Film-Philosophy reviews Mulhall’s On Film (2nd ed.)


From Blade Runner: Deckard administering Voight-Kampff Test on Rachael

From Blade Runner: Roy Batty’s Death

The current issue of Film-Philosophy contains a review of the 2nd edition of Stephen Mulhall’s On Film. On Film includes a penetrating discussion of Ridley Scott’s great filmic meditation on the nature of human being, Blade Runner, which is why I’ve included the two film clips above. You can download the review by clicking here. The following is the publisher’s brief description of the book, and below that, an excerpt from the beginning of the review:

In this significantly expanded new edition of his acclaimed exploration of the four Alien movies, Stephen Mulhall adds several new chapters on Steven Spielberg’s Mission: Impossible trilogy and Minority Report. The first part of the book discusses the four Alien movies. Mulhall argues that the sexual significance of the aliens themselves, and of Ripley’s resistance to them, takes us deep into the question of what it is to be human. At the heart of the book is a highly original and controversial argument that films themselves can philosophize. Mulhall then applies his interpretative model to another sequence of contemporary Hollywood movies: the Mission: Impossible series. A brand new chapter is devoted to each of the three films in the series, and to other films by the relevant directors that cast light on their individual contribution to it. In this discussion, the nature of television becomes as central a concern as the nature of cinema; and the shift in generic focus from science fiction to thriller also makes room for a detailed reading of Spielberg’s Minority Report. On Film, Second Edition is essential reading for anyone interested in philosophy, film theory and cultural studies, and in the way philosophy can enrich our understanding of cinema.

And here is how the review begins:

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