The University of Edinburgh
50 George Square, Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh EH8 9JU
Lecture Theatre G.03
50 George Square
25 March 2014 5.30 pm
Senior Lecturer in Film Studies, University of Edinburgh
There is Nothing Outside the Real: Recent Reappraisals of André Bazin in Film Theory
André Bazin’s critical work on film is often reduced to the clichés that he favoured long takes and championed realism as opposed to montage and artifice in the cinema. This position on Bazin has been the subject of recent critiques by Richard Rushton and Robert Sinnerbrink, building on Daniel Morgan’s “Rethinking Bazin” (2006). In this presentation, I will outline the terms of this new development and show that this “absolute realist” phase of understanding cinema is a return of sorts to Jacques Derrida’s analysis of textuality in the 1960s. For the New Bazinians, fiction film is as much as part of reality as anything else and I will develop this thought in the context of analytic philosophy’s understanding of “fictionalism”. I will discuss the films of Preston Sturges in this context. This is part of a broader project in which I explore the work of Derrida in relation to cinema.
Dr David Sorfa is a Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Edinburgh and editor of the journal Film-Philosophy. He has written on Michael Haneke, Jan Švankmajer and Czech cinema as well as a broad range of other film subjects. He has particular interests in film-philosophy, phenomenology, the work of Jacques Derrida and film adaptation. He thinks that Freud is still worth reading.