Event Title

From Plato’s Cave to Modern Asian Cinema: An Examination of Filmic Language and Cinematic Thinking

Start Date

8-11-2017 1:30 PM

End Date

8-11-2017 5:30 PM

Description

As institutionalization and specialization furthers in the modern era, the disciplines of film practice, film theory and film philosophy have grown quite apart. In my reading of the theoretical development of film-philosophy and critical engagement with ethnic films, I have always been surprised by the constant lack of intersection between the two. A philosophical approach regarding the essence and effects of the film language rarely looks at less well-known films outside the Western canon, while film theorists who comment on those certain films usually approach them from social and political perspectives. My work is an attempt to show how western philosophical ideas can benefit from examining non-canonical filmic texts and how those texts speak not only to the dominant discourse in academic film criticism centering on “otherness,” but also can be used to elucidate more transcendental and transhistorical problems. Through a close reading of three distinct Asian filmic texts (Edward Yang’s Yi Yi (2000), Wayne Wang’s Chan is Missing (1982) and Shunji Iwai’s Swallowtail (1996)), I will argue that certain “accented” films not only serve as artistic sites for intercultural, political and social examinations but also present thoughtful and dialectical engagement with philosophical and metaphysical difficulties – reflections about urban alienation, existential angst, the search for self-knowledge and self-awareness, etc. Following Jean-Louis Baudry’s incorporation of Plato’s cave allegory into the analysis of cinematic apparatus, my approach engages in a philological analysis of the films to show that they embody the potential to compel the audience into reflection about transcultural, transhistorical philosophical issues.

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Nov 8th, 1:30 PM Nov 8th, 5:30 PM

From Plato’s Cave to Modern Asian Cinema: An Examination of Filmic Language and Cinematic Thinking

As institutionalization and specialization furthers in the modern era, the disciplines of film practice, film theory and film philosophy have grown quite apart. In my reading of the theoretical development of film-philosophy and critical engagement with ethnic films, I have always been surprised by the constant lack of intersection between the two. A philosophical approach regarding the essence and effects of the film language rarely looks at less well-known films outside the Western canon, while film theorists who comment on those certain films usually approach them from social and political perspectives. My work is an attempt to show how western philosophical ideas can benefit from examining non-canonical filmic texts and how those texts speak not only to the dominant discourse in academic film criticism centering on “otherness,” but also can be used to elucidate more transcendental and transhistorical problems. Through a close reading of three distinct Asian filmic texts (Edward Yang’s Yi Yi (2000), Wayne Wang’s Chan is Missing (1982) and Shunji Iwai’s Swallowtail (1996)), I will argue that certain “accented” films not only serve as artistic sites for intercultural, political and social examinations but also present thoughtful and dialectical engagement with philosophical and metaphysical difficulties – reflections about urban alienation, existential angst, the search for self-knowledge and self-awareness, etc. Following Jean-Louis Baudry’s incorporation of Plato’s cave allegory into the analysis of cinematic apparatus, my approach engages in a philological analysis of the films to show that they embody the potential to compel the audience into reflection about transcultural, transhistorical philosophical issues.