Historical Moods in Film

Presented by Dr Robert Sinnerbrink (Macquarie University)

Date: 10 November, 2017
Time: 3pm-4pm
Location: Room 601, Michie Building (#9)

Abstract:

Although discussions of spectatorship within film theory focus on emotion and affect, the topic of mood has recently attracted interest from theorists concerned with understanding emotional engagement with narrative film. Drawing on phenomenological and cognitivist approaches, most theorists approach mood either as a subjective phenomenon, expressing the spectator’s affective response to a film, or as an aesthetic element, expressive of a film’s artistic features. Mood need not confined, however, to subjective or aesthetic forms of expression; rather, it can also disclose historical and cultural dimensions of memory, sensibility, and time. This point was acknowledged within German Romanticism and romantic hermeneutics, which elaborated the relationship between aesthetic experience and historical understanding in ways that can enrich our understanding of cinema today.

My presentation explores the concept of historical mood in narrative film, and considers its value for the philosophy of film. I examine how it becomes manifest in different kinds of films: those with historical settings expressing explicit forms of historical sensibility as part of their fictional world; genre films which evoke historically particular kinds of mood in creating generically distinctive kinds of cinematic world; and films that implicitly express moods that can be recognised retrospectively as expressions of their particular historical milieus. Exploring the concept of historical moods, I argue, can enrich our understanding of the relationship between emotional engagement, aesthetic expression, and trans-historical experience as communicated through narrative film.

 

Presenter:

Robert Sinnerbrink is Australian Research Council Future Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Macquarie University, Sydney. He is the author of Cinematic Ethics: Exploring Ethical Experience through Film (Routledge, 2016), New Philosophies of Film: Thinking Images (Continuum, 2011), Understanding Hegelianism (Acumen, 2007), and is a member of the editorial board of the journal Film-Philosophy. He has published numerous articles on the relationship between film and philosophy in journals such as Angelaki, Film-Philosophy, Necsus: European Journal of Media Studies, Screen, and Screening the Past. He is completing a co-authored book (with Lisa Trahair and Gregory Flaxman), entitled Understanding Cinematic Thinking: Bresson, von Trier, and Haneke (Edinburgh University Press, 2018) and working on another, entitled Terrence Malick: Filmmaker and Philosopher (Bloomsbury).

Dr Robert Sinnerbrink

 

About Research Seminar and Workshop Series

The research seminar and workshop series' occur each semester, each with a different topic and guest speaker from UQ or otherwise.

The seminars occur on a Friday afternoon from 3-4 pm in Room 601 in the Michie Building (#9).

Semester 2, 2017 Seminars & Workshops

 

Friday, 2 March
3-4pm

Construction of Asylum Seekers

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Dr Stephen Crofts

Friday, 9 March
3-4pm

Workshop: Metrics for Grant Writing and Promotion

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Angela Hannan and Kathleen Smeaton
(UQ Library)

Friday, 16 March
3-4pm

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Dr Ewa Lajer-Burcharth
(Harvard University)

Friday, 23 March
3-4pm

Robert Smithton exhibition at UQ Art Museum

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Dr Amelia Barikin

Friday, 20 April
3-4pm

Rise of "Bright Noir": Redemption and Moral Optimism in American Contemporary TV-Noir

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Dr Alberto Garcia
(University of Navarra)

 

Friday, 27 April
3-4pm

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Prof. Murray Pomerance (tbc)
Friday, 4 May
3-4pm

Paul Lazarsfeld and Facebook: Re-Reading Personal Influence in an Age of Social Media

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Prof Tom O'Regan
Friday 18 May
3-4pm

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Dr Skye Doherty
Friday, 1 June
3-4pm

The Digital Face in Cinema, Technology, Cultural Reception

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Dr Lisa Bode