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Filmed Thought: Cinema as Reflective Form

Filmed Thought: Cinema as Reflective Form

by Robert B. Pippin

Paperback(First Edition)

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Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on December 16, 2019


With the rise of review sites and social media, films today, as soon as they are shown, immediately become the topic of debates on their merits not only as entertainment, but also as serious forms of artistic expression. Philosopher Robert B. Pippin, however, wants us to consider a more radical proposition: film as thought, as a reflective form. Pippin explores this idea through a series of perceptive analyses of cinematic masterpieces, revealing how films can illuminate, in a concrete manner, core features and problems of shared human life.

Filmed Thought examines questions of morality in Almodóvar’s Talk to Her, goodness and naïveté in Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt, love and fantasy in Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows, politics and society in Polanski’s Chinatown and Malick’s The Thin Red Line, and self-understanding and understanding others in Nicholas Ray’s In a Lonely Place and in the Dardennes brothers' oeuvre. In each reading, Pippin pays close attention to what makes these films exceptional as technical works of art (paying special attention to the role of cinematic irony) and as intellectual and philosophical achievements. Throughout, he shows how films offer a view of basic problems of human agency from the inside and allow viewers to think with and through them. Captivating and insightful, Filmed Thought shows us what it means to take cinema seriously not just as art, but as thought, and how this medium provides a singular form of reflection on what it is to be human.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226672007
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 12/16/2019
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Robert B. Pippin is the Evelyn Stefansson Nef Distinguished Service Professor in the John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought, the Department of Philosophy, and the College at the University of Chicago. His most recent books include The Philosophical Hitchcock: “Vertigo” and the Anxieties of Unknowingness and Hegel’s Realm of Shadows: Logic as Metaphysics in “The Science of Logic,” both published by the University of Chicago Press.

Table of Contents

Section I Cinema as Reflective Form

1 Cinematic Reflection
2 Cinematic Self-Consciousness in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window

Section II Moral Variations

3 Devils & Angels in Pedro Almodóvar’s Talk to Her
4 Confounding Morality in Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt

Section III Social Pathologies

5 Cinematic Tone in Roman Polanski’s Chinatown: Can “Life” Itself Be “False”?
6 Love & Class in Douglas Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows

Section IV Irony & Mutuality

7 Cinematic Irony: The Strange Case of Nicholas Ray’s Johnny Guitar
8 Passive & Active Skepticism in Nicholas Ray’s In a Lonely Place

Section V Agency & Meaning

9 Vernacular Metaphysics: On Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line
10 Psychology Degree Zero? The Representation of Action in the Films of the Dardenne Brothers

Works Cited