Lost and Beautiful or the (Environmental) Ethics of the Lyric Essay Film

Film-Philosophy 27 (3):464-487 (2023)
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This article contributes to a theory of the lyric essay film by bringing studies of the essay film and lyricism to bear on Pietro Marcello’s Lost and Beautiful (2015). We argue that the lyric essay film delivers its argument by leveraging the tension between words and images, narrative and counter-narrative components, and the (non)human subjectivities (i.e. the director’s, characters’ and camera’s) its text embodies and enacts. These tensions generate interstitial sites from which the ethics and politics of the lyric essay film emerge. Insofar as the lyric essay film is marked by the intrusion of subjectivity in the genre’s argumentative structure, the polyvocality that this intrusion allows in terms of both critical and affective contribution to the film’s argument is what enables the lyric essay film to undermine ideological homogenisation and the naturalisation of situated subjective positions. Moreover, the felt participation of the subjectivity of the camera in the rendering of reciprocal processes of subjectivation becomes ethically meaningful as it embodies a conception of subjectivity as co-determined by otherness. The ethical significance of this interaction is also relevant to contemporary environmental thought, as it maintains that human subjectivities are co-determined by human and nonhuman others.



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Cinema 1: The Movement Image.Gilles Deleuze, Hugh Tomlinson & Barbara Habberjam - 1988 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 46 (3):436-437.

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