Film and Meaning and Technique
230 pp., 6 x 9 in,
- Published: August 25, 2000
- Published: September 1, 1998
A new look at film that succeeds in combining the realist and formalist sides of an ongoing debate.
In Reality Transformed Irving Singer offers a new approach to the philosophy of film. Returning to the classical debate between realists and formalists, he shows how the opposing positions may be harmonized and united. Singer concentrates on questions about appearance and reality, the visual and the literary, and the interplay between communication as a goal and alienation as a hazard in films of every sort. In three exemplary chapters, he provides suggestive readings of Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo, Luchino Visconti's Death in Venice, and Jean Renoir's The Rules of the Game. Reality Transformed will interest the general reader as well as students in all fields related to film studies.
There has been a traditional split in film studiesbetween the Bazinians and the Eisensteinians—those who believe themedium has a special aptitude for reality and those who would stress itspurely formal and autonomous characteristics. This soberly argued bookattempts to make peace using philosophical humanism. Taking as hispremise the currently unfashionable idea that narrative cinema hassomething to do with life, Singer demonstrates how it transforms ourcommon experience into art.
Sight & Sound
Accessibly written, Reality Transformed is a sensitively observed and thoughtful contribution to film humanism. Treating film as an art in the deepest sense of the word, Irving Singer shows readers why they should take film seriously and how to do it.
Noel Carroll, Monroe Beardsley Professor of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin
I was quickly won over by the grace of the text and the wisdom of the author. Singer's argument is extremely well structured, elegantly written, and compelling.
Richard Allen, New York University
Singer's approach to film theory is distinguished by an admirable clarity of style... and a sustained effort to harmonize apparently conflicting theoretical positions.
Richard Macksey, Johns hoplins University
There has been a traditional split in film studies between the Bazinians and the Eisensteinians–those who believe the medium has a special aptitude for reality and those who would stress its purely formal and autonomous characteristics. This soberly argued book attempts to make peace using philosophical humanism. Taking as his premise the currently unfashionable idea that narrative cinema has something to do with life Singer demonstrates how it transforms our common experience into art.
Sight & Sound