This essay argues that, despite the potential for an encounter between Stanley Cavell’s thought and found-footage experimental filmmaking, this has not yet taken place because the early Cavell’s picture of films as autonomous “wholes,” together with his "global-holistic" conception of modernism, prevented him from appreciating the expressive possibilities of filmic fragments. I then argue that these impediments to an encounter with found footage recede in Cavell’s later thought, as he moves away from a concern with modernism and as J. L. (...) Austin’s How to Do Things with Words comes to play a greater role in his film writing. In this late period, Cavell no longer conceives of topics of film criticism as filmic “wholes” but rather, more loosely, along the lines of what Austin called “total speech situations.” I claim that the culmination of this turn lies in Cavell’s writing on the expressive powers of collections. In closing, I demonstrate the possibilities of the late Cavell’s thinking about collections and “passionate utterances” for found-footage filmmaking by discussing Mexican experimental filmmaker Bruno Varela’s Monolito (2019), with particular attention to how Varela uses archival footage to fulfill the exigencies of finding new modes of expression at just the moment when a world is receding from view. (shrink)
Legendary director, actor, author, and provocateur Werner Herzog has incalculably influenced contemporary cinema for decades. This essay collection by professional philosophers and film theorists from around the globe offers a diversity of perspectives on how the thinking behind the camera is revealed in the action Herzog captures in front of it.
What sort of thing is film? Before we can answer this question, we’ll have to first determine which things count as “films” in the relevant sense and work out what we ought to look for in an acceptable answer. There is little consensus among philosophers of film on any stage of this process. Here I make the case for a particular understanding of “film” to investigate as well as a particular set of criteria to use in that investigation. I then (...) apply those criteria to a number of available candidate theories. In the end, I do not offer an answer to our question so much as an approach to it, along with some strategies for future research. (shrink)
This handbook brings together essays in the philosophy of film and motion pictures from authorities across the spectrum. It boasts contributions from philosophers and film theorists alike, with many essays employing pluralist approaches to this interdisciplinary subject. Core areas treated include film ontology, film structure, psychology, authorship, narrative, and viewer emotion. Emerging areas of interest, including virtual reality, video games, and nonfictional and autobiographical film also have dedicated chapters. Other areas of focus include the film medium’s intersection with contemporary social (...) issues, film’s kinship to other art forms, and the influence of historically seminal schools of thought in the philosophy of film. Of emphasis in many of the essays is the relationship and overlap of analytic and continental perspectives in this subject. (shrink)
Nella sua riflessione filosofica sull’immagine filmica Gilles Deleuze sembra aver tradotto nella maniera più immediata, ancorché insolubilmente problematica, la presenza di uno spazio e di un tempo che giocano il proprio ruolo su di una forma passiva di soggettività: è proprio ne L’image- mouvement, infatti, che Deleuze mostra come uno dei passaggi più proficui delle sue osservazioni sul cinema sia proprio la crisi di ciò che egli definisce immagine-azione, a favore, invece, di un’immagine-tempo, o situazione ottica e sonora pura. Per (...) quanto attiene specificamente lo statuto filosofico dell’immagine, si può dire che sia proprio questo passaggio che consente a Deleuze stesso di modulare la sua riflessione riponendo maggiore attenzione all’elemento temporale rispetto invece al movimento — concetto dal quale, ciononostante, l’indagine sul cinema aveva preso abbrivio. (shrink)
Films typically provide an experience that is very much like the experience of ordinary motion. It is for this reason that they are commonly known as moving pictures or, slightly more broadly, moving images. Our focus in this chapter is on making sense of that experience. We begin our chapter by exploring the centrality of the experience of movement to film. We turn then to various explanations of that experience. Perhaps film images are transparent and allow us to indirectly see (...) the movement of the objects they depict. Or perhaps certain theories of depiction can make sense of the experience of motion in cinema. In the final section, we address a range of ontological issues raised by the question of cinematic movement. Is the motion of images real movement or merely illusory? What is a cinematic image? (shrink)
The debate about cinematic motion revolves around the question of whether the movement of cinematic images is real. That the movement we perceive in film should be construed as the movement of images is taken for granted. But this is a mistake. There is no reason to suppose that cinematic images of moving objects are themselves perceived to be moving. All that is necessary is to perceive these images as continuously changing images of one and the same object.
