Filmic reality and the aesthetic regime

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:
Filmic reality and the aesthetic regime

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This chapter analyses Jacques Rancière's approach to cinema as a category of the aesthetic. For him, film is part of the historical bloc in which people live, which defines artworks by means of the category called ‘aesthetics’. People live in an era of what Rancière calls ‘the aesthetic regime’, a regime by means of which art has been defined for the last two hundred years or thereabouts. The cinema, according to him, is very good at telling stories which have a precise beginning, middle and end. Indeed, this is one aspect of art that the cinema almost completely borrows from the representative regime: the ability to tell great stories. The conjunction of the aesthetic and the representative regimes fully defines what film is and which contributes to making it such an important artform. Rancière's contribution is important because it disrupts the quest for ‘purity’ in theories of cinema.

Keywords: Jacques Rancière; aesthetics; aesthetic regime; story-telling; representative regime; purity

Chapter.  8126 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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