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Cinematic Mythmaking: Philosophy in Film

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Item May Have Remainder Mark. Film is the supreme medium for mythmaking. The gods and heroes of mythology are both larger than life and deeply human; they teach us about the world, and they tell us a good story. Similarly, our experience of film is both distant and intimate. Cinematic techniques panning, tracking, zooming, and the other tools in the filmmakers toolbox create a world that is unlike reality and yet realistic at the same time. We are passive spectators, but we also have a personal relationship with the images we are seeing. In Cinematic Mythmaking, Irving Singer explores the hidden and overt use of myth in various films and, in general, the philosophical elements of a films meaning. Mythological themes, Singer writes, perform a crucial role in cinematic art and even philosophy itself. Singer incisively disentangles the strands of different myths in the films he discusses. He finds in Preston Sturgess The Lady Eve that Barbara Stanwycks character is not just the biblical Eve but a liberated woman of our times Eliza Doolittle in the filmed versions of Shaws Pygmalion is not just a statue brought to life but instead a heroic woman who must survive her own dark night of the soul. The protagonist of William Wylers The Heiress and Anieszka Hollands Washington Square is both suffering Dido and an awakened Amazon. Singer reads Cocteaus films including La Belle et la Bete, Orphee, and The Testament of Orpheus as uniquely mythological cinematic poetry. He compares Kubrickean and Homeric epics and analyzes in depth the self-referential mythmaking of Federico Fellini in many of his movies, including 81/2. The aesthetic and probing inventiveness in film, Singer shows us, restores and revives for audiences in the twenty-first century myths of creation, of the questing hero, and of ideals both secular and religious that have had enormous significance throughout the human search for love and meaning in life.

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Additional Information

Additional Information

Author Irving Singer
Binding Hardback
Condition New
Pages 256
ISBN-13 9780262195898
Publisher MIT Press

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