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Sanil - Kant Goes to Cinema

Sanil - Kant Goes to Cinema

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Published by Susan George

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Published by: Susan George on Jan 24, 2012
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01/24/2012

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PassiRgTime:.1111:manue.l'
Ka'nt
Goes
toCinema
Canyouimqim,e;
gOling
to
~he
FOOV]e,s,
w
~thaphilosopher?AJT:P(It
certainly
not.
W'iUgenISI:ei,liil.
would
rc.adny
haveceme
aloliilS.
but-the:1iIJ
IIIgainas
DeiM_k
Jarman'sfirhll
Wi.~t:gen31:eiR
S:110W,S
-Io:n~)'
torun
aWl"
froliD
the
iidl.e
Ichatter
ofphUo~op'hClrs
,and
1(0
.;ak,e
shellrerin
tbe
l(lo:m.fQrtin,g
dawknless,,ofthemeviehaU.Wek@:o'wforsu'r,~thatHenry
Bergst'i~,and
MerleauPontywouldhavehesitatedto
c;,Otpf;"
for
phiJosopnicfI,)
reasons.
:fl'Of
Berg,Siolll
tbe,moving
p~cnutes,
mere]'y
d:i.sPII~y,
bad
habits,
OIf
s'pellul~:liIti~'e
thin:k.ing
about
move:Dlen:t.
POI'Mede:lllu
Pont)'cinenla
destroys
lhe
cond.it.ions
o,f~i'led,,experience.SincePlatotphilQSJophersiha,y,ebeendi:[i~cied.tobilm~hei!r
eyes
:1
wa:y
from
the
dece,pti
V'~
MQving
Im:agescast
onthewall
and
towalk
eut
ofthe
~hea.tn:s
Qf
decepdlon
into~~e
daylight
eutside.Small
wonder
th~n
if
Plat'b's
:myth
of
'the
cavehasmgdeeinematheln.ythofevery
~hiHg,Eha.E
pibi~olsophy
n~lS
wways,
want.ed
to
escape
frOID.
'libetask'ofthe
phnosophy
,offUm
i
to
IlakephUosophy
to'
the
movies,Un.Hklethe
:phi.llo,sophy
,ofl.a;ngu;il:8e,.
orof
science.•
tihis
inquiry
doesnotseeitselfasam~t;a..d1scourse'onits
'object
domain.A'phUosopb'y
oifcinema
is
nota
pM
~osoiplhy
ilIltlO,uE
cinema,
Here
in
s~,ea:d
oir
s.uibs,u'l!mi~ng
thecineWliat
it
U~F
pbnosQ,ph.ical.coiBeepts~we
afl:
led.
101
acklil,olw~~ge
I:hatfi.lmrnakers
:pUfSue
and
eXilend
concepts
thro..gh
thepracticesof
film.
PihiioSGpb.,}I'
tatiescine~a.asaIconoep~u!11
prKE:ke.
111i1
is,
is
Qot
H)
see
cinemaas
anexpression
,of
ideas.
Thetask
,of
phi~o.soph,y
i&
to
PIf,Op'o'Sie
c,oncep'ts'Wbl~h
re~poll.d
to
the
inventialls
and
irm.Qv;:l!tiofi,S
t.akins:
place
inthelilris,[.ory
(llf
cioeIDQI.
Kant
livedpriolf'tothe
birtihof
cinema..
OUIi
tasikhere
~s'
n01eo
111"ly
Kantiallll
philosoph:y
['0,cirl!l,l:ma.
lmnead"
'we
wtshto
ask:
Can
elnema
propose
itselfa:s
somethin:g'
m!:w
toKant.Does,elnema'brav¢[.hepO'wer
toposeachaUengeto'our
thou.ght
inthe
way
Newtonian
science
-or
the
FrenchrevolutiondId?Kantiiil.np'hHosopby
W!.l:S
an
adventure
0
thought
311,01111
thneaxes,.,each
OIf
wJiJlwch
is
~,oJi'lsUhued
by
anenq!!liifY
'intol
one
of
,Mma"
Phi'(I'w,p/d~lr
1(2,ldifli'lttir)1.
'w;."
,XXKlNfL.1
"tI,~
J/'flililf.jj)ry..'\r·ril-lll':l'-OCffib~r:
2004
 
