Film as Theory
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Preface to the English Edition Introduction: Two Image Researchers I. Le Film qui pense II. The Camera as Brush - Film as Painting III. Deviation as Norm - Notes on the Essay Film IV. Cut - Interlude in the Editing Room V. Taking Pictures - Photography and Film VI. Two or Three Ways of Speaking with the Hands Conclusion Notes Bibliography Acknowledgments Illustration Credits Index

Reviews and Features

"This book focuses on a number of constellations, amongst which Godard/Farocki and Film/Thinking are the most important. Essential discussions from literary and film studies as well as image theory are presented alongside comparative analyses of specific image phenomena, which convincingly characterize filmic form as a genuine mode of thinking. In passing, Pantenburg reveals the extent to which contemporary image research needs to be an interdisciplinary endeavor. Instead of relying on one dominant discipline, he emphasizes the aesthetic force of films which succeed in constituting theory." - Christa Blümlinger, Paris 8 University

"Film as Theory is still an important contribution to the history and theory of 20th century European avant-garde cinema, in which film as a medium of theory served a decidedly humanist purpose." - Chiara Marchini, Mediengeschichten

This is a remarkable and strongly argued book that debunks many misconceptions regarding the reception of two significant authors" -- The Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory

Volker Pantenburg


Film as Theory

There is a tension between the requirements of theoretical abstraction and the capacities of the film medium, where everything that we see on screen is concrete: A train arriving at a station, a tree, bodies, faces. Since the complex theories of montage in Soviet cinema, however, there have continuously been attempts to express theoretical issues by combining shots, thus creating a visual form of thinking.

This book brings together two major filmmakers-French New Wave master Jean-Luc Godard and German avant-gardist Harun Farocki to explore the fundamental tension between theoretical abstraction and the capacities of film itself, a medium where everything seen onscreen is necessarily concrete. Volker Pantenburg shows how these two filmmakers explored the potential of combined shots and montage to create "film as theory."

Volker Pantenburg

Volker Pantenburg is assistant professor for visual media with emphasis on research on moving images at the Faculty of Media of the Bauhaus University Weimar.