A reality beyond imagining

Richard Rushton

in The Reality of Film

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780719082689
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702994 | DOI:
A reality beyond imagining

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This chapter provides a general survey of Stanley Cavell's most important contributions to theorizing cinema. A study of his approach to the ontology of film, The World Viewed, proves that for him films are real rather than realistic. For him, experiences of films cannot simply be seen as some kind of lesser version of the so-called real world. Instead, films provide something akin to a more intense or ‘truer’ experience of reality. Films cannot be said to offer representations of the world or of some purportedly ‘real’ or ‘true’ world. Instead, films are exhibitions of the world; they offer experiences that are as much a part of reality as any other experience. While at the movies, people are less on guard, more receptive, more vulnerable and less fearful of the possibilities the world is capable of offering to them.

Keywords: Stanley Cavell; The World Viewed; films; experiences; reality

Chapter.  9100 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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