Thinking Through Cinema: Film as Philosophy / Edition 1

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The collection brings together a wide range of contributors, including both philosophers and film scholars. All of them address the question of whether philosophy can take the form of, or be articulated through, film.

  • A new text for the growing field of philosophy of film, engaging with a variety of questions concerning the relationship between film and art, aesthetics and philosophy.
  • Explores a wide variety of forms and periods of film, such as the avant-garde, continental film and popular American cinema, to present diverse answers to this question.
  • Draws on a range of films, from the works of Hitchcock to Mission: Impossible and Being John Malkovich.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405154116
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/20/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Meet the Author

Murray Smith is Professor of Film Studies at the University of Kent, UK. He is the author of Engaging Characters: Fiction, Emotion, and the Cinema (Oxford, 1995) and Trainspotting (British Film Institute, 2002), and the co-editor of Film Theory and Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 1998) and Contemporary Hollywood Cinema (Routledge, 1998). He has published widely on the relationship between ethics, emotion, and films, including essays in this journal and Cinema Journal.

Thomas E. Wartenberg is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Mount Holyoke College, where he also teaches in the Film Studies Program. He is the author of Unlikely Couples: Movie Romance as Social Criticism (Westview Press, 1999) and The Forms of Power: From Domination to Transformation (Temple University Press, 1990), the editor of The Nature of Art (Wadsworth Publishing, 2001), and the co-editor of Philosophy and Film (Routledge, 1995)and The Philosophy of Film: Introductory Text and Readings (Blackwell, 2005).

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Table of Contents


Murray Smith and Thomas E. Wartenberg - Introduction.

I. The Very Idea of Film as Philosophy.

Paisley Livingston - These on Cinema as Philosophy.

Thomas E. Wartenberg - Beyond mere Illustration: How Films Can Be Philosophy.

Murray Smith - Film Art, Argument, and Ambiguity.

II. Popular American Film: Entertainment and Enlightenment.

Richard Allen - Hitchcock and Cavell.

Lester H. Hunt The Paradox of the Unknown Lover: A Reading of Letter from an Unknown Woman.

Dan Flory - Spike Lee and the Sympathetic Racist.'.

George Wilson - Transparency and Twist in Narrative Fiction Film.

Stephen Mulhall - The Impersonation of Personality: Film as Philosophy in Mission: Impossible.

Daniel Shaw - On being Philosophical and Being John Malkovich.

Christopher Grau - eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and the Morality of Memory.

III: Continental Philosophy, Continental Film.

Andras Balint Kovacs Sartre, the Philosophy of Nothingness, and the Modern Melodrama.

Paul C. Santilli - Cinema and Subjectivity in Krzysztof Kieslowski.

Katherine Ince - Is Sexy Comedy or Tragedy? Directing Desire adn Female Auteurship in the Cinema of Catherine Breillat.

IV: Films as "THEORY": The Avant -Garde.

Jinhee Choi Apperception on Display: Structural Films and Philosophy.

Noel Carroll philosophizing Through the Moving Image: The case of Serene Velocity.

Trevor Ponech - The Substance of Cinema.

Whitney Davis - The World Rewound: Peter Forgacs's Wittgenstein Tractatus.


Selected Bibliography.


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