In apparent motion experiments, participants are presented with what is in fact a succession of two brief stationary stimuli at two different locations, but they report an impression of movement. Philosophers have recently debated whether apparent motion provides evidence in favour of a particular account of the nature of temporal experience. I argue that the existing discussion in this area is premised on a mistaken view of the phenomenology of apparent motion and, as a result, the space of possible philosophical (...) positions has not yet been fully explored. In particular, I argue that the existence of apparent motion is compatible with an account of the nature of temporal experience that involves a version of direct realism. In doing so, I also argue against two other claims often made about apparent motion, viz. that apparent motion is the psychological phenomenon that underlies motion experience in the cinema, and that apparent motion is subjectively indistinguishable from real motion. (shrink)
Introduction -- Chapter 1: Digital cinema's conquest of space -- Chapter 2: The nonanthropocentric character of digital cinema -- Chapter 3: From temporalities to time in digital cinema -- Chapter 4: The film-spectator-world assemblage -- Chapter 5: Concluding with love.
While some film theorists and philosophers have seen motion as a necessary element of cinema, this view is challenged by a body of avant-garde films which offer little or no movement. These experiments—by film-makers such as Andy Warhol, Larry Gottheim, and Michael Snow—challenge essentialist definitions of film, while simultaneously foregrounding the crucial role played by duration in cinema’s ontology.
Le relief de la vision. Mouvement, profondeur et cinéma dansLe monde sensible et le monde de l’expressionEst-il possible d’établir une connexion entre Le monde sensible et le monde de l’expression et la pensée du dernier Merleau-Ponty? De quelle manière une formulation germinale de la réflexion ontologique serait-elle présente dans le cours de 1953? Et quels sont les éléments de contact et de convergence qui permettent de retracer un tel lien?J’ai l’intention de proposer cette hypothèse à partir d’une considération du thème (...) de la vision dans son rapport au mouvement, esquissant les points dans lesquels ce lien émerge et se montre, tant de manière latente que de manière manifeste. Je voudrais montrer comment, dans le développement de ce sours, d’un côté, le mouvement est défini dans sa valeur ontologique et en vient à exprimer la relation même qui lie le corps percevant et le monde perçu et, de l’autre côté, comme le thème de l’expérience scopique arrive à éclairer le rapport entre perception et expression pour en dévoiler le caractère chiasmatique.Si les recherches menées par Merleau-Ponty dans la Phénoménologie de la perception avaient délimité le rapport d’inhérence et de co-implication entre le percevant et le perçu, les notes de cours du Monde sensible et monde de l’expression en viennent à désigner un «double mouvement» entre le sens et le sensible, ou bien un mouvement d’expression et d’empiètement de l’un dans l’autre, «réciproque» et «à double sens», dans lequel nous pouvons entrevoir une préfiguration du rapport chiasmatique et réversible qui lie le voyant et le visible dans l’ontologie merleau-pontienne de la chair. Il existe une trame qui relie le cours de 1953 avec la réflexion du dernier Merleau-Ponty, particulièrement avec L’œil et l’esprit. J’ai parcouru à nouveau les trois modes, ou plutôt les trois mouvements de la vision qui émergent à l’état germinal dans les notes du cours.- Le thème de la vision en profondeur comme découverte du rapport actif-passif entre le voyant et le visible, lié à la dimension scopique comme ouverture au lien entre vision et désir.- La notion d’œil spirituel que Merleau-Ponty emprunte à Paul Schilder, comme concept clé pour la conception de la vision dans L’œil et l’esprit, qui représente en outre un lien fondamental entre l’expérience scopique et la conception libidinale du corps propre, en syntonie profonde avec le rôle de la pulsion scopique chez Lacan.- Le thème du mouvement dans le cinéma comme point culminant de ces références à la vision, à la profondeur, au relief, et qui émergera à quelques années de distance, avec la peinture, dans L’œil et l’esprit et dans le cours sur L’ontologie cartésienne et l’ontologie d’aujourd’hui.The Depth of Vision: Movement, Depth, and Cinema in The Sensible World and the World of ExpressionIs it possible to establish a connection between The Sensible World and the World of Expression and the final thought of Merleau-Ponty? In what manner would a germinal formulation of ontological reflection be present in the 1953 course? And what are the elements of contact and convergence that allow us to tracing out such a link? I intend to put forward this hypothesis from a consideration of the theme of vision in its relation to movement, sketching the points in which this link emerges