How cinema can change the world

Film is the great popular artform of our time. It may not always be – perhaps it might be displaced by interactive games of some sort, at some point – but right now, it is.

Artistic representations, if they are good enough and powerful enough, can catalyse. They can impact our worldview, by changing how something is conceptualized and presenting it in the context of an actual life, which abstract thinking on its own cannot do.

A dream of now

I’ve just published a book, called ‘A film-philosophy of ecology and enlightenment’. (You can read the early part of it for free here

…Don’t attempt to buy it unless you are independently wealthy — it’s madly expensive. Wait for the paperback next year — or, much better idea, order it for/through your library, now.)

Religion after the death of God?: the rise of pantheism and the return to the source

“The way you use the word “God” does not show who you mean, but what you mean”. — Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Religion is and always has been much more and much other than just g/God, and certainly than the God of the Abrahamic religions. It is an awesome mistake to tie religion closely only to God, let alone to God as a lone super-person. As the philosopher Wittgenstein once, wonderfully, put it: It is very important that we talk of God’s eye, but not of God’s eyebrows — or eyelashes.

An allegory of a ‘therapeutic’ reading of a film: of Melancholia

  1. This essay is a (more or less philosophical) account or allegory of my viewing(s) of Lars von Trier’s remarkable film, Melancholia (2011). It is personal, and philosophical. (The personal here turns out, potentially, to be philosophical.) Von Trier’s film in turn is clearly among other things a (brilliantly accurate) allegory of (his) depression; and it is also clearly (though at the very same time) much more than that. In expressing my experience of the film and the world (and my experience as a part time mega-melancholic – which is part of my basis for using the adjective “brilliantly accurate” in the previous sentence), my essay is inevitably personal, ‘person-relative’. Furthermore: This is an inevitable feature of therapeutic philosophy, the philosophy practiced most famously by Ludwig Wittgenstein. As the later Gordon Baker for example explained clearly2: such philosophy responds to the individual reader (/ viewer). And vice versa. In a kind of dialogue or (to use the term that Melancholia prefers) dance…