Author Archives: RLH

Tarkovsky calls film an “unhappy art”

During class on Friday we discussed what it meant for a film to be a work of art and what challenges directors face in trying to make more artful films. To name a few of these challenges: (1) audiences often … Continue reading

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David Lynch talks about “Mulholland Dr.” and refuses to interpret it

Here David Lynch answers questions about his film “Mulholland Dr.” You’ll notice that he avoids interpreting it — or “translating” it — for his viewers because he wants them to experience his film in the way that people experience music. … Continue reading

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Film as an answer to the problem of solipsism?

When we discussed Descartes, I indicated that there are some negative consequences of his project. While his radical doubt allows him to cast aside unexamined beliefs for the purpose of rebuilding knowledge on a firmer foundation, the only claim he … Continue reading

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Pertinent Links, Images, and Movie Suggestions

Photographer Robbie Cooper takes portraits that capture children’s facial expressions as they play video games. Robbie Cooper also has a collection entitled “Alter Egos,” which juxtaposes portraits of gamers with their avatars. Philosophy professor Peg O’Connor uses Plato’s Allegory of … Continue reading

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Online inspiration 1

Need inspiration for how to approach movies philosophically? Here is a great example: A professor uses the film “Groundhog Day” (1993) to philosophize about romantic love and death in this NY Times column.  

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Analyzing the Visual Elements of “Dogville”

Although we discussed the use of light and the unique set of “Dogville” briefly in class, we did not spend very much time on visual analysis. Here are some observations for you to consider: The interactions, dialogue, and most of … Continue reading

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Herds, Packs, and Moral Responsibility

After our discussion on Friday, there are a few ideas that need to be made more explicit. Your analysis of “Dogville” was excellent, but needs more clarification at the conceptual level. Some students attributed the behavior of individuals to a … Continue reading

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Appearances, Philosophy, and Film: Further Thoughts on Plato and “Crimes and Misdemeanors”

One of the big questions that arose in class discussion on Friday was: how are universal moral judgments possible? If morality is established by external laws – political law, religious traditions, or social custom – it is conditional and varies … Continue reading

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Pictures and Moving Pictures: The Significance of Movement in “Wind”

“Wind” (Szél) is a short Hungarian film based on a 1951 photo taken by Lucien Hervé in Agincourt, France. Hervé’s photo shows three middle-aged women looking in the same direction, towards a scene that is not captured by the camera. … Continue reading

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Welcome!

Dear students, Welcome to the class blog for PHIL 133 – Intro to Philosophy of Film. Over the course of the semester, you will be asked to publish five 400-word blog posts and five 150-word comments. Writing and commenting on … Continue reading

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