SanilV~
thefollowingrelationships-between
thought
anditsoutside,betweenthoughtanditself
and
betweenthoughtandthethinker,ThefundamentalquestionofKantiancritique'was
this:
Under
what
conditionsthoughtcanopenitselfontoitsoutsideinthepenonofthethinker?TakingKant.tothemoviesmeans
to
posethesequestionswithrespecttocinema,Philosophicalconceptsarenotemptyandpreexistingmoldswhichwecanimpose
On
otherdomainslikescience,art:or
poJiU]CS,
TakeKant'sresponsetotheunprecedenteddevelopments,~nNewtonianscience
or
totheFrenchrevolutlon.Hisattempt
W::!iS
nottoprovideaphilosophiealjustificationtoeitherscience
01'
torevolutionoreventoformulatecriteri
it
tojudgethemwith,Norwashetryingtomake
philosophy
anunder-laborerofscienceorpol]'~ics.Ka.ntwitnessedupheavah.inhumanknowledgeandsociallife,whichtookplacewithoutdemandingguidelinesorjustification
from.
philoscphy,TheseeventspresentedphilosopbywithsomethinggenuineI.)!novel.Theyalsothrewreasonintoaetisis.Whenwetry'toaccountforthepossibilityofscienceorpoliticswerealizethatthefaculties
c,r
reason,whichmakethe:mposslble.alsoarenecessarilyvulnerabletoillusionsandantinomies.CriticalphUosophywasadecisive'responsetothiscriticalconditionofthought,
Here-
'critical'
maybe
betterunderstoodin
its
clinical
sense
where
asitu<litioniscriticalwhenaHknown
'flleaflS
ofsolutionare
bnplkated
intheproblemandtheiremploymentcaneitherimproveorworsenthe,
condition,Sothe
problem
here
is:
doescinema
toopose
a
critical
situationfor
tbought?AnobviouswaytostartaKantianinquiryoncinemais
'h)
treat
cinemaasasubjectmatterof
aesthetics
which
is
understood
asphi~()sophyofartor
0
fthebeautiful.
Here
unfortunatelycinemadoes
.not
standachance.Wheredoescinemafallwithintheclassificationofartsproposed
by
Kant?Doescinemameritthestatus
cif
fineart?Muchofcinema
stubbornly
resists
being
calledart!Exceptarninority,theproducersandconsumersofcinema
l-e,gard
it
as
am
industryoras
ente-rtainmentOnly
thesocanedartcinemapleadsforthetitleofart.OneofthegreatdirectorsofcontemporarycinemaWimWendersoncesaidthatcapitalisthenecessarypresuppositionofcinemairrespective
of!tsbeingartoreomrnercial.Moreover,c~fiema
j
sa
productofthe
age:
oftechnologyandthelatterspres,enceincinemacannotbereduced
to
thatof'ameretoolortechnique.AsWalterBenjaminargues,the
unprecedentedpresenceoftechnotogy
creates
aradIcallynovelaesthetic
 
PassingTime..ImmanuelKantGoes
to
Cinema
255
experience
w
hiGh
cannotbecovered
by
a
rheory
oftaste
J
Withjn
the
classification
OF
artsKanrproposesinthe
Critiqueof
Judgment!:.
cinemasharesthecharacteristicsofthoseartswhichfalloutsidetherealmoffinearts-industrialartandtheartoftheagreeableorentertainment.
Kant
saves
tine
artsfmmthePlatonicdenigratlonofart.Butbothindustrialartandenterteinmenthavenoclaim
'to
thejudgment
of
taste.ForKant,industrlalartmerelyseeksto
actualize
apossibleobjectaccordingtoitsconcept.Amongthe
arts
which
seektoactualizeobjectsrnviewofpleasure,entertainmentwouldfallintotheclassoragreeab
lean
whichisinferi
orto
the
fine
arts.
Agreeable
art
gives,uspleasurefrommeresensationswhereasinfine
an
pleasureaceompaniesthepresentationof
aesthet
icideas.Bntertaimnentcanbestudiedasapartoftheculturalpoliticsof
an
whichthethird
Critique
opensup.From
this
perspectiveentertainmentmaybeseenasideologyoraspopularorsubversiveart.Weshallnottakethispath;Ourtaskhereisnottodenigrateorcelebrateentertainment.WeshailpersistW!iththeaestheticquestionaboutthenature
or
entertammentandseeifcinema
demands
a.
radicaltransformationinthe
way
wedefineaesthetieasamodeofinquiry,Kantgivesexamplesofentertainment-charmsthatcangrat
ifya
dinner
pany.
annngingthetables,musicof
theorchestraduring
banquets.
AUoftheseinvolvefleeting.unreflectiveandirresponsiblepleasure,Nooneisbrought
te
bookforwhat
one
uttersina
conversation
ove.rthedinningtable.
Whale
verissaid
there
is
merely
forthe
eo'mertainment
ofthemernem.
~t
isnat.expected
W
lastfma
duraHon
so
that
itbecomestheobject.efreflection.Thebanquetorchestraproducesag,reeab~enoise.Butweagree
to
it
withoutpay
in:g
anyattention"
It
doesnethinderafreenowof.
cony.!~sa.:Eio"n
andhelpstocreateagenialatmosphere.Kant
provides
a.
cOc\lering
definition
'for
entenainment;
theseare
arts.whichare"attendedwithnofunher
interest
,hantha:tofmali
n.,g
th~lim~pass
by
unheeded",
J
Thisisthemeaningofentertainment,
It
allowstimetopasswithoutusnoticingits
passage,
withou;
i,t
affeeting
us.
Hereentertainment
recesvesa
charaeterizationnot
with
respect,to,taste
but
asarelatienshiptotime.Time]sthe'subjec
l
matterofaestheticsbutnotwhen
it
isatheoryofthebeautifulorartbutwhenItisa.logicofsensationas
intheTranscendental
Aestheticsof
Critique,ojPure
Reason"
In
Kilnt
rheTranscendentalAestheticsgives
wa.y
toananalytics

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