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October 1998, Week 2


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F i l m - P h i l o s o p h y <[log in to unmask]>
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 14 Oct 1998 02:03:42 +0000
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                          F  I  L  M  -  P  H  I  L  O  S  O  P  H  Y
                                                         electronic salon
                          Wednesday, 14 October 1998
           The following works have been received and need reviewers:
Christopher Ames, _Movies About the Movies_ (1998)
Andre Bazin, _Bazin at Work_ (1997)
Tom Cohen, _Ideology and Inscription_ (1998)
_Coil_, no. 6, (1998); and, _Coil_, no. 7, (1998)
Norman K. Denzin, _The Cinematic Society_ (1995)
Scott Durham, _Phantom Communities_ (1998)
James Elkins, _On Pictures and the Words That Fail Them_ (1998)
'Gilles Deleuze: A Symposium', _Theory, Culture and Society_ (1997)
Sabine Hake, _The Cinema's Third Machine_ (1993)
Scott McQuire, _Visions of Modernity_ (1998)
Jean Mitry, _The Aesthetics and Psychology of the Cinema_ (1998)
Heide Schlupmann, _Abendrothe der Subjektphilosophie_ (1998)
Bill Viola, _Reasons for Knocking at an Empty House_ (1995)
                          [Further details of these books below.]
                       _Film-Philosophy_ also invites emails from those interested in composing a review of: 
_The Truman Show_, directed by Peter Weir (1998) 
If you would like to review one of these works then please respond as soon as possible to:
                          [log in to unmask]
Do not hit 'reply', or send to this list's address.
A brief statement of interest and experience may aid in the selection process.
Don't forget your postal address.
Length/Deadline for review: 2-5,000 words, 1-2 months after receipt.
Reviews are posted to the salon and published on the website.
Further details:
Christopher Ames, _Movies About the Movies: Hollywood Reflected_ (Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 1998). 'The paradoxes of the Hollywood film about Hollywood are more than simply genre constraints; rather, the paradoxes reveal the nature of Hollywood's -- and America's -- conflicted cultural stance toward its most powerful narrative medium.' 
Andre Bazin, _Bazin at Work: Major Essays and Review from the Forties and Fifties_, trans. Alain Piette and Bert Cardullo, ed. Bert Cardullo (New York and London: Routledge, 1997). 'This collection of Bazin's fugitive writings is the first volume of his work to appear in English in twenty-five years. _Bazin at Work_ includes previously untranslated selections from the four volumes of _Qu'est-ce que le cinema?_ and from such magazines as _Cahiers du cinema_ and _Espirit_. Bazin addresses such significant subjects as film adaptation, CinemaScope, and religious cinema, such prominent filmmakers as Rossellini, Eisenstein, Pagnol, and Capra, and well-known films including _La Strada_, _Citizen Kane_, _Scarface_, and _The Bridge on the River Kwai_.' 
Tom Cohen, _Ideology and Inscription: 'Cultural Studies' After Benjamin, de Man, and Bakhtin_ (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998). '. . . questions the way history, ideology and politics are invoked in contemporary cultural studies . . . this book challenges many of the prevailing methodologies and assumptions of the contemporary critical scene and demonstrates the subtlety and critical power of a more genuinely 'materialist' approach to a wide range of cultural texts.' 
_Coil_, no. 6, 1998; and, _Coil_, no. 7, 1998. '. . . a unique 10 issue series published twice-yearly by Proboscis -- an interface between critical and creative texts and artists' projects within moving-image media, promoting collaborations across diverse cultural disciplines'. 
Norman K. Denzin, _The Cinematic Society: The Voyeur's Gaze_ (London: Sage, 1995). 'What influence does the cinema have on visual culture and social understanding? In what ways are we products of the cinematic gaze? . . . The cinema not only turns its audience into voyeurs, eagerly following the lives of its screen characters, but repeatedly casts its key players as onlookers, spying on other people's lives . . . [Denzin] argues that the cinematic gaze must be understood as part of the machinery of surveillance and power which regulates social behaviour in the late twentieth century'. 
