Film as Philosophy: Essays on Cinema after Wittgenstein and by Edited by Rupert Read Edited by Jerry Goodenough

By Edited by Rupert Read Edited by Jerry Goodenough

A sequence of essays on movie and philosophy whose authors - philosophers or movie stories specialists - write on a large choice of flicks: vintage Hollywood comedies, battle motion pictures, jap ecu artwork movies, technological know-how fiction, displaying how movie and staring at it could possibly not just remove darkness from philosophy yet, in an enormous experience, be doing philosophy. The booklet is topped with an interview with Wittgensteinian thinker Stanley Cavell, discussing his pursuits in philosophy and in movie and the way they could come together.

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Extra resources for Film as Philosophy: Essays on Cinema after Wittgenstein and Cavell

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5 Rupert Read 31 So a number of the essays in this volume can be read with profit as attempting to understand film(s) not, as is usual in philosophy and film theory, by means of simply subjecting film to philosophical analysis using pre-arranged criteria, criteria alien to films themselves, but rather, beginning from suggestions in Wittgenstein and Cavell, by means of seeking to understand (in part, from examples of films themselves) how we have learnt to find cinema both a natural thing and an inherent source of philosophy and of paradox.

But films by their nature relentlessly – you might even say absolutely – resist this picture. How and why they do so, Cavell finds, is not something one can discover apart from careful criticism of individual movies – what he calls ‘reading’ films. In the spirit of this discovery, I want here at least to begin a reading of David Fincher’s Fight Club, released in 1999. What’s of particular interest to me about this film is the way that it develops a vision of the intimate relationship between reason and passion in terms that appear to have been lifted from the work of two philosophers whose work turns on denying this relationship – one of them, Descartes, the quintessential modern philosopher, and the other, Plato, its avatar in the ancient world.

As a set of methods of questioning whatever can be successfully questioned and being careful not seriously or literally to question anything else. As an unfolding of reason which is reliably self-conscious about both the perennial danger of an overweeningness of reason and the perennial danger of committing oneself to absurdities about ‘the limit of thought’. As a way of clearing the way for films to show us the thinking that they accomplish, and for us to think with and through them, not as a way of substituting for either of those processes.

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