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With the rise of review sites and social media, films today, as soon as they are shown, immediately become the topic of debates on their merits not only as entertainment, but also as serious forms of artistic expression. Philosopher Robert B. Pippin, however, wants us to consider a more radical proposition: film as thought, as a reflective form. Pippin explores this idea t With the rise of review sites and social media, films today, as soon as they are shown, immediately become the topic of debates on their merits not only as entertainment, but also as serious forms of artistic expression. Philosopher Robert B. Pippin, however, wants us to consider a more radical proposition: film as thought, as a reflective form. Pippin explores this idea through a series of perceptive analyses of cinematic masterpieces, revealing how films can illuminate, in a concrete manner, core features and problems of shared human life. Filmed Thought examines questions of morality in Almodóvar’s Talk to Her, goodness and naïveté in Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt, love and fantasy in Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows, politics and society in Polanski’s Chinatown and Malick’s The Thin Red Line, and self-understanding and understanding others in Nicholas Ray’s In a Lonely Place and in the Dardennes brothers' oeuvre. In each reading, Pippin pays close attention to what makes these films exceptional as technical works of art (paying special attention to the role of cinematic irony) and as intellectual and philosophical achievements. Throughout, he shows how films offer a view of basic problems of human agency from the inside and allow viewers to think with and through them. Captivating and insightful, Filmed Thought shows us what it means to take cinema seriously not just as art, but as thought, and how this medium provides a singular form of reflection on what it is to be human.


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With the rise of review sites and social media, films today, as soon as they are shown, immediately become the topic of debates on their merits not only as entertainment, but also as serious forms of artistic expression. Philosopher Robert B. Pippin, however, wants us to consider a more radical proposition: film as thought, as a reflective form. Pippin explores this idea t With the rise of review sites and social media, films today, as soon as they are shown, immediately become the topic of debates on their merits not only as entertainment, but also as serious forms of artistic expression. Philosopher Robert B. Pippin, however, wants us to consider a more radical proposition: film as thought, as a reflective form. Pippin explores this idea through a series of perceptive analyses of cinematic masterpieces, revealing how films can illuminate, in a concrete manner, core features and problems of shared human life. Filmed Thought examines questions of morality in Almodóvar’s Talk to Her, goodness and naïveté in Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt, love and fantasy in Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows, politics and society in Polanski’s Chinatown and Malick’s The Thin Red Line, and self-understanding and understanding others in Nicholas Ray’s In a Lonely Place and in the Dardennes brothers' oeuvre. In each reading, Pippin pays close attention to what makes these films exceptional as technical works of art (paying special attention to the role of cinematic irony) and as intellectual and philosophical achievements. Throughout, he shows how films offer a view of basic problems of human agency from the inside and allow viewers to think with and through them. Captivating and insightful, Filmed Thought shows us what it means to take cinema seriously not just as art, but as thought, and how this medium provides a singular form of reflection on what it is to be human.

31 review for Filmed Thought: Cinema as Reflective Form

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nat

    Most of the movies Pippin covers in here I found hard to parse when seeing them for the first time, especially Johnny Guitar and Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt. I think it takes a Hegelian with a comprehensive view of mind and society to make sense of those movies. And Pippin is just great at seeing consequential details that are easy to miss, like the fact that Jimmy Stewart's character in Rear Window, who is a photographer never takes a photo of Thorwald's apartment even though he's constantly Most of the movies Pippin covers in here I found hard to parse when seeing them for the first time, especially Johnny Guitar and Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt. I think it takes a Hegelian with a comprehensive view of mind and society to make sense of those movies. And Pippin is just great at seeing consequential details that are easy to miss, like the fact that Jimmy Stewart's character in Rear Window, who is a photographer never takes a photo of Thorwald's apartment even though he's constantly looking at it through a camera with a huge telephoto lens, or that most of the voiceover in Malick's The Thin Red Line isn't the voice of any major character (though they all seem to have some generic southern accent), but a minor character we only briefly see on the ship (p. 214). I started reading this back in January, before the pandemic, and waited to finish it until I had seen Almodovar's Talk to Her and some movies by the Dardenne brothers. I saw the Almodovar, but the Dardenne brothers' movies sound too tough to watch right now, so I read that chapter and will file them away for when I'm not filled with dread about the end of all social connection.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alda

  3. 5 out of 5

    rêveur d'art

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kate Gabrielle

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lia Palios

  6. 4 out of 5

    chateau no more

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chris Bing

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    Luke Lyman

  9. 4 out of 5

    Stanley Sharpey

  10. 4 out of 5

    Gonzalo

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amir

  12. 5 out of 5

    motobass4321

  13. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

  14. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Lang

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tober Corrigan

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ana Silva

  17. 4 out of 5

    Matheus Carvalho

  18. 5 out of 5

    dilby

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kimon Mrkts

  20. 4 out of 5

    Christine Carroll

  21. 4 out of 5

    Benedek Vasák

  22. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Beres

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kai Sunde

  24. 4 out of 5

    James Widdicombe

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tristan Dearden

  26. 4 out of 5

    Marta

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bilgesu Şişman

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Egersdoerfer

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jared

  30. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  31. 5 out of 5

    Alex Riedel

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