Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

A Return to the Repressed of Film Theory: An Unusual Teaching Approach

Melinda Szaloky.

"Film theory" is often taken to be an obscure, incoherent, and impractical field of study by students. This paper will argue that "film theory" could be taught more effectively if it were systematically considered – as it seldom is – in relation to modern philosophical aesthetics. Special attention would be paid to those aspects of Kant's thought that lay the groundwork for the emergence of the modern conception of art as an anti-mimetic , defamiliarizing approach to the ungraspable ground of truth. The significance of Romantic poetics in developing this new aesthetic credo of the Modern would also be emphasized.

Not only would such an "unusual" teaching approach reveal hitherto undetected (or seemingly inexplicable) affinities among apparently incompatible film theories – questioning in the process the value of taxonomic truisms, for example, the formalism-realism and classical-contemporary divide – it would also help situate the reputedly impenetrable, often misunderstood, and misappropriated, concept of the cinematic time-image advanced by Deleuze. Deleuze's time-image would be seen as a contemporary, "post-humanist" adaptation of the Romantic sublime.


Melinda Szaloky  (United States)
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Film, Television, and Digital Media
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Melinda Szaloky is Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Film, Television, and Digital Media at UCLA. Her dissertation explores instances of liminality ("zones") as portrayed by the cinema. Attention to expressive (and excessive) detail is supplemented with a discussion of the sublime as developed in modern and postmodern continental philosophy. She has published essays in *Cinema Journal*, *Cinemas*, as well as in anthologies dealing with various aspects of the moving image.

  • Pedagogy
  • Flm theory
  • Kant
  • Romanticism
  • Deleuze
  • Philosophy
  • Aesthetics
Person as Subject
  • Kant, Immanuel Deleuze, Gilles

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)