The Real of Reality: The Realist Turn in Contemporary Film Theory


This book provides philosophical insight into the nature of reality by reflecting on its ontological qualities through the medium of film. The main question is whether we have access to reality through film that is not based on visual representation or narration: Is film—in spite of its immateriality—a way to directly grasp and reproduce reality? Why do we perceive film as “real” at all? What does it mean to define its own reproducibility as an ontological feature of reality? And what does film as a medium exactly show? The contributions in this book provide, from a cinematic perspective, diverse philosophical analyses to the understanding of the challenging concept of “the real of reality”.

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Christine Reeh-Peters, Ph.D., University of Lisbon, is Junior-Professor at the Film University Babelsberg in Potsdam, a film director and philosopher. She has published several articles on film philosophy as well as the monograph Being and Film: a Fictive Ontology of Film in Tarkovsky’s Solaris (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2021).
Peter Weibel, double Ph.D. h.c., University of Art and Design Helsinki, and University of Pécs, Hungary, is CEO of the ZKM | Centre for Art and Media Karlsruhe. He is an acclaimed media artist, curator and media theorist, as well as editor and author of several monographs and articles.
Stefan W. Schmidt, Ph.D., University of Wuppertal, lecturer of Philosophy at the same University. He has published a monograph on Heidegger's concept of freedom (Springer, 2016) and several articles in phenomenology as well as philosophical aesthetics and philosophy of design.

Contributors are: Atėnė Mendelytė, Maria-Teresa Teixeira, Thomas E. Wartenberg, Román Domínguez Jiménez, Ringo Rösener, Hanna Trindade, Karin Janker, Martin Stefanov, Zsolt Gyenge, Philip Freytag, Patricia Feise-Mahnkopf, Hyun Kang Kim, Markus Gabriel, Gusztáv Hámos, Christine Reeh-Peters, Stefan W. Schmidt, Peter Weibel.
List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors

  Christine Reeh-Peters, Stefan W. Schmidt and Peter Weibel

The Rise of the Real

1 The Real in Film
The Historical Real, the Optical Real, and the Material Real
  Hyun Kang Kim

2 The Being of Film
  Christine Reeh-Peters

3 What It Means to Imagine Imagination
The Derrida–Searle Debate and the Poetic Ontology of Film
  Philip Freytag

4 Emerging Imaginations
The Relation of Film and Reality from a Literary Perspective
  Karin Janker

5 Animated Visions of Reality
The Real as Experimental Aesthetic in Anca Damian’s Animated Documentaries
  Zsolt Gyenge

6 Pasolini’s Pan-semiology or Reality as Code
  Peter Weibel

Experiencing the Real

7 The Cinematographic Experience
Thinking Cinema through the Philosophy of E. Husserl
  Hanna Trindade

8 Reality Narrated through time
Andrei Tarkovsky’s The Mirror
  Stefan W. Schmidt

9 Time and Film
  Maria-Teresa Teixeira

10 Mapping Film-World Relations to Reality
A New Conceptual Cartography
  Atėnė Mendelytė

11 The Crisis of the Time-Image
Montage in Postmodern Times
  Martin Stefanov

12 Think Future Cinema—with Photofilm as Its Basis
  Gusztáv Hámos

The Real Unsettling

13 The Bird’s Eye View—Ornithology and Ontology in Hitchcock’s The Birds
  Markus Gabriel

14 A Rough Sketch on the Real of Terrorism—Thoughts on Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy
  Ringo Rösener

15 Justifying a Philosophical Claim
 The Act of Killing and the Banality of Evil
  Thomas E. Wartenberg

16 Jauja and Meek’s Cutoff
The Parallel American Ways of Rethinking Gilbert Simondon’s Role of Aesthetics in the Configuration of Humanity
  Román Domínguez Jiménez

17 Maya Deren’s Claim for the “Ritualistic” Film or Fusing the Sacred and the Profane for the Sake of the Real
  Patricia Feise-Mahnkopp

All interested in film philosophy, philosophical aesthetics and contemporary philosophy: scholars, students, filmmakers and others.
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