Advertisement

Filmosophy/Film as Philosophy

  • Robert Sinnerbrink
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter offers a critical discussion of the idea of filmosophy or film as philosophy (otherwise called “film-philosophy” or simply “film and philosophy”). I explore the debate surrounding the idea of “film as philosophy”, distinguishing this approach from more traditional philosophy of film, and suggesting that it has a long history going back to key figures in early film theory. I then focus on the seminal work of Stanley Cavell and Gilles Deleuze, often described as the inaugurators of film-philosophy. Finally, I examine recent proposals concerning the idea of “film as philosophy”, which argue for a more transformative relationship between philosophy and cinema, and offer some concluding reflections on how we might respond to some of the objections raised against this approach.

Keywords

Cavell Deleuze Film-philosophy Mulhall Wartenberg 

Bibliography

  1. Allen, Richard, and Murray Smith, eds. 1997. Film Theory and Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Baggini, Julian. 2003. Alien Ways of Thinking: Mulhall’s On Film. Film-Philosophy 7 (3). http://www.film-philosophy.com/index.php/f-p/article/view/745/657
  3. Bordwell, David, and Noël Carroll, eds. 1996. Post-Theory: Reconstructing Film Studies. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
  4. Carel, Havi, and Greg Tuck, eds. 2011. New Takes in Film-Philosophy. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  5. Carroll, Noël. 1998. Film/Mind Analogies: The Case of Hugo Munsterberg. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 46 (4): 489–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. ———. 2008. The Philosophy of Motion Pictures. Malden/Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  7. Casetti, Francesco. 2005. Eye of the Century: Film, Experience, Modernity. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  8. ———. 2012. Philosophical Issues in Early Film Theory. Keynote Presentation for the Film-Philosophy Conference, Kings College London, September 13, 2012. Available online: http://backdoorbroadcasting.net/2012/09/francesco-casetti-philosophical-issues-in-early-film-theory/
  9. Cavell, Stanley. 1979 [1971]. The World Viewed: Reflections on the Ontology of Film. Enlarged ed. Cambridge, MA/London: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  10. ———. 1981. Pursuits of Happiness: The Hollywood Comedy of Remarriage. Cambridge, MA/London: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  11. ———. 1996. Contesting Tears: The Melodrama of the Unknown Woman. Chicago: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  12. ———. 2007. Foreword: On Eyal Peretz’s Becoming Visionary. In Becoming Visionary: Brian de Palma’s Cinematic Education of the Senses, ed. Eyal Peretz, xi–xvii. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Colman, Felicity, ed. 2009. Film, Theory and Philosophy: The Key Thinkers. Durham: Acumen Press.Google Scholar
  14. Deleuze, Gilles. 1986 [1983]. Cinema 1: The Movement-Image. Trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  15. ———. 1989 [1985]. Cinema 2: The Time-Image. Trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Robert Galatea. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  16. ———. 1994 [1968]. Difference and Repetition. Trans. Paul Patton. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  17. ———. 2000. The Brain Is the Screen. An Interview with Gilles Deleuze, trans. Marie Therese Guirgis. In The Brain Is the Screen: Deleuze and the Philosophy of Cinema, ed. Gregory Flaxman, 365–373. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  18. Dulac, Germaine. 1978 [1925]. The Essence of Cinema: The Visual Idea, trans. Robert Lamberton. In The Avant-Garde Film: A Reader of Theory and Criticism, ed. P. Adams Sitney. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Elsaesser, Thomas, and Malte Hagener. 2010. Film Theory: An Introduction Through the Senses. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. Epstein, Jean. 2011. Critical Essays and New Translations, ed. Sarah Keller and Jason N. Paul. Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam Press.Google Scholar
  21. Ffrench, Patrick. 2017. Memories of the Unlived Body: Jean-Louis Schefer, Georges Bataille, and Gilles Deleuze. Film-Philosophy 21 (2): 161–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Frampton, Daniel. 2006. Filmosophy. London: Wallflower Press.Google Scholar
  23. Freeland, Cynthia, and Thomas E. Wartenberg, eds. 1995. Philosophy and Film. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Livingston, Paisley. 2006. Theses on Cinema as Philosophy. In Thinking Through Cinema: Film as Philosophy, ed. Murray Smith and Thomas E. Wartenberg, 11–18. Malden/Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  25. ———. 2009. Cinema, Philosophy, Bergman: On Film as Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Livingston, Paisley, and Carl Plantinga, eds. 2009. The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  27. Mulhall, Stephen. 2002. On Film. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. ———. 2008. On Film. 2nd ed. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Pisters, Patricia. 2012. The Neuro-Image: A Deleuzian Film-Philosophy of Digital Screen Culture. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Read, Rupert, and Jerry Goodenough, eds. 2005. Film as Philosophy: Essays on Cinema After Wittgenstein and Cavell. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  31. Russell, Bruce. 2006. The Philosophical Limits of Film. In Philosophy of Film and Motion Pictures: An Anthology, ed. Noël Carroll and Jinhee Choi, 387–390. Malden/Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  32. Sinnerbrink, Robert. 2011a. New Philosophies of Film: Thinking Images. London/New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
  33. ———. 2011b. Re-enfranchising Film: Towards a Romantic Film-Philosophy. In New Takes in Film-Philosophy, ed. Havi Carel and Greg Tuck, 25–47. Basingstoke/New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. ———. 2013. Early Film-Philosophy: A Dialectical Fable. Screening the Past 38 (December). http://www.screeningthepast.com/2013/12/early-film-philosophy-a-dialectical-fable/
  35. ———. 2014. Film-Philosophy. In The Routledge Encyclopedia of Film Theory, ed. Edward Branigan and Warren Buckland. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  36. ———. 2016. Cinematic Ethics: Exploring Ethical Experience Through Film. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  37. Smith, Murray. 2006. Film, Art, and Ambiguity. In Thinking Through Cinema: Film as Philosophy, ed. Murray Smith and Thomas E. Wartenberg, 33–42. Malden/Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  38. Smuts, Aaron. 2009. Film as Philosophy: In Defence of a Bold Thesis. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 67 (4): 409–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Turvey, Malcolm. 2008. Doubting Vision: Film and the Revelationist Tradition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Vaughan, Hunter. 2012. Mutants We All: Jean-Louise Schefer and Our Cinematic Civilisation. SubStance 41 (3 Issue 129): 147–165.Google Scholar
  41. Wartenberg, Thomas E. 2007. Thinking on Screen: Film as Philosophy. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  42. ———. 2011a. Philosophy of Film. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/film/
  43. ———. 2011b. On the Possibility of Cinematic Philosophy. In New Takes in Film-Philosophy, ed. Havi Carel and Greg Tuck, 1–24. Basingstoke/New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Sinnerbrink
    • 1
  1. 1.Macquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations