This article modifies philosopher Tamar Szabó Gendler's theory of imaginative resistance in order to make it applicable to film and analyze a distinctively adverse kind of resistant response to James Cameron's Avatar (2009). Gendler's theory, as she states it, seeks to explain resistance to literary stories in a straightforwardly cognitivist, but narrowly rationalistic fashion. This article introduces elements from recent work at the intersection of philosophy of film and the emotions to augment Gendler's theory so that it can be used to explain why some viewers hesitate or even refuse to imagine some cinematic fictional worlds. The method used is analytic philosophy of film. The analysis reveals that some viewers are cognitively impoverished with regard to imagining race in general: they will likely have extreme difficulty in centrally imagining racially "other" characters, which also bodes ill for their real-world prospects for moral engagements concerning race.
This article explores interactions with difference, highlighting what I call the “generosity paradox,” a term that refers to how we suspend disbelief and certainty in favor of a constructed potentiality not limited by preexistent knowledge or categories of authenticity and legitimacy. Touching on overlapping concepts from rhetoric, philosophy, gender studies, disability studies, and queer theory, the discussion explicates fictional encounters with radical alterity in the film Her (Spike Jonze, 2013) to show that attempted respite from frustrating, confusing, and frightening interactions limits our voice, undermines difference, and favors a unifying persuasive intent, which more likely than not involves an attempt to change Others rather than allowing our mutual differences to generatively remain.
Skepticism, even hostility, about the relevance of the natural sciences to the humanities has been the orthodoxy for several decades—a position finding support from otherwise disparate traditions and philosophies, including that of the late Wittgenstein, and post-structuralism. What, then, of the ambitions of those counter-movements within the humanities, like cognitive film theory, which have actively turned to scientific knowledge as a resource in exploring certain aspects of the arts and culture? This article examines emotional expression and experience in relation to film, testing the hypothesis that different theories of emotion, and in particular scientifically grounded theories of emotion, will yield different implications about both emotional expression in film, and our emotional response to films. To concretize the argument, this article offers an analysis of a sequence from Heimat 3, contextualized by a consideration of various factors that make the series as a whole a particularly illuminating case study.
Todd Berliner's Hollywood Aesthetic advances an original perspective on Hollywood filmmaking by insisting on its fundamentally aesthetic character, and exploring its particular aesthetic features with the tools of neoformalist film analysis, cognitive psychology, and the philosophy of art. I focus on two of the book's most ambitious claims: a) that appreciation of the style of Hollywood films can play an important role in our experience of them, over and above its role in representing and expressively dramatizing narrative elements; and b) that the ideological dimension of Hollywood filmmaking serves its aesthetic purposes, rather than vice versa. I conclude by noting a common root to the resistance likely to greet Berliner's two bold inversions of conventional wisdom on narrative, style, aesthetics, and ideology.
Paul Taberham and Kaitlin Brunick
Noël Carroll, Minerva’s Night Out: Philosophy, Pop Culture, and Moving Pictures (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2013), x + 358 pp., $29.95 (paper). ISBN: 978-1-4051-9389-4. Reviewed by Paul Taberham The endorsements on the back cover of
On What We Can Learn
Laura T. Di Summa
, criticism as practice, and, as mentioned, a philosophy of criticism. By no means do I intend to address these ramifications here, and there is little I will say with regard to both theories within criticism and its history. This article stems instead from
of Engagement shifts gears to a more traditional humanities approach with contributions from a philosopher with extensive experience writing about film and from three film theorists who frequently engage with and draw upon philosophy in their own
Climate Change and the Cinematic Ethics of Immersive Filmworlds
Ludo de Roo
cinematically foregrounding the natural elements. The scene is driven by and is, quite literally, built on the rich materiality of ancient philosophy's classic elements: it is impossible to think of this hallucinating scene either without the vibrating air or
The Aberrant Movements and Posthumanist Mutations of Body, Identity, and Matter in Lu Yang's Uterus Man
posthumanism according to which “the critical post-human subject [is defined] within an eco-philosophy of multiple belongings, as a relational subject constituted in and by multiplicity, that is to say, a subject that works across differences and is also
dimensions of meaning and experience. Examining a wide range of films, he approaches the issue from the perspective of analytic philosophy and argues that the ways that viewers embody their sense of race through disgust reactions has implications for