Walter Benjamin and the Aesthetics of Film
Walter Benjamin and the Aesthetics of Film
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Chapter 1. Anthropological Materialism and the Aesthetics of Film
Chapter 2. Soviet Film: The Giant Laboratory of Technological Innervation
Chapter 3. Film and the Aesthetics of German Fascism
Chapter 4. Charlie Chaplin: The Return of the Allegorical Mode in Modernity
Chapter 5. Mickey Mouse: Utopian and Barbarian
Conclusion: Benjamin's Belated Aktualität

Recensies en Artikelen

"Walter Benjamin kann zweifellos als einer der bedeutendsten Kunst- und Medientheoretiker des 20. Jahrhunderts bezeichnet werden. Dennoch hat seine Beschäftigung mit dem Film überraschenderweise bislang nur wenig im Zentrum gestanden. Mourenzas Walter Benjamin and the Aesthetics of Film ist die erste eigenständige Monografie, die gänzlich Benjamins Auseinandersetzung mit dem Film gewidmet ist. [...] Mit der vorliegenden Monografie hat Mourenza jedenfalls eine beeindruckende Studie zu Benjamins Auseinandersetzung mit Film vorgelegt."
- Daniel Gönitzer, [rezens.tfm] 2021/2

"Although firmly rooted in philosophical traditions, artistic practices, and media technologies of modernism and the classical avant-garde, Benjamin’s writings continue to resonate with some of our most pressing concerns today. For this reason, as Daniel Mourenza shows in his wide-ranging and thorough study, it makes good sense to revisit Benjamin’s writings on film aesthetics, production, and audience reception."
- Rolf J. Goebel, University of Alabama in Huntsville, German Studies Review, Volume 44, Number 1, February 2021

"Mourenza’s theoretical elaborations are very strong and his emphasis on an embodied spectator in Benjamin’s writings is especially productive. He manages to develop a coherent theory of his aesthetics of film with implications far beyond the area of film studies and valuable insights for an emancipatory political transformation of society and the role technology is able to play in such a transformation."
- Hanno Berger, The Marx and Philosophy Review of Books, Fall 2020

"Through detailed historical and textual analysis of primary and secondary resources, Mourenza essentially tackles the question of Benjamin’s relationship with film as a medium [...] Mourenza’s book offers valuable new clarifications concerning Benjamin’s view of cinema as a training ground for new political sensibilities and subjective experiences of being-together with a social collective."
- Will Kitchen, Early Popular Visual Culture, Summer 2020

Daniel Mourenza

Walter Benjamin and the Aesthetics of Film

De onderstaande tekst is niet beschikbaar in het Nederlands en wordt in het Engels weergegeven.
Walter Benjamin is today regarded as one of the leading thinkers of the twentieth century. Often captured in pensive pose, his image is now that of a serious intellectual. But Benjamin was also a fan of the comedies of Adolphe Menjou, Mickey Mouse, and Charlie Chaplin. As an antidote to repressive civilization, he developed, through these figures, a theory of laughter. Walter Benjamin and the Aesthetics of Film is the first monograph to thoroughly analyse Benjamin’s film writings, contextualizing them within his oeuvre whilst also paying attention to the various films, actors, and directors that sparked his interest. The book situates all these writings within Benjamin’s ‘anthropological materialism’, a concept that analyses the transformations of the human sensorium through technology. Through the term ‘innervation’, Benjamin thought of film spectatorship as an empowering reception that, through a rush of energy, would form a collective body within the audience, interpenetrating a liberated technology into the distracted spectators. Benjamin’s writings on Soviet film and German cinema, Charlie Chaplin, and Mickey Mouse are analysed in relation to this posthuman constellation that Benjamin had started to dream of in the early twenties, long before he began to theorize about films.

Daniel Mourenza

Daniel Mourenza is an Assistant Professor at the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies at Trinity College Dublin.