Critical Theory and Film brings together critical theory and film to enhance the critical potential of both.
The book focuses on the Frankfurt School, most notably the works of Adorno and Horkheimer, as well as associated thinkers.
It seeks to demonstrate that cinema can help critical theory repoliticize culture and society and affirm the theoretical and political impact of cinematic knowledge. After discussing how the Frankfurt School saw cinema as an instrument of capitalism use to promote the cultural and political regimentation of the masses, Vighi then proceeds to demonstrate that critical theory can in fact suggest a different verdict on the progressive potential of cinema.
Each chapter focuses on a key critical theory concept that is explained and redefined through film analysis to unravel the hidden presuppositions and most radical consequences of critical theory.
A unique contribution to the literature, this volume in the Critical Theory and Contemporary Society series offer an innovative reading of film as a critical tool, drawing on the latest developments in Lacanian theory.
About the Author
Fabio Vighi is Senior Lecturer and co-director of the Žižek Centre for Ideology Critique at Cardiff University, UK. He is the author of Žižek: Beyond Foucault (2007, with Heiko Feldner), Sexual Difference in European Cinema (2008), and On Žižek's Dialectics: Surplus, Subtraction, Sublimation (2010).
Table of Contents
Introduction1. The Dialectic's Narrow Margin: Film Noir between Adorno and Hegel Self-limitation in film noirThe noir panorama beyond spectatorshipAdorno goes to HollywoodThe negative and the wholeOntology of self-deception in film noirThe Narrow Margin and double visionsA detour on ideology2. On Critical Theory's Dialectical Dilemma Horkheimer's methodThe Kantian subtextHegel: contradiction (not) resolvedFrom mimesis to utopiaCritical Theory's fetishistic disavowal3. A Configuration Pregnant with Tension: Fritz Lang for Critical Theory Beyond the doubt of appearancesOn polaroids and truthFraming the subjectSublimation in The Blue GardeniaFrom paranoia to repetitionThe gaze in the frameThe art of excremental paintingCoda: the enjoyment of film in theoryReferences