinema: Antonin Artaud

Gregory Flaxman

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pp. 66-89

Poet and critic, sometimes surrealist and sublime schizophrenic, Antonin Artaud has been the subject of vastly greater posthumous interest than he ever enjoyed during his relatively short life. His fame derives primarily from his poetry, plays, letters, and essays—above all, from the revolutionary Theater of Cruelty he developed ...

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5. From Lyrosophy to Antiphilosophy: The Thought of Cinema in Jean Epstein

Christophe Wall-­Romana

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pp. 90-110

Jean Epstein (Warsaw 1897 to Paris 1953) was a cinephile, poet, writer, filmmaker, and philosopher of the cinema. Not only was he among the few in the silent era to consider cinema as an object for thought—a daring position in those days—but he espoused the more radical view that it altered experience, thinking and philosophy, ...

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6. Montage Eisenstein: Mind the Gap

Julia Vassilieva

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pp. 111-131

“The artist may be known rather by what he omits,” as Eisenstein quotes Schiller in a diary entry dated June 20, 1947, almost exactly six months before his death in February 1948.1 The quotation might strike us as incongruous, coming from the master who was never shy to voice his opinion or illustrate his points—in both his directorial work and his theoretical commentaries. ...

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7. André Bazin’s Film Theory and the History of Ideas

Angela Dalle Vacche

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pp. 132-160

André Bazin was influenced by many philosophical figures. This range of influences was no gratuitous eclecticism. Rather, it stemmed from Bazin’s need to develop a critical discourse that would address the impure ontology of the cinema. Because the medium involves nature and culture, it perforce requires insights into art, religion, science, and technology. ...

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8. Strange Topologics: Deleuze Takes a Ride down David Lynch’s Lost Highway

Bernd Herzogenrath

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pp. 161-179

Cinema thinks. Film is a medium of philosophical investigation and exploration. Propositions such as these distinguish Gilles Deleuze from most other film philosophers, granting film an immanent power of thinking much at odds with the idea that film and philosophy are totally different (and sometimes opposed) disciplines, ...

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9. Hurray for Hollywood: Philosophy and Cinema According to Stanley Cavell

Elisabeth Bronfen

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pp. 180-199

In his essay “The Thought of Movies,” seeking to explain how he, as a philosopher, came to start thinking about Hollywood films, Stanley Cavell turns the question around to ask instead: “How is it that someone whose education was as formed by going to the movies as by reading books, gets to thinking about philosophy professionally?”1 ...

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10. Thinking Cinema with Alain Badiou

Alex Ling

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pp. 200-218

Alain Badiou is, by any measure, one of the most original and exciting voices in continental philosophy today. His ambitious project (which involves not only a wholesale rethinking of ontology and phenomenology but also a radical reconfiguring of the place of philosophy itself) has moreover gained considerable currency in Anglophone academia in recent years. ...

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11. Thinking as Feast: Raymonde Carasco

Nicole Brenez

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pp. 219-240

The literary and cinematic work of the French philosopher and filmmaker Raymonde Carasco-Hébraud (1939–2009) comprises a thorough analysis of the theoretical and practical circulations, intersections, and interrelations between verbal and audiovisual thinking. Author of sixty articles and three books, two published during her lifetime and one posthumously; ...

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12. Rancière’s Film Theory as Deviation

Tom Conley

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pp. 241-264

If it existed in French, the word that follows might be called a portmanteau fashioned from cartography and deviation: écartographies. The neologism would designate a mix of theory and interpretive practice that could be described as a mapping of errant reflection. Steeped in Hegel and Marx and trained in dialectics, ...

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13. Movie-Made Philosophy

Noël Carroll

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pp. 265-285

Currently, the philosophy of the moving image is flourishing. It has already spawned a number of subfields. First, there is what might be thought of as “the philosophy of the moving image proper”—the domain of inquiry where the classic questions of philosophy, including those of ontology, epistemology, and ethics, are applied to the case of the moving image. ...

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14. “Not Time’s Fool”: Marriage as an Ethical Relationship in Michael Haneke’s Amour

Thomas E. Wartenberg

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pp. 286-305

Amour (2012) is the latest in a series of films made by the Austrian director Michael Haneke that center on a couple whose partners are Georges and Anne. The films are not in any sense sequels, since despite sharing the same names, the characters in the different films are not different versions of the same people, a fact indicated, ...

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15. Experience and Explanation in the Cinema

Murray Smith

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pp. 306-330

From the beginning, cinema has been held up as a unique medium partly by virtue of the kind of attention it seems to demand. Appreciating a film involves a special combination of perception, cognition, imagination, and emotion. Cinema engages us across a wider range of our embodied mental capacities than any other medium of representation, ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 331-332

I offer my gratitude to the University of Minnesota Press, in particular Danielle Kasprzak and Anne Carter, for giving us the opportunity to publish this book and to all the wonderful people who contributed to this volume—it has been a real pleasure. ...

Contributors

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pp. 333-336

Index

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pp. 337-341


E-ISBN-13: 9781452953458
E-ISBN-10: 1452953457
Print-ISBN-13: 9781517900519

Page Count: 384
Illustrations:
Publication Year: 2017

OCLC Number: 975033076
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Film as Philosophy