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1. Film and Philosophy: Volume > 26
Laura T. Di Summa Orcid-ID

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2. Film and Philosophy: Volume > 26
C. A. York Orcid-ID

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Emerald Fennell’s debut feature Promising Young Woman (2020) incisively examines sexual assault, misogyny, and the culture of complicity that continues to perpetuate `violence against women. This article will establish Fennell’s aptitude as a filmmaker in condemning the pervasive forces of patriarchal social order in harmony with Kate Manne’s account of structural misogyny analyzed in Down Girl (2017) and Entitled (2020). Fennell’s subversion of genre standards demonstrates how the actions of individuals, separate from the perpetrator, lead to additional acts of harm, and addresses the ever-present reality of male violence which the feminist-hero is, ultimately, unable to surmount. Despite arguments that Promising Young Woman has not met the expectations for change the me-too movement inspired, Fennell challenges conventions to expose misogyny and male violence asking that future feminist filmgoers consider a new way forward.
3. Film and Philosophy: Volume > 26
Nicholas Whittaker

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In this essay, I sketch a preliminary, phenomenological definition of black horror cinema. I argue that black horror films are films in which blackness and antiblackness are depicted as unintelligible. I build this definition first by arguing that horror films generally evoke a mood of Heideggerian uncanniness, by which I mean that they create a global affective state in which the world is experienced as unintelligible. I then turn to the Afropessimist theorizing of Frank B. Wilderson, who proposes both that blackness and antiblackness are phenomenologically graspable as unintelligible, and that cinema resists this unintelligibility by warping blackness and antiblackness. However, I thus contend that black horror is an exception to this rule. Black horror films take advantage of horror’s uncanny mood to craft a filmic world in which blackness and anti blackness are unintelligible.
4. Film and Philosophy: Volume > 26
Lorraine K. C. Yeung

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The Black Mirror episode “Arkangel” tells a disturbing story of over-parenting driven by technology. The single mother Marie’s adoption of the Arkangel system has invited overwhelmingly negative moral evaluation from philosophers. But what accounts for the moral failure of a loving and concerned parent? Is it all about her flawed character, or are there situational factors at work? In the article, I first foreground the slipperiness of technology implicated in Albert Borgmann’s notion of the “device paradigm” and Hans Jonas’s analysis of modern technology. Then I analyze the character of the Arkangel system in the light of the two philosophers’ works and show how the technology turns Marie into a failing parent. In the end, I offer tentative answers to the two questions; the answers shall also shed light on the problem of under-parenting driven by digital technology.
5. Film and Philosophy: Volume > 26
Enrico Terrone Orcid-ID

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This paper casts the television series BoJack Horseman as a challenge to the genre that Stanley Cavell calls “the comedy of remarriage.” First, it is argued that the last season of the series explicitly suggests but finally contradicts the narrative pattern of the comedy of remarriage. Then, the impossibility of remarriage in BoJack Horseman is traced back to some structural features of the medium of television and its relationship to time. Finally, the impossibility of remarriage in BoJack Horseman is related to the capacity of the medium of television to enable self-defeating fictions which challenge fiction as a cultural institution.
6. Film and Philosophy: Volume > 26
Timothy Yenter Orcid-ID

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Whit Stillman’s films depict characters attempting to gain relevant knowledge of their historical situation so that they can shape their lives. Through an analysis of scenes from each of Stillman’s films, this essay demonstrates that historical knowledge is presented as a kind of self-understanding in the films. That historical knowledge is useful for gaining control over one’s future as well as for properly evaluating one’s life reveals a philosophically interesting approach to self-knowledge. Stillman’s complex approach of layering contexts further suggests an elusive account of the self.
7. Film and Philosophy: Volume > 26
Ben Roth Orcid-ID

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Christopher Nolan’s seems a spy thriller in which a government operative saves the world. As others have noted, it is in a larger sense about climate change—even though it mentions it but once. Where the film has been dismissed as not saying anything substantial, or even read as promoting an activist message, I argue it is most coherently interpreted as a reactionary defense of the status quo. The film is about a war between the present and future, its heroes those who beat back time travelers trying to prevent us from destroying the planet. If audiences are not passive recipients of propaganda, but critical and cognitive, then blockbusters need to distract them from unavowable larger meanings by redirecting interpretive energies into the details; plot holes are not a bug, but a feature. The meticulous, puzzle-box construction of Nolan’s films, which encourages elaborate fan theorizing, distracts both viewers and Nolan himself from their ideological content.
8. Film and Philosophy: Volume > 26
Stephen Turner

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This article addresses recent science fiction films about the colonization of outer worlds, or space-steading, in the context of the longer colonial history of the frontier. Paying particular attention to Interstellar (Christopher Nolan, 2014), Serenity (Joss Whedon, 2005) and The Wild Blue Yonder (Werner Herzog, 2005), I argue that colonizing outer space is not only a race to the new frontier, but that this takes place because technologies that picture space have quickened the pulse. Through its imagining of the end of times as a reiteration of colonizing adventure, and the emptying of people from their place, the technology of film has itself produced the accident (Virilio, 2007) of an uninhabited earth. As suggested by the cinematically derived kinesis of wormholes, space wrinkles, and warp speeds, what might be left as a form of life is none other than film itself. The hyper-kinesis of film spectacle takes on a non-human life of its own, which, in science fiction film, constitutes a form of self-alienation, removing viewers from the places they actually inhabit and displacing the histories they unfold. In this way, I address what is truly cinematic about the film frontier traversed by the new space of uber-masculine adventurer-settlers.
9. Film and Philosophy: Volume > 26
Sander H. Lee

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In this essay, I argue that the distinction between film gris and film noir, introduced by Jon Tuska in his 1984 book Dark Cinema, enhances our appreciation of the philosophical attributes of such films. For Tuska, there are important differences between a film gris and a film noir. While a film gris may have a number of noir attributes (a shadowy noir visual style, a gritty urban setting, cynical characters, etc.) a genuine film noir is not merely a police procedural and must not have a happy ending, I will also argue that a film’s narrative perspective plays a vital role in determining whether its status is that of a film noir. I will make these arguments by examining a wide variety of films including The Maltese Falcon (1941), Out of the Past (1947), He Walks by Night (1948), The Narrow Margin (1952), Double Indemnity (1944), Repeat Performance (1947), and The Wrong Man (1956).

book review

10. Film and Philosophy: Volume > 26
Thomas E. Wartenberg Orcid-ID

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11. Film and Philosophy: Volume > 26

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