By: Badiou, Alain.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Cambridge : Polity Press, 2013Description: 269 p. ; 23 cm.ISBN: 9780745655680.Subject(s): Film, Television and Radio | Film criticism | Motion pictures-History | Motion pictures-PhilosophyDDC classification: 791.4301BAD
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

For Alain Badiou, films think, and it is the task of the philosopher to transcribe that thinking. What is the subject to which the film gives expressive form? This is the question that lies at the heart of Badiou's account of cinema.<br> <br> He contends that cinema is an art form that bears witness to the Other and renders human presence visible, thus testifying to the universal value of human existence and human freedom. Through the experience of viewing, the movement of thought that constitutes the film is passed on to the viewer, who thereby encounters an aspect of the world and its exaltation and vitality as well as its difficulty and complexity. Cinema is an impure art cannibalizing its times, the other arts, and people - a major art precisely because it is the locus of the indiscernibility between art and non-art. It is this, argues Badiou, that makes cinema the social and political art par excellence , the best indicator of our civilization, in the way that Greek tragedy, the coming-of-age novel and the operetta were in their respective eras.

Reviews provided by Syndetics


Chronicling more than 50 years of Badiou's engagement with cinema, these 31 essays gathered by historian and film critic Antoine de Baecque make for a very interesting collection. One sees Badiou engaging cinema on several levels: as interpreter and critic of specific filmmakers (e.g., Welles, Godard); as interpreter of specific films (e.g., Tout va bien, The Matrix); as political critic responding to cinema in general and to particular films and genres of film; as aesthetician addressing the relationship between cinema and other art forms; and as philosopher theorizing about the nature and value of cinema. Readers familiar with Badiou's work will not be surprised by Badiou's bluntness, though they may be surprised by the cultural importance he attributes to cinema and by his acknowledgment of "the essential role" cinema has played in his "life and ideas" since his early teens (the first essay, and one of the most interesting, was published when he was 20). Those unfamiliar with the films discussed may find some essays difficult to engage. This collection will interest film theorists and historians as well as anyone interested in Badiou. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through researchers/faculty. A. D. Schrift Grinnell College