Philosophers on Film from Bergson to Badiou: A Critical Reader

Published by Columbia University Press in 2019.

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Philosophers on Film from Bergson to Badiou is an anthology of writings on cinema and film by many of the major thinkers in continental philosophy. The book presents a selection of fundamental texts, each accompanied by an introduction and exposition by the editor, Christopher Kul-Want, that places the philosophers within a historical and intellectual framework of aesthetic and social thought.

Encompassing a range of intellectual traditions―Marxism, phenomenology, psychoanalysis, poststructuralism, gender and affect theories―this critical reader features writings by Bergson, Benjamin, Adorno and Horkheimer, Merleau-Ponty, Baudrillard, Irigaray, Lyotard, Deleuze, Kristeva, Agamben, Žižek, Nancy, Cavell, Rancière, Badiou, Stiegler, and Silverman.

Many of the texts discuss cinema as a mass medium; others develop phenomenological analyses of particular films. Reflecting upon the potential of films to challenge dominant forms of ideology, the anthology considers the ways in which they can disrupt the clichés of capitalist images and offer radical possibilities for creating new worlds of visceral experience outside the grasp of habitual forms of knowledge and subjectivity.

Ranging from the early silent period of cinema through the classics of European and Hollywood cinema to the early twenty-first century, the films discussed offer a vivid sense of these philosophers’ concepts and ideas, casting new light on the history of cinema. This reader is an essential and valuable resource for a wide range of courses in film and philosophy.

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