Scott Durham, _Phantom Communities: The Simulacrum and the Limits of Postmodernism_ (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1998). '. . . reconsiders the status of the simulacrum -- sometimes defined as a copy of a copy, but more rigorously defined as a copy that subverts the legitimacy and authority of its model -- in light of recent debates in literature, art, philosophy, and cultural studies . . . [Durham] follows the transformations of the simulacrum, showing how its vicissitudes provide an optic for remapping the postmodern canon . . . [and] offers an account of the role played by the simulacrum as a theoretical concept that assumes varying analytical and ideological valences'. 
James Elkins, _On Pictures and the Words That Fail Them_ (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998). 'In this innovative, interdisciplinary study, James Elkins argues against the assumption that images can be adequately described in words. In his view, words must always fail because pictures possess a residue of 'meaningless' marks that cannot be apprehended as signs. _On Pictures and the Words That Fail Them_ provides detailed, incisive critiques the fundamental notions about pictures: their allegedly semiotic structures; the 'rational' nature of realism; and the ubiquity of the figure/ground relation. Elkins then opens the concept of images to non-Western and prehistoric ideas, exploring Chinese concepts of magic, Mesopotamian practices of counting and sculpture, religious ideas about hypostasis, philosophical discussions concerning invisibility and blindness, and questions on the limits of the destruction of meaning.' 
'Gilles Deleuze: A Symposium', _Theory, Culture and Society_, vol. 14 no. 2, May 1997. ISSN 0263-2764 Including papers by Philip Goodchild, Kenneth Surin, Mariam Fraser, Nick Millett, Rosi Braidotti, and Eric Alliez. 
Sabine Hake, _The Cinema's Third Machine: Writing on Film in Germany 1907-1933_ (Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1993). '. . . reproduces a diversity of perspectives and the intensity of controversies of early German film within the broad context of German social and political history, from the aesthetic rapture of the first years to the institutionalization of film by the national socialist state.' Includes her essay: 'Toward a Philosophy of Film'. 
Scott McQuire, _Visions of Modernity: Representation, Memory, Time and Space in the Age of the Camera_ (London: Sage, 1998). '. . . explores the relationship between technology, society and identity that underpins contemporary 'media culture'. By tracing particular historical shifts as they have intersected with different camera technologies -- photography, cinema, television -- Scott McQuire engages with broad social and political transformations. Focusing on the camera, McQuire offers a useful point of entry for understanding the processes of modernization and the dramatic changes -- perceptual, experiential and epistemological -- that characterize modernity.' 
Jean Mitry, _The Aesthetics and Psychology of the Cinema_, trans. Christopher King (London: The Athlone Press, 1998). '. . . supplies the missing link between classical film theorists like Balacz and Munsterberg and the film semioticians like Metz. Mitry is the apotheosis and grand summation of the psychological and formalist views of film. This one-volume condensation of the classic _Esthetique et psychologie du cinema_ concentrates purely on film matter. Here Mitry discusses topics such as the film image, rhythm and montage, rhythm and moving shots, and the role of time and space in the drama.' 
Heide Schlupmann, _Abendrothe der Subjektphilosophie: eine Asthetik des Kinos_ (Basel and Frankfurt am Main: Stroemfeld, 1998). Chapters: 'Am Leitfaden der Liebe', 'Rettung der Aufklarung', 'Der Mythos der identitat des menschlichen Geschlechts', 'Asthetische Theorie der Macht', and 'Die kinematographische Wende der Wissenschaft'. 
Bill Viola, _Reasons for Knocking at an Empty House: Writings 1973-1994_. edited by Robert Violette in collaboration with the author, Introduction by Jean-Christophe Ammann (London: Thames and Hudson; Anthony d'Offay Gallery, 1995). '. . . recognized internationally for his work in video and sound installations . . . Viola has used innovative multimedia technologies to explore the phenomena of sense perception as a language of the body and avenue to self-knowledge. Drawing on mysticism, poetry, shamanism, Taoism, Sufism and Zen Buddhism, he integrates many disciplines and philosophies to reveal contemporary art's relevance to the modern world and in particular to focus on the connection between our inner and outer lives, on the conception of the self as part of the whole.' 
When I first saw the cinematograph I realised it could offer something new to philosophy. The cinema provides us with an understanding of our own memory. Indeed we could almost say that cinema is a model of consciousness itself. Going to the cinema turns out to be a philosophical experience. Henri Bergson
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