Film and Knowledge

Essays on the Integration of Images and Ideas


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About the Book

Film has become such an underpinning of art and pop culture that its potential for inspiring serious thought is often overlooked. Our intellectual involvement with film has been minimized as more in the audience want to be merely amazed and entertained.
Essays written by both established and cutting-edge philosophers of film concentrate in this work on the value of film in general and the value of certain films in particular for the study and teaching of ideas. The essays explore such topics as the significance of narrative unity for self knowledge in David Lynch’s Lost Highway and in Paul Schrader’s Affliction; ambiguity and responsibility in Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon; consciousness and cognition in Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane; skepticism in Alfred Hitchcock’s Suspicion and David Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch; language and gender in Neil Jordan’s The Crying Game; Platonic idealism in Chris Marker’s La Jetée; race in Spike Lee’s Summer of Sam; the concept of the imagination in cognitive film theory; and the role of ideology in feminist film theory.
Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Kevin L. Stoehr is an associate professor of humanities and the chair of the Division of Humanities in the College of General Studies at Boston University. He lives in Wells, Maine.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Kevin L. Stoehr
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 249
Bibliographic Info: photos, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2002
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1320-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8190-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments    vii

Introduction    1

Losing the Plot: Narrative Form and Ethical Identity in Lost Highway    17

The Order of Rage: Epistemology and the Need for Knowledge in Paul Schrader’s Affliction    37

The End of Suspicion: Hitchcock, Descartes, and Joan Fontaine    50

Ordinary, Extraordinary, Real and True: Negotiating the Boundaries in Naked Lunch   67

The Anti-Metaphysics Game: A Wittgensteinian Reading of The Crying Game    81

Platonic Themes in La Jetée    95

Persistent Ambiguity and Moral Responsibility in Rashomon    102

Citizen Kant: Themes of Consciousness and Cognition in Citizen Kane    120

Epistemology and the Philosophy of Cinema    141

Is It All in Our Imagination? Questioning the Use of the Concept of the Imagination in Cognitive Film Theory    157

The Epistemology of Race and Black American Film Noir: Summer of Sam as Lynching Parable    174

Feminist Film Theory as Ideology Critique    191

It’s All Ideology, Isn’t It?    205

Film, Feminism, and Ideology: A Reply to Daniel Shaw and Cynthia Freeland    214

About the Contributors   223

Index    227