Thursday, 18 December 2008

On film-thinking: Daniel Frampton's Filmosophy

L’Enfant / The Child (Luc Dardenne and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, 2005)

For what are hopefully self-evident reasons, Film Studies For Free chooses very rarely to focus on papercentric Gary Hall) Film Studies. But today (The Day That UK Academia Stands Still) it opts for the purposeful casting of its beady e-eye on the digital and freely accessible manifestations and repercussions of just one such item.

The book of which FSFF speaks is by an author - Daniel Frampton - who is the true pioneer of Open-Access Film Studies, initially through his founding (in November 1996) of the magnificent, online salon-journal Film-Philosophy. Thanks to his Filmosophy, Frampton has also come to be of those (nowadays) very rare authors who have succeeded in founding a significant school of thought.

Filmosophy (London: Wallflower Press, 2006) - Frampton's book - describes itself thus (hyperlinks added, as ever, by FSFF):

Filmosophy is a provocative new manifesto for a radically philosophical way of understanding cinema. The book coalesces twentieth-century ideas of film as thought (from Hugo Münsterberg to Gilles Deleuze) into a practical theory of ‘film-thinking’, arguing that film style conveys poetic ideas through a constant dramatic ‘intent’ about the characters, spaces and events of film. With discussions of contemporary filmmakers such as Béla Tarr, Michael Haneke and the Dardenne brothers, this timely intervention into the study of film and philosophy will stir argument and discussion among both filmgoers and filmmakers alike.

As for his book's central concept of the 'filmmind', Frampton writes:

Film seems to be thinking right in front of us. Consider the empathetical framings of The Child, the questioning movements of Magnolia, the egalitarian images of Time of the Wolf. The point is that both the daytime chatshow and the video news report also involve this choice, this belief about what they show (or do not show, as in the lack of images from Helmand). If we begin to understand how film "thinks" we will start to
understand how moving images affect our life and being.

If you would like to know more about Filmosophy, or, if you already know more, but would like to read about it online for free, below are some hot, hot, hot filmosophical links:

Daniel Frampton's online writing about Filmosophy:

Open Access Articles Referring to Filmosophy:

  • Daniel Yacavone, 'Towards a Theory of Film Worlds', Film-Philosophy, 12.2, 2008 ('Daniel Frampton has recently attempted to provide a less reductive account of film. worlds (as experienced by viewers) within his broader ‘filmosophy’. ...')
  • Sarah Cooper, 'Mortal Ethics: Reading Levinas with the Dardenne Brothers', Film-Philosophy, 11.2, 2007 ('Frampton equates with the consciousness of the ‘filmmind’')
  • Davina Quinlivan on Lars Von Trier, Film-Philosophy, 12. 1, 2008 ('Frampton’s envisioning of the ‘filmmind’ (Frampton, 2006, 147), a cinematic consciousness. whose form embodies the very ideology that it diegetically ...')

Open Access, English-language Reviews of Filmosophy:

  • Review for Film-Philosophy by Philipp Schmerheim (12.2, 2008) ('Frampton wants to establish a terminology which redirects scholarly attention to the experience rather than analysis of film ... [H]is attempt to reform writing about film, away from what he conceives of as ‘technicist’ rhetoric to a more poetic way of writing, ultimately does not live up to its promises')
  • Review of Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture by Sylvie Magerstädt (vol. 5 no. 3, September 2008).
  • Review for Scope by Ils Huygen ('Filmosophy is about this mutually productive encounter between cinema and ... In filmosophy "film style is now seen to be the dramatic intention of the film')
  • Review for Senses of Cinema by Tony McLibbin
  • Review for Frieze Magazine by Roland Kapferer ('Filmosophy is representative of this Postmodernist dethroning. The neologism ‘filmosophy’ is in itself highly revelatory. Philosophy – philo-sophia...')

Also see:

Other citations listed on

  • Asbjørn Grønstad, 'Downcast Eyes: Michael Haneke and the Cinema of Intrusion', Nordicom Review 29 (2008) 1, pp. 133-144 here
  • Ils Huygens, 'Deleuze and Cinema: Moving Images and Movements of Thought', Image & Narrative, Issue 18. Thinking Pictures, here
  • Mark Goodall's text about 'Crash Cinema' here
  • Mark Richardson, 'The Importance of Paracinema in the Cyberspace Era ', The Film Journal, here
  • Richard Camilleri on Korean cinema, To Taste: Aesthetics, Politics, Bodies (November 7 2007) here
  • Eric Henderson's text on Chris Marker for Slant Magazine here
  • Owen Hatherley's text on cinema here
  • Some Iranian texts here & here & here & here

1 comment:

Catherine Grant said...

Thanks Strcprstskrzkrk (am digging the music, too, man). FSFF rectified its, admittedly weird, omission of the Film-Philosophy Review (it was there in the draft version of the post, honest!).

Like the post says, FSFF normally only comments on and links to online and Open Access Film Studies; so, regarding the other very eminent authors you mention in your comment (and also mentioned in despatches several times by FSFF over the last months), it will happily let its readers compare the entries linking to such work in the November 13th listing of Online Film Studies Work by Named Authors, and explore it all for themselves. Thanks again.