Understanding art has always been part of philosophy. The way our experience is depicted can change us, so it is important to spend time understanding how art works. I find art, like philosophy, to be a field that resists being given a role by society. Philosophers have constantly served as critics of traditional beliefs and practices. Art plays a similar role, albeit in a very different way. But both philosophers and artists are unhappy being told what they should talk about and do (the street art movement, partially a response to the limits of galleries, is one example). It seems to me this is one reason philosophers write about aesthetics—they want to study how else the role of critic can be performed.
Film is becoming a huge piece of society. (It’s actually been such for a while, but its role is only increasing; worldwide TV and film revenue is expected to increase from $286 billion in 2015 to $324 billion in 2020.) Studying the images and narratives contained in film is important, not just for our understanding of film but for society at large. Similarly, learning how to consume film in a healthy way is a valuable skill for everyone. It is worth it to spend some time thinking about these topics; here are some books and papers that do so.
- Robert B. Pippin, Fatalism in American Film Noir: Some Cinematic Philosophy, University of Virginia Press, 2012.
- Benjamin Fraser, Encounters with Bergson(ism) in Spain: Reconciling Philosophy, Literature, Film and Urban Space, The University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
- Katherine Thomson-Jones, “How to Teach Philosophy of Film,” Teaching Philosophy, 2016.
- Martin Woessner, “What Is Heideggerian Cinema? Film, Philosophy, and Cultural Mobility,” New German Critique, Summer 2011.
- Patricia Pisters, The Neuro-Image: A Deleuzian Film-Philosophy of Digital Screen Culture, Stanford University Press, 2012.
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