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With Late Godard and the Possibilities of Cinema, Daniel Morgan makes a significant contribution to scholarship on Jean-Luc Godard, especially his films and videos since the late 1980s, some of the most notoriously difficult works in contemporary cinema. Through detailed analyses of extended sequences, technical innovations, and formal experiments, Morgan provides an original interpretation of a series of several internally related films--Soigne ta droite (Keep Your Right Up, 1987), Nouvelle vague (New Wave, 1990), and Allemagne 90 neuf zéro (Germany 90 Nine Zero, 1991)--and the monumental late video work, Histoire(s) du cinéma (1988-1998). Taking up a range of topics, including the role of nature and natural beauty, the relation between history and cinema, and the interactions between film and video, the book provides a distinctive account of the cinematic and intellectual ambitions of Godard's late work. At the same time, Late Godard and the Possibilities of Cinema provides a new direction for the fields of film and philosophy by drawing on the idealist and romantic tradition of philosophical aesthetics, which rarely finds an articulation within film studies. In using the tradition of aesthetics to illuminate Godard's late films and videos, Morgan shows that these works transform the basic terms and categories of aesthetics in and for the cinema.
Today's film scholars draw from a dizzying range of theoretical perspectives--they're just as likely to cite philosopher Gilles Deleuze as they are to quote classic film theorist André Bazin. To students first encountering them, these theoretical lenses for viewing film can seem exhilarating, but also overwhelming. Thinking in the Dark introduces readers to twenty-one key theorists whose work has made a great impact on film scholarship today, including Rudolf Arnheim, Sergei Eisenstein, Michel Foucault, Siegfried Kracauer, and Judith Butler. Rather than just discussing each theorist's ideas in the abstract, the book shows how those concepts might be applied when interpreting specific films by including an analysis of both a classic film and a contemporary one. It thus demonstrates how theory can help us better appreciate films from all eras and genres: from Hugo to Vertigo, from City Lights to Sunset Blvd., and from Young Mr. Lincoln to A.I. and Wall-E. The volume's contributors are all experts on their chosen theorist's work and, furthermore, are skilled at explaining that thinker's key ideas and terms to readers who are not yet familiar with them. Thinking in the Dark is not only a valuable resource for teachers and students of film, it's also a fun read, one that teaches us all how to view familiar films through new eyes. Theorists examined in this volume are: Rudolf Arnheim, Béla Balázs, Roland Barthes, André Bazin, Walter Benjamin, Judith Butler, Stanley Cavell, Michel Chion, Gilles Deleuze, Jean Douchet, Sergei Eisenstein, Jean Epstein, Michel Foucault, Siegfried Kracauer, Jacques Lacan, Vachel Lindsay, Christian Metz, Hugo Münsterberg, V. F. Perkins, Jacques Rancière, and Jean Rouch.
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