The Philosophy of Motion Pictures

The Philosophy of Motion Pictures

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 1405120258

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


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 motion pictures, representation, editing, narrative, emotion and evaluation.

  • Clearly written and supported with a wealth of examples
  • Explores characterizations of key elements of motion pictures –the shot, the sequence, the erotetic narrative, and its modes of affective address

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Cambridge University Press, 1980), especially sections 35—8. In this chapter, we are working out of Wollheim's framework. Walter Benjamin's contrast between film acting and stage acting can be found in his "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," in Illuminations, edited by Hannah Arendt and translated by Harry Zorn (New York: Schoeken Books, 1968). The simplified definition of motion pictures can be found in Alan Goldman, "Specificity, Popularity, and Engagement in the Moving

is a real, response-dependent one if it can be detected by normal viewers in appropriately conditioned circumstances. Color is like this. We say that the American post box really is blue, in the response-dependent sense, if it looks blue to normal viewers in standard lighting; it is not green in standard lighting, nor would we say it was green if we suffused it in a yellow light or if the viewers were jaundiced. Arguably, cinematic motion is real in a comparable, response-dependent way. That the

is an objective appearance, inter-subjectively available to anyone constituted perceptually in the way we are. Cinematic movement is a real, response-dependent property of the shot. That is, our alternatives in this discussion are not limited conceptually to a choice between cinematic movement being metaphysically real and its being illusory. There is also the option that is an objective appearance — real, that is, in a response-dependent way. And if cinematic movement is real in this way, then

these, we say that we see the objects -to which these instruments give us access. We see distant planets through telescopes; molecules through microscopes; oncoming traffic 94 THE MOVING PICTURE through parking-lot mirrors; and enemy vessels through periscopes. These devices augment our visual powers. They are, in this respect, prosthetic devices. They enable us literally to see things we could not see otherwise. Moreover, we do not regard these prosthetic devices as delivering repre­

conjecture that our emotions always, 166 AFFECT AND THE MOVING IMAGE or even very frequently, perfectly match those of the pertinent characters is highly dubious. So, again, the infection model looks like it must be abandoned as a comprehensive picture of our emotive relations to movie protagonists. Indeed, there are certain cases, perhaps many, where the audience member's emotional state can only plausibly be thought to be that of an onlooker rather than one that could correspond to the

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