Thinking in Images: Film Theory, Feminist Philosophy and Marlene Dietrich

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9781844571017: Thinking in Images: Film Theory, Feminist Philosophy and Marlene Dietrich
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Thinking in Images addresses the current crisis in film theory by offering a new methodology for interrelating theory and film texts. Drawing on the groundbreaking work of Michele Le Duff, Catherine Constable argues that philosophy is reliant on sociocultural images, such as the figures of the veiled woman, the femme fatale, and the seductress. Constable traces the key role such female images play in the theorizations of beauty, art, and truth offered by Nietzsche and his successors: Jacques Derrida, Sarah Kofman, and Jean Baudrillard. Recognizing that images are crucial to theorizing means that film images have the capacity to challenge and change previous theoretical models. This is demonstrated by a case study of three films from the Dietrich/Sternberg cycle: The Scarlet Empress, The Devil Is a Woman, and Shanghai Express. These detailed readings focus on the ways in which Dietrich's glamorous characters challenge the theorization of woman as a beautiful object, thus offering new ways of conceptualizing woman's role as the icon of beauty, art, and truth. 

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Thinking in Images addresses the current crisis in film theory by offering a new methodology for interrelating theory and film texts. Drawing on the groundbreaking work of Michele Le Doeuff the author argures that philosophy is reliant on socio-cultural images, such as the figures of the veiled woman, the femme fatale and the seductress. The author traces the key role played by such images of woman in the theorisations of beauty, art and truth offered by Nietzsche and his successors: Derrida, Kofman and Baudrillard. Importantly, the recognition that images are crucial to theorising means that film images have the capacity to challenge and change previous theoretical models. This is demonstrated by a case study of three films from the Dietrich/Sternberg cycle: The Scarlet Empress, The Devil is a Woman and Shanghai Express. The detailed readings focus on the ways in which Dietrich's glamorous characters challenge the theorisation of woman as a beautiful object, thus offering new ways of conceptualising woman's role as the icon of beauty, art and truth.

About the Author:

Catherine Constable is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at Sheffield Hallam University.

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9781844571000: Thinking in Images: Film Theory, Feminist Philosophy and Marlene Dietrich

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ISBN 10:  1844571009 ISBN 13:  9781844571000
Publisher: British Film Institute, 2006
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