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Philosophical archipelago of modern film

(Stephen Zepke, Cesare Casarino, Alexander Horwath, Akira Mizuta Lippit, 2007, Vizualni kolegij: zbornik/reader, Zagreb: Multimedijalni institut, ISBN 9537372022)

For us it is not common to see texts which combine philosophy and film studies when approaching the film. Thus, any publication of a book which refers to both modern film and philosophical production to an almost equal extent is mostly an exception and not a rule. Recently, the Multimedia Institute has published a bilingual reader with four texts that take different approaches to some film phenomena and authors. The texts are in fact lectures held by the authors in Zagreb in the course of the last two years and they differ as to thematic horizon and interpretative patterns. Stephen Zepke, an aesthetic and film theoretician, examines Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey as a sort of »foreplay to the philosophy of future«. He takes Nietzsche's ideas as a theoretical starting point. The basic idea is that Kubrick's film is unconsciously based on the type of nihilism and the idea of human surpassing that can be found in Nietzsche. Cesare Casarino tackles ontological film history, i.e. some kind of Foucault-style »ontology of intervention«, and is mostly focused on Deleuze's film books. Alexander Horwath tackles one of the most interesting modern film experimentalists, Peter Tscherkasski. The text opens up with important terminological identifications of the avant-garde and experimental film and it serves as an introduction to the review of Tscherkasski's work as the film world which is »the world of crisis«. The last text was written by a Japanese theoretician and film historian, Akira Mizuta Lippit, who depicts modern Japanese cinema. The underlying attitude in all four texts (although there are important differences between them) is the attempt at finding common features between philosophical and artistic-film practices that could produce a synthesis of pictures and thoughts, film interpretation that could surpass usual horizons, and it would be possible to set the foundation of a new ontology based on the visual and the physical, under a common motto and an imperative that the thought becomes visible, and that the picture starts thinking.

Tonči Valentić

On a short book on a short film in brief
Panorama of hybrid animation techniques

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