Pulling Focus: Intersubjective Experience, Narrative Film, and Ethics

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9781441163028: Pulling Focus: Intersubjective Experience, Narrative Film, and Ethics
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The most powerful films have an afterlife. Their sensory appeal and their capacity to elicit involvement in story, character and conflict reaches beyond the screen to subtly reframe the way spectators view ethical issues and agents within the narrative, and in the world outside the cinema. Pulling Focus: Intersubjective Experience and Narrative Film questions how cinematic narratives relate to and affect ethical life. Extending Martha Nussbaum and Wayne Booth's work on moral philosophy and literature to consider cinema, Dr. Stadler shows that film spectatorship can be understood as a model for ethical attention that engages the audience in an affective relationship with characters and their values. Building on Vivian Sobchack's Address of the Eye and Carnal Thoughts, she uses a phenomenological approach to analyse ethical dimensions of film extending beyond narrative content, arguing that the camera describes experience and views screen characters with an evaluative form of perception: an ethical gaze in which spectators participate. Films discussed include Dead Man Walking, Lost Highway, Batman Begins, Nil By Mouth, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

The most powerful films have an afterlife. Their sensory appeal and their capacity to elicit involvement in story, character and conflict reaches beyond the screen to subtly reframe the way spectators view ethical issues and agents within the narrative, and in the world outside the cinema. Pulling Focus: Intersubjective Experience and Narrative Film questions how cinematic narratives relate to and affect ethical life. Extending Martha Nussbaum and Wayne Booth's work on moral philosophy and literature to consider cinema, Dr. Stadler shows that film spectatorship can be understood as a model for ethical attention that engages the audience in an affective relationship with characters and their values. Building on Vivian Sobchack's Address of the Eye and Carnal Thoughts, she uses a phenomenological approach to analyse ethical dimensions of film extending beyond narrative content, arguing that the camera describes experience and views screen characters with an evaluative form of perception: an ethical gaze in which spectators participate. Films discussed include Dead Man Walking, Lost Highway, Batman Begins, Nil By Mouth, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

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About the Author:

Jane Stadler is Senior Lecturer in Film and Television at the School of English, Media Studies, and Art History at the University of Queensland. She is co-editor of Pockets of Change (with Tricia Hopton, Adam Atkinson, and Peta Mitchell, 2011), co-author of Media and Society (with Michael O'Shaughnessy, 2012) and Screen Media (with Kelly McWilliam, 2009), and has published journal articles on phenomenology, ethics, aesthetics, identity, and screen landscapes.

Review:

Mention —Chronicle of Higher Education, December 19, 2008

"The author is interested in the camera as a narrator that guides spectators to judgment and engages their sensory apparatus and capacity for affect in reshaping what might otherwise by abstract and rational judgment....Stadler interprets several films, doing especially well with David Lynch's enigmatic Lost Highway, which unsettles notions of narrative genre, identity, and morality. SUMMING UP: Recommended."- Choice
(CHOICE)

Mention –Chronicle of Higher Education, December 19, 2008

"The author is interested in the camera as a narrator that guides spectators to judgment and engages their sensory apparatus and capacity for affect in reshaping what might otherwise by abstract and rational judgment....Stadler interprets several films, doing especially well with David Lynch's enigmatic Lost Highway, which unsettles notions of narrative genre, identity, and morality. SUMMING UP: Recommended."- Choice
(CHOICE)

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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