Cinematic Contemplation Online: The Art and Philosophy of Life-world Series (2017)

Part of the Digital Culture and Humanities book series (DICUHU, volume 2)


Composed of ten short film episodes shot in Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, mainland China, and the United States of America, Life-world Series (dir. Joni Gutierrez, 2017, 118 min) operates under the aesthetics entailed in the realist film theory of Siegfried Kracauer—anchored in the cinematic realist tropes of the quotidian, the fortuitous, the indeterminate, the flow of life, and the spiritual life itself—in contemplating the phenomenological notion of the life-world (Lebenswelt). This chapter demonstrates how engaging this set of tropes as a basis for film aesthetics fosters insights on our shared Lebenswelt that transcends geographical boundaries.


Film art Realism Phenomenology Realist film theory Siegfried Kracauer. 



The research that led to the current book chapter was supported in part by the University of the Philippines through the PhD Incentive Award given to the author.


  1. Aitken, I. (1998). Introduction. In I. Aitken (Ed.), The documentary film movement, an anthology (pp. 1–68). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Aitken, I. (2001). European film theory and cinema: A critical introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Aitken, I. (2006). Realist film theory and cinema: The nineteenth-century Lukácsian and intuitionist realist traditions. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Aitken, I. (2007). Physical reality: The role of the empirical in the film theory of Siegfried Kracauer, John Grierson, André Bazin and Georg Lukács. Studies in Documentary Film, 1(2), 105–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Aitken, I. (2016). Introduction. In I. Aitken (Ed.), The major realist film theorists: A critical anthology (pp. 1–40). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Armstrong, R. (2007, January 1). Siegfried Kracauer. Metro (Melbourne) (pp. 62–66).Google Scholar
  7. Ayaß, R. (2017). Life-world, sub-worlds, after-worlds: The various ‘realnesses’ of multiple realities. Human Studies, 40(4), 519–542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gander, H. (2017). Self-understanding and lifeworld: Basic traits of a phenomenological hermeneutics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gilloch, G. (2015). Siegfried Kracauer: Our companion in misfortune (key contemporary thinkers). Oxford: Wiley.Google Scholar
  10. Hansen, M. B. (1997). Introduction. In Kracauer, S. (Ed.). Theory of film: The redemption of physical reality (pp. vii–xlv). Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Herzog, W. (Writer & Dir.). (2005). Grizzly man [Motion Picture].Google Scholar
  12. Kracauer, S. (1960). Theory of film: The redemption of physical reality. London, New York, & Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Kracauer, S. (1975). The mass ornament. New German Critique, 5, 67–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Richter, G. (1997). Siegfried Kracauer and the folds of friendship. The German Quarterly, 70(3), 233–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Russell, M. (2006). Husserl: A guide for the perplexed. London and New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
  16. Sieg, C. (2010). Beyond realism: Siegfried Kracauer and the ornaments of the ordinary. New German Critique, 37(1), 99–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Whitehead, A. N. (1925). Science and the modern world. New York: New American Library.Google Scholar
  18. Wils, T. (2016). Phenomenology, theology and “physical reality”: The film theory realism of Siegfried Kracauer. In I. Aitken (Ed.), The major realist film theorists: A critical anthology (pp. 67–80). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Academy of FilmHong Kong Baptist UniversityKowloon TongHong Kong
  2. 2.University of the Philippines Film Institute (UPFI)Quezon CityPhilippines

Personalised recommendations