The ‘sampling’ we have already seen in the illustrative mode of filmphilosophy throughout the work of Rowlands, Litch and Falzon was never disavowed: only certain films, or film scenes, or aspects of film scenes, would do to teach philosophy, namely those ones whose text was judged to be philosophical according to extant, non-filmic, philosophical standards. The part of the film-philosophical landscape we are heading into presently has much greater ambitions as regards its interdisciplinarity: here the theory will endeavour to prove itself worthy of film itself, by showing us what film really is, be it in metaphysical essence or in our psychological experience of it. The explicitly ontological approach (the being of film) will be tackled in Chapters 4 and 5 where Deleuze, Cavell and Badiou are engaged; whereas the psycho-epistemological aspect (film-viewing as a form of cognitive process, be it conscious or unconscious) is the object of our enquiry in this chapter and the following one. But we shouldn’t underestimate the moment of this latter engagement. Though it would seem to bear more on empirical method than metaphysical doctrine, on how film ought to be viewed rather than on what film is, the choice of method, as we will see, reflects a theory, more or less explicit, of what film (viewing) really is.
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