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Paperback | ISBN: 9780262692489 | 230 pp. | 5.5 x 8.6 in | August 2000

Of Related Interest

Reality Transformed

Film and Meaning and Technique


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.

About the Author

Irving Singer is Professor of Philosophy at MIT. In addition to his two trilogies, The Nature of Love and Meaning in Life, he is the author of many other books, including the recent Philosophy of Love: A Partial Summing-Up, and four books on film aesthetics, Reality Transformed: Film as Meaning and Technique; Three Philosophical Filmmakers: Hitchcock, Welles, Renoir; Ingmar Bergman, Cinematic Philosopher: Reflections on His Creativity; and Cinematic Mythmaking: Philosophy in Film, all published by the MIT Press.


"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