The success of movies like The Artist and Hugo recreated the wonder and magic of silent film for modern audiences, many of whom might never have experienced a movie without sound. But while the American silent movie was one of the most significant popular art forms of the modern age, it is also one that is largely lost to us, as more than eighty percent of silent films have disappeared, the victims of age, disaster, and neglect. We now know about (...) many of these cinematic masterpieces only from the collections of still portraits and production photographs that were originally created for publicity and reference. Capturing the beauty, horror, and moodiness of silent motionpictures, these images are remarkable pieces of art in their own right. In the first history of still camera work generated by the American silent motion picture industry, David S. Shields chronicles the evolution of silent film aesthetics, glamour, and publicity, and provides unparalleled insight into this influential body of popular imagery. Exploring the work of over sixty camera artists, Still recovers the stories of the photographers who descended on early Hollywood and the stars and starlets who sat for them between 1908 and 1928. Focusing on the most culturally influential types of photographs—the performer portrait and the scene still—Shields follows photographers such as Albert Witzel and W. F. Seely as they devised the poses that newspapers and magazines would bring to Americans, who mimicked the sultry stares and dangerous glances of silent stars. He uncovers scene shots of unprecedented splendor—visions that would ignite the popular imagination. And he details how still photographs changed the film industry, whose growing preoccupation with artistry in imagery caused directors and stars to hire celebrated stage photographers and transformed cameramen into bankable names. Reproducing over one hundred and fifty of these gorgeous black-and-white photographs, Still brings to life an entire long-lost visual culture that a century later still has the power to enchant. (shrink)
This article sets up a neurophenomenological approach to understanding cinema spectatorship in order to investigate how embodied engagement with technologies of sound and motion can foster a sense of experiential realism. It takes as a starting point the idea that the empirical study of emotive, perceptual, motor, and cognitive processes involved in film spectatorship is impoverished without a phenomenological account of the lived experience under investigation. Correspondingly, engaging with neuroscientific studies enriches the scope of phenomenological inquiry and offers new (...) insights into the film experience. Analysis of diverse films including Interstellar, Leviathan, San Andreas and The Thin Red Line reveals how technological innovations dating from Hale’s Tours to contemporary D-BOX and Dolby Atmos systems have enhanced the audience’s sense of immersion and corporeal investment in the film experience. Building on the research of Vivian Sobchack and Vittorio Gallese, I argue that aesthetic techniques including the use of low frequency sound effects and wearable cameras facilitate shared affective engagement and a form of embodied simulation associated with kinaesthetic empathy and augmented narrative involvement. (shrink)
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.
Providing an alternative to pyschoanalytically based descriptions, this major study presents a unique, new theoretical account of the way emotions and thought patterns interact in creating aesthetic effects in films. Using diverse examples, Torben Grodal shows how films activate effects in the viewer and how these effects are moulded by genres which determine the way in which characters will react in given situations.
Examines the overlap between film and philosophy in three distinct ways: epistemological issues in film-making and viewing; aesthetic theory and film; and film as a medium of philosophical expression. This title available in eBook format. Click here for more information . Visit our eBookstore at: www.ebookstore.tandf.co.uk.
"In this critique of aesthetics and the politics of representation, Taylor demonstrates astonishing breadth and depth in arguing for 'breaking the aesthetic contract' that excludes anything that does not conform to Eurocentric notions of beauty.... it brings to black studies and cultural critique an internationalism that emphasizes the richness of forms of creative expression outside the norms set by European aesthetics. Highly recommended..." —Choice Cultural critic Clyde Taylor exposes the concept of "art" as a tool of ethnocentricity and (...) racial ideology. By examining various texts including ÂThe Birth of a Nation and ÂThe Cotton Club, Taylor demonstrates how rationales of "art" are used to mask personal, class, and cultural biases. Other works such as those by Toni Morrison, Chinua Achebe, and Spike Lee are scrutinized in terms of resistance to the dominant system of aesthetics. (shrink)
This article concerns the distinction between memory-time and information-time, which appeared in Wittgenstein’s middle-period lectures and writings, and its relation to Wittgenstein’s career-long reflection about musical understanding. While the idea of “information-time” entails a public frame of reference typically pertaining to objects which persist in physical time, the idea of pure “memory-time” involves the totality of one’s present memories and expectations that do now provide any way of measuring time-spans. I argue that Wittgenstein’s critique of Augustine notion of pure memory-time (...) entails ipso facto a critique of an influential idea of musical motion, which has been recurring in the work of some major philosophers of music up until the present day. The article connects Wittgenstein’s critical remarks on the confused foundations of such “Augustinian Picture of Music” with his emphasis on the notion of phrasing or characterization in language and music. Wittgenstein’s reversal of Augustinian priorities regarding musical time brings to surface the particularity of expression and the aesthetically “right” in music, evoked by Wittgenstein’s remarks on simultaneity and tempo in music and language. Wittgenstein renders musical simultaneity as enabled by a “protocol” which inheres in musizieren, in the aptly collaborative quest for drawing in significance by means of the phrasing and re-phrasing of a passage in order to characterize it, enabling by means of such comparative investigation meaningful distinctions between right and wrong. (shrink)
_Philosophy of Motion Pictures_ is a first-of-its-kind, bottom-up introduction to this bourgeoning field of study. Topics include film as art, medium specificity, defining motionpictures, representation, editing, narrative, emotion and evaluation. Clearly written and supported with a wealth of examples Explores characterizations of key elements of motionpictures –the shot, the sequence, the erotetic narrative, and its modes of affective address.
