The new issue of Film-Philosophy is out, and it includes my article “The Anthrobiogeomorphic Machine: Stalking the Zone of Cinema.” The abstract is below.
The first half of the article is an early version of the paper I gave at the recent Moving Environments conference, which encompassed material from the first two chapters of my forthcoming book Ecologies of the Moving Image. While the Film-Philosophy version is several months old now, it is the best statement published to date of my film-philosophy, which is expanded on at great length in the book. The article’s second half features an extended treatment of Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1979 film Stalker.
(The book, by the way, is almost complete, and will include short to medium-length treatments of several dozen films. Four of those are included in an article about to be published in a special issue on utopias in the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture, so stay tuned for that.)
The Film-Philosophy issue has a theme, “Phenomenology and Psychoanalysis,” which I wasn’t aware of when I submitted my piece. My piece fits into the “phenomenology” umbrella a little better than the “psychoanalysis” one, and would have fitted better into an issue on Deleuze, or Heidegger, or “film worlds,” or Tarkovsky, or ecocriticism. But it’s good to have it out now, rather than waiting for a more appropriate issue.
The issue includes pieces on Herzog, Antonioni, Cronenberg, Eisenstein, Brecht and Kluge (an interview with the latter), and more, so have a look at it. It’s open-access, so you can read it by clicking on the links above. Follow the PDF link for the article.
This article proposes an ecophilosophy of the cinema. It builds on Martin Heidegger’s articulation of art as ‘world-disclosing,’ and on a Whiteheadian and Deleuzian understanding of the universe as a lively and eventful place in which subjects and objects are persistently coming into being, jointly constituted in the process of their becoming. Accordingly, it proposes that cinema be considered a machine that produces or discloses worlds. These worlds are, at once, anthropomorphic, geomorphic, and biomorphic, with each of these registers mapping onto the ‘three ecologies,’ in Felix Guattari’s terms, that make up the relational ontology of the world: the social, the material, and the mental or perceptual. Through an analysis of Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker (1979), I suggest that cinema ‘stalks’ the world, and that our appreciation of its potentials should similarly involve a kind of ‘stalking’ of its effects in the material, social, and perceptual dimensions of the world from which cinema emerges and to which it returns.
Film theory; film-worlds; ecocriticism; ecologies; Tarkovsky