PHILOSOPHY AND THE FILM
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The aim of this Introduction is to clarify what might be expected of the philosophy of film, offering thereby a framework into which can be fitted the scattered and diverse efforts of others. All the arguments and theses will be illustrated with the help of one film: Casablanca. This will, I hope, seem an unlikely choice: in taking up the challenge to show its appropriateness I may diminish that sense of unlikelihood. In a banal sense there is plenty of philosophy in films. We can all recall, ‘Johnny, Johnny, why don’t you stop fooling yourself’, and countless other deathless aphorisms. Some of these may be true, though not original; culling them from films is more likely to be a satirical than an enlightening exercise. Most of the canonical works of academic philosophy were written before films existed and are, therefore, unlikely to discuss them. Nevertheless, film may be embraced within some of the things philosophers do, whether mentioned or not.