and shows itself, both in a latent and a manifest way. I would like to show, in the development of this course, on the one hand, how movement is defined in its ontological value and comes to express the very relation which links the perceiving body and the perceived world, and, on the other hand, how, as the theme of optical experience happens to bring to light the relation between perception and expression in order to unveil its chiasmatic character.If the research conducted by Merleau-Ponty in the Phenomenology of Perception had delimited the relation of inherence and co-implication between the perceiving and the perceived, the course notes of The Sensible World and the World of Expression come to designate a “double movement” between sense and the sensible, or, a “reciprocal” or “bi-directional” movement of expression and encroachment, in which we can catch a glimpse of a prefiguration of the chiasmatic and reversible relation which links the seer and the visible in the Merleau-Ponty’s ontology of the flesh.There is a web which links the 1953 course with the reflection of the final Merleau-Ponty, particularly with Eye and Mind. I have again gone through the three modes, or rather the three movements of vision which emerge in a germinal state in the course notes.- The theme of vision in depth as the discovery of an active-passive relation between the seer and the visible, linked to the optical dimension as the opening to the link between vision and desire.- The notion of the spiritual eye that Merleau-Ponty takes from Paul Schilder, as the key concept for the conception of vision in Eye and Mind, which in addition represents a fundamental link between optical experience and the libidinal conception of one’s own body, which is profoundly in sync with the role of scopic impulse in Lacan.- The theme of movement in film as the culminating point of these references to vision, to the depth, to the being in relief, or depth perception, which will emerge in some distant years, with painting, in Eye and Mind and in the course on Cartesian Ontology and Ontology Today. (shrink)
Cinematic motion is, I argue, a genuine and intrinsic property of some cinematic works and not just a matter of how things look to us. It is an event—an item's change of position—happening prior and external to our sensory responses to movies. I therefore defend against common-sense illusionism a minority opinion within cinema studies: that movie viewing normally occasions veridical perceptions of a kind of objective displacement. I also dispute another version of anti-illusionist realism about cinematic motion, the implication that (...) cinematic motion, like colour, is a response-dependent property. The impression of motion, I contend, is not produced by the visual system's operations. It is a sensory representation of a physical property of a particular type of external object. (shrink)
Gregory Currie, arguing against recent psychoanalytic and semiotic film theory, has defended various realist theses about film. The strongest of these is that ‘weak illusionism’—the view that the motion of film images is an illusion—is false. That is, Currie believes film images really do move. In this paper I defend the common-sense position of weak illusionism, firstly by showing that Currie underestimates the power of some arguments for it, especially one based on the mechanics of projection, and secondly by showing (...) that film images exhibit neither garden-variety motion, nor a special response-dependent kind. (shrink)
Projecting Illusion offers a systematic analysis of the impression of reality in the cinema and the pleasure it gives to the film spectator. Film provides a compelling experience that can be considered as a form of illusion akin to the experience of day-dream and dream. Examining the concept of illusion and its relationship to fantasy in the experience of visual representation, Richard Allen situates his explanation within the context of an analytical criticism of contemporary film and critical theory. He argues (...) that many contemporary film theorists correctly identify the significance of the impression of reality, although their explanation of it is incorrect because of an invalid philosophical understanding of the relationship between the mind, representation and reality. Offering a clear presentation and critique of the central arguments of contemporary film and critical theory, Allen also touches on fundamental issues in current discourses of philosophy, art history and feminist theory. (shrink)
Preface to the English Edition \ Translator's Introduction \1. Beyond the Movement-Image \ 2. Recapitulation of Images and Signs \ 3. From Recollections to Dreams: Third Commentary on Bergson \ 4. The Crystals of Time\ 5. Peaks of Present and Sheets of Past: Fourth Commentary on Bergson \ 6. The Powers of the False \ 7. Thought and Cinema \ 8. Cinema, Body and Brain,Thought \ 9. The Components of the Image \ 10. Conclusions \ Notes \ Glossary \Index.