Hitchcock and Philosophy: Dial M for Metaphysics (Popular Culture and Philosophy)

Hitchcock and Philosophy: Dial M for Metaphysics (Popular Culture and Philosophy)

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 0812696166

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Hitchcock and Philosophy: Dial M for Metaphysics (Popular Culture and Philosophy)

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 0812696166

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The shower scene in Psycho; Cary Grant running for his life through a cornfield; “innocent” birds lined up on a fence waiting, watching — these seminal cinematic moments are as real to moviegoers as their own lives. But what makes them so? What deeper forces are at work in Hitchcock’s films that so captivate his fans? This collection of articles in the series that’s explored such pop-culture phenomena as Seinfeld and The Simpsons examines those forces with fresh eyes. These essays demonstrate a fascinating range of topics: Sabotage’s lessons about the morality of terrorism and counter-terrorism; Rope’s debatable Nietzschean underpinnings; Strangers on a Train’s definition of morality. Some of the essays look at more overarching questions, such as why Hitchcock relies so heavily on the Freudian unconscious. In all, the book features 18 philosophers paying a special homage to the legendary auteur in a way that’s accessible even to casual fans.

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prisoners see on the walls of the cave, the uncritical observer might take what he sees on the movie screen for reality. If Plato were alive, he would be concerned about this capacity for generating illusion in the audience, a feature that, to a Platonist’s dismay, draws many viewers to the cinema! Hitchcock’s cameo as a deceiver would give Plato reason to worry. But we also see Hitchcock develop a position that would challenge Plato’s view that an art form such as film is far removed from truth

immoralism and nihilism stand in uncomfortable contrast with his ethical convictions; his perspectivism and rejection of the transcendent with his metaphysical commitments; and his skeptical speculations with his desire to be understood. See his excellent Nietzsche: The Ethics of an Immoralist (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1995). Hitchcock and Philosophy_HIP HOP & philosophy 8/12/11 12:14 PM Page 37 Rope: Nietzsche and the Art of Murder 37 of killing them is a low,

clothes. He describes with utter precision the kind of gray suit he is looking for to the manager at a fashionable women’s clothing store. Needless to say, it is the kind of suit that “Madeleine” wore. Scottie’s voice quavers with mounting frustration as he rejects outfit after outfit, until the one he wants is finally identified. It is an emotionally harrowing scene. Scottie’s obsession is tangible. He reduces Judy to tears. She pleads “Couldn’t you like me just the way I am?” but caves in to

course he knows how to handle men. KOVAC: Not in a lifeboat. What we need is an able seaman and we’ve got one. GUS: Who me? I’m a disabled seaman. Anyhow, I never did have no executive ability. I . . . I think maybe Sparks there ... SPARKS: No, not me. I know a bit about navigation, but . . . when it comes to taking charge of a boat . . . well . . . What about Kovac? Hitchcock and Philosophy_HIP HOP & philosophy 8/12/11 12:14 PM Page 165 Democracy Adrