Where Film Meets Philosophy: Godard, Resnais, and Experiments in Cinematic Thinking

Overview

Hunter Vaughan interweaves phenomenology and semiotics to analyze cinema's ability to challenge conventional modes of thought. Merging Maurice Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology of perception with Gilles Deleuze's image-philosophy, Vaughan applies a rich theoretical framework to a comparative analysis of Jean-Luc Godard's films, which critique the audio-visual illusion of empirical observation (objectivity), and the cinema of Alain Resnais, in which the sound-image generates innovative portrayals of individual ...

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Where Film Meets Philosophy: Godard, Resnais, and Experiments in Cinematic Thinking

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Overview

Hunter Vaughan interweaves phenomenology and semiotics to analyze cinema's ability to challenge conventional modes of thought. Merging Maurice Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology of perception with Gilles Deleuze's image-philosophy, Vaughan applies a rich theoretical framework to a comparative analysis of Jean-Luc Godard's films, which critique the audio-visual illusion of empirical observation (objectivity), and the cinema of Alain Resnais, in which the sound-image generates innovative portrayals of individual experience (subjectivity). Both filmmakers radically upend conventional film practices and challenge philosophical traditions to alter our understanding of the self, the world, and the relationship between the two. Films discussed in detail include Godard's Vivre sa vie (1962), Contempt (1963), and 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (1967); and Resnais's Hiroshima, mon amour (1959), Last Year at Marienbad (1961), and The War Is Over (1966). Situating the formative works of these filmmakers within a broader philosophical context, Vaughan pioneers a phenomenological film semiotics linking two disparate methodologies to the mirrored achievements of two seemingly irreconcilable artists.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Tom Conley

Where Film Meets Philosophy begs us to think about what we are seeing on the screen and why. Hunter Vaughan compels us to look afresh at Resnais and Godard for the sake of leading film theory in new directions. This book is a rewarding study that brings postwar philosophy into a shared legacy of cinema.

Sam B. Girgus

Vaughan's brilliant book places him on the cutting edge of contemporary studies that blend film and philosophy. Reconstructing and clarifying how film-philosophy renders fresh insight into the revolutionary potential of the moving film image, Vaughan opens a new dimension to thought and action.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231161329
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 2/5/2013
  • Series: Film and Culture Series
  • Pages: 264

Meet the Author

Hunter Vaughan is assistant professor of English and cinema studies at Oakland University. His scholarly interests include the moving image, philosophy, and the environment.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsAcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Where Film Meets Philosophy1. Phenomenology and the Viewing Subject2. Film Connotation and the Signified Subject3. Sound, Image, and the Order of Meaning4. Alain Resnais and the Code of Subjectivity5. Jean-Luc Godard and the Code of ObjectivityConclusion: Where Film and Philosophy May LeadNotesBibliographyIndex

Columbia University Press

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