Alex Ling seizes upon the philosophy of Alain Badiou to clarify a central question in film scholarship: can cinema be thought? Tackling this issue on three levels, Ling begins with a reevaluation of common conceptions about cinema, primarily through an ontological investigation of cinema's fundamental nature and purpose. He then explores whether cinema can actually think for itself- that is, whether it's truly "artistic"-and in conclusion, he considers the consequences of a "thinking" cinema for viewers and filmmakers. In pursuing his thesis, Ling rereads well-known films, from Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) and Vertigo (1958) to The Matrix (1999), illustrating how Badiou's philosophy works in practice and proving the way in which his thought expands, critiques, and reframes cinema.
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