Blanchot and the Moving Image
Fascination and Spectatorship

Calum Watt

Moving Image 8

Legenda

29 September 2017  •  198pp

ISBN: 978-1-781885-37-6 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ISBN: 978-1-781885-38-3 (paperback, 23 April 2019)  •  RRP £9.99, $12.50, €12.50

ISBN: 978-1-781885-39-0 (JSTOR ebook)

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The French writer and philosopher Maurice Blanchot (1907-2003) was a notoriously reclusive figure who wrote that his life was entirely devoted to literature. Why then have filmmakers and writers on film found so much inspiration in Blanchot’s work? Blanchot and the Moving Image explores a constellation of connections between Blanchot, film and film theory and draws lines of intellectual influence to show how Blanchot’s thinking of literature find its way by a kind of displacement into contemporary philosophical approaches to cinema. Three case studies examining individual films – by Jean-Luc Godard, Béla Tarr and Gaspar Noé – draw out how Blanchot’s complex notions of fascination and image can contribute to theories of spectatorship. The first book-length treatment of this theme, Blanchot and the Moving Image thus demonstrates the overlooked importance of Blanchot’s work for understanding contemporary film and film theory.

Calum Watt gained his PhD at King’s College London and is a Marie Curie Fellow at Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris 3.

Reviews:

  • ‘Watt’s study is exemplary in the impressive range of texts and references that it draws on, and in the intensive seriousness of its discussions. It will be an inevitable reference for anyone venturing into this uncanny territory.’ — Jeff Fort, H-France 18.143, 2018
  • ‘One of the striking things to emerge from Calum Watt’s impressive study is the extent to which contemporary discussion of the art of film draws on Maurice Blanchot’s thought... [This book] does justice independently to each of its subjects.’ — Michael Holland, French Studies 72.4, October 2018, 632-33 (full text online)
  • ‘Exhaustive scholarship abetted by meticulous referencing, and a keen eye for the specificities of a certain mode of exposure (one which is remarked upon in the author’s Introduction) to the cinematographic as work (and unworking), are all commendable traits of the latest addition to a significant series.’ — Garin Dowd, Modern Language Review 114.3, July 2019, 572-573 (full text online)
  • ‘Blanchot and the Moving Image seems like an opening salvo in a larger intellectual project, one that will track the ways in which—as one of the study's most exciting claims has it—"cinema's contribution to thought is fascination".’ — Mikko Tuhkanen, Postmodern Culture 29.2, January 2019
  • ‘Watt makes a convincing case for Blanchot's appositeness to the moving image and, in the process, discovers that Blanchot's phantasmatic presence is already insinuated within film theory's margins... Overall, Blanchot and the Moving Image is an impressive piece of research that betrays a wealth of cognizance, not only of Blanchot's own writings, but also of his subtle yet persistent influence within twentieth and twenty first century continental philosophy and, subsequently, Anglophone film theory.’ — Corey P. Cribb, Film-Philosophy 24.1, February 2020, 71-74 (full text online)

Contents:

i-vi
Blanchot and the Moving Image: Blanchot and the Moving Image
Calum Watt
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vii-viii
Table of Contents
Calum Watt
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ix-ix
Acknowledgements
C. W.
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x-x
Abbreviations
Calum Watt
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xi-xii
List of Figures
Calum Watt
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1-13
Introduction: Maurice Blanchot and Cinema
Calum Watt
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14-60
Chapter 1 Reading the Ontology of Film After Blanchot
Calum Watt
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61-102
Chapter 2 Appropriations of Blanchot in Godard’s Histoire(s) Du Cinéma and Deleuze’s Cinéma Volumes
Calum Watt
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103-131
Chapter 3 Experiencing the Absence of Time: Satantango
Calum Watt
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132-162
Chapter 4 Irréversible, Disidentification, and Disastrous Responsibility
Calum Watt
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163-170
Conclusion: On A Disappearing Art
Calum Watt
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171-182
Bibliography
Calum Watt
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183-186
Index
Calum Watt
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Bibliography entry:

Watt, Calum, Blanchot and the Moving Image: Fascination and Spectatorship, Moving Image, 8 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2017)

First footnote reference: 35 Calum Watt, Blanchot and the Moving Image: Fascination and Spectatorship, Moving Image, 8 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2017), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Watt, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Watt, Calum. 2017. Blanchot and the Moving Image: Fascination and Spectatorship, Moving Image, 8 (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Watt 2017: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Watt 2017: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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