Film, Nihilism and the Restoration of Belief Paperback – 25 Oct 2013
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About the Author
Darren Ambrose is a Senior Lecturer in Art Theory in the Department of Media, Art & Design at Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent.
Top Customer Reviews
Darren Ambrose describes two trajectories within cinema throughout its history - one which reaffirms our current ways of thinking, viewing and living in the world, which gives us (broadly) what we expect, and another which challenges these and offers us the opportunity, sometimes forces us, to see the unexpected. This is not necessarily a hierarchical distinction - the first category includes some wonderful films - but rather one which captures an almost physiological difference in how we react to the second type of film. The author argues that the physical and sensory immersion we feel as viewers gives film an unrivalled impact upon our minds. When the film reinforces the paths our thought is accustomed to travel, the effect is alluring and addictive. However when the film operates against our expectations, it delivers a shock to thought that is more powerful than any other artform.
The wider concern addressed by this book is why such a shock to thought is a desirable, if sometimes uncomfortable, experience. This takes the sphere of the argument beyond cinema and art into politics and society more generally, suggesting that art need not always be reduced to the level of an opiate, escapism as 'light entertainment' that makes it possible to bear a mundane and banal existence as the weekend piss-up allows us to endure the remainder of the working week. Instead art can challenge this existence, and by encouraging us to think in new ways, may even allow us to change it.Read more ›