Reflexive Cinema: Rethinking Self-Consciousness, Affect and Intermediality in the Moving Image
How may we best understand cinematic reflexivity and its complex relations with moving-image fiction, style, emotion, affect and worldhood? Which reflexive forms and processes does cinema share with other arts and media, and which are specific to it?
Reflexivity, self-reference, and ‘self-consciousness’ are major features of cinematic communication and art. Yet they have been the object of relatively little fundamental analysis. This transdisciplinary research brings their theorization up-to-date with more recent film and media theory, including cognitive, phenomenological, and intermedial approaches. Also drawing on concepts from literary theory (narratology; fictional worlds theory), and continental and analytic philosophy, it emphasizes cinematic reflexivity’s under-analyzed emotional/affective and immersive dimensions; charts its inter- and transmedial aspects; and provides a new typology of reflexive forms in films, as distinct from specific devices and general modes. The resulting book (from Oxford University Press) will provide a more systematic and comprehensive account of reflexivity, better reflecting its marked diversity of form and purpose throughout the history of narrative cinema.
1) Film Worlds: A Philosophical Aesthetics of Cinema (Columbia University Press, 2015).
2) “Film and the Phenomenology of Art: Reappraising Merleau-Ponty on Cinema as Form, Medium, and Expression,” New Literary History, 47:1 (2016), 159-185.
3) “Recursive Reflections: Classifying Cinematic Reflexivity” in Reflexive Cinema, David LaRocca ed (Oxford University Press, 2021, in press)