The two demonstrate a profound shared passion, a way of literally being one with a medium and speaking about it with a dazzling lyricism interspersed with dryly ironic remarks, fueled by a conviction that inspires them to traverse history. Their point of intersection is obvious. Duras, a writer, is also a filmmaker, and Godard, a filmmaker, has maintained a distinctive relationship with literature, writing and speech."--Cyril Béghin, back cover.
Film Manifestos and Global Cinema Cultures is the first book to collect manifestoes from the global history of cinema, providing the first historical and theoretical account of the role played by film manifestos in filmmaking and film culture. Focussing equally on political and aesthetic manifestoes, Scott MacKenzie uncovers a neglected, yet nevertheless central history of the cinema, exploring a series of documents that postulate ways in which to re-imagine the cinema and, in the process, re-imagine the world. This volume collects (...) the major European ÒwavesÓ and figures ; Latin American Third Cinemas ; radical art and the avant-garde ; and world cinemas. It also contains previously untranslated manifestos co-written by figures including Bolla’n, Debord, Hermosillo, Isou, Kieslowski, PainlevŽ, Straub, and many others. Thematic sections address documentary cinema, aesthetics, feminist and queer film cultures, pornography, film archives, Hollywood, and film and digital media. Also included are texts traditionally left out of the film manifestos canon, such as the Motion Picture Production Code and Pius XI's Vigilanti Cura, which nevertheless played a central role in film culture. (shrink)
Explores film's connections to the other arts and the qualities that distinguish it from them. He explores the cinema's singular aesthetic potential and uses specific examples from a diverse range of films--from Antonioni and Hitchcock to The Searchers and The Bourne Supremacy--to demonstrate the many ways this potential can be realized.
Designed for classroom use, this authoritative anthology presents key selections from the best contemporary work in philosophy of film. The featured essays have been specially chosen for their clarity, philosophical depth, and consonance with the current move towards cognitive film theory Eight sections with introductions cover topics such as the nature of film, film as art, documentary cinema, narration and emotion in film, film criticism, and film's relation to knowledge and morality Issues addressed include the objectivity of documentary films, fear (...) of movie monsters, and moral questions surrounding the viewing of pornography Replete with examples and discussion of moving pictures throughout. (shrink)
Designed for classroom use, this authoritative anthology presentskey selections from the best contemporary work in philosophy offilm. The featured essays have been specially chosen for theirclarity, philosophical depth, and consonance with the current movetowards cognitive film theory Eight sections with introductions cover topics such as thenature of film, film as art, documentary cinema, narration andemotion in film, film criticism, and film's relation to knowledgeand morality Issues addressed include the objectivity of documentary films,fear of movie monsters, and moral questions surrounding the (...) viewingof pornography Replete with examples and discussion of moving picturesthroughout. (shrink)
Emotions play at least three key roles in cinema. First, many motionpictures present highly emotional situations, involving characters who fall in love, who endure unbearable loss, and who become hell-bent on revenge. To make sense of movies, we must identify the emotions that drive their characters. Second, motionpictures seem to arouse emotions. We go to tearjerkers that make us cry, splatter films that make us writhe, and action films that keep us at the edges (...) of our seats. Third, these emotional experiences are, ostensibly, part of cinema’s allure; we value movies that evoke strong feelings. One might summarize these three observations by saying that movie-going involves emotion attribution, arousal, and motivation. Each of these has been a domain of philosophical contestation. How are emotions attributed when experiencing a cinematic fiction? Are genuine emotions really aroused? And do emotional experiences really bring us to the box office? This discussion explores controversies along these three dimensions. (shrink)