Nihilism in Film and Television
A Critical Overview from Citizen Kane to The Sopranos
About the Book
This book explores the idea of nihilism, emphasized by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, through its appearance in modern popular culture. The author defines and reflects upon nihilism, then explores its manifestation in films and television shows.
Among the subjects examined are the award-winning television series The Sopranos and the film noir genre that preceded and influenced it. Films probed include Orson Welles’s masterpiece Citizen Kane, the films of Stanley Kubrick, Neil Jordan’s controversial The Crying Game and Richard Linklater’s unconventional Waking Life.
Finally, the author considers nihilism in terms of the decay of traditional values in the genre of westerns, mostly through works of filmmaker John Ford. In the concluding chapter the author broadens the lessons gleaned from these studies, maintaining that the situated and embodied nature of human life must be understood and appreciated before people can overcome the life-negating effects of nihilism.
About the Author(s)
Kevin L. Stoehr
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: 32 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
Table of Contents
Preface: When Nothing Matters 1
1. Nietzsche, Nihilism, and Existentialism 5
2. The Nihilistic Vision of Film Noir and The Sopranos 27
3. “The On-Going Wow”: Tuning In to Dreams of Waking Life 55
4. The Ambiguity of Horizons: On the Nihilism and Perspectivism of Citizen Kane 67
5. Through the Glass Wall: Welcoming the Stranger inNeil Jordan’s The Crying Game 82
6. When the Legends Die: John Ford and the Fading of Traditions and Heroes 97
7. Kubrick’s Nihilistic Clockwork 137
8. Nihilism as Detached Existence 181
Book Reviews & Awards
- “Highly recommended”—Choice