Aesthetics and Film. By Katherine Thomson‐Jones [Book Review]

Philosophical Quarterly 62 (249):865-867 (2012)
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Each chapter covers one topic and largely consists of brief summaries of arguments for and against various themes. The topic of the first chapter is whether and on what basis a film can be considered art. Photography is used as an analogy. The arguments range from considering the mechanical form of cinema as an obstacle to arthood to arguments considering cinema’s mechanical nature as essential to its arthood; the former by those who ground art in human agency, the latter by those who ground art in some conception of verisimilitude. Those worried by the former argument, emphasize editing and montage effects as the essential aspects of cinema, the idea being that the less representational veracity a film presented, the more it could be classified as art. On the other hand, for those who equate the art of film with verisimilitude, it is argued that the realism of film is superior to the realism of the other representational arts due to film’s retrieval of images as opposed to merely representing them.
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