On (the dangers of) actively forgetting (the tradition of) film criticism
Saturday, July 18th, 4 pm – Lecture Theatre 3, Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee, Scotland
A spectre is haunting film philosophy – the spectre of film criticism... The present foundation of an academic sub-discipline around the hypothesis of a philosophy of film is not without its methodological dangers. Despite a few balanced approaches, film philosophy has been largely establishing itself through the active forgetfulness of a whole tradition, that of film criticism. In the absence of a consensual definition of its range and scope, film philosophy is now negatively defined by its neglect of film criticism’s broad contributions to the knowledge of cinema. Such a naiveté or conscious neglect can nevertheless be considered as a strategic position, since it might allow for the glimpse of a philosophical tabula rasa of cinema, as if cinema’s virginity remained intact to the very late but kind in heart philosopher’s approaches. The corresponding disciplinary open field will then give room for some philosophical pirouettes while at the same time dramatically overlooking the most demanding and creative cinematic works, precisely those the tradition of film criticism was able to establish in the vicinity of thought.
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