cover of book

Cinema Illuminating Reality: Media Philosophy through Buddhism
by Victor Fan
University of Minnesota Press, 2022
Cloth: 978-1-5179-0991-8 | eISBN: 978-1-4529-6431-7 | Paper: 978-1-5179-0992-5
Library of Congress Classification PN1995.F2725 2022
Dewey Decimal Classification 791.4301


A new critical approach to cinema and media based on Buddhism as a philosophical discourse

How can a philosophical discourse generated in Asia help us reframe and renew cinema and media theory? Cinema Illuminating Reality provides a possible way to do this by using Buddhist ideas to examine the intricate relationship between technicity and consciousness in the cinema. The resulting dialogue between Buddhism and Euro-American philosophy is the first of its kind in film and media studies.

Victor Fan examines cinema’s ontology and ontogenetic formation and how such a formational process produces knowledge, political agency, and in-aesthetics. Buddhism allows Fan to deconstruct binary thinking and reimagine media as an ecology, rethinking cinema in relational terms between the human and the machine. Along the way, Fan considers a wide variety of case studies from around the globe, while paying special attention to how contemporary Tibeto-Sinophone filmmakers have adopted relational thinking to detail ways of rebuilding a world that appears to be beyond repair.

From Chinese queer cinema to a reexamination of Japanese master Ozu’s work and its historical reception to Christian Petzold’s 2018 existential thriller Transit, CinemaIlluminating Reality forges a remarkable path between Buddhist studies and cinema studies, casting vital new light on both of these important subjects.

See other books on: Buddhist philosophy | Eastern | Fan, Victor | Film | Motion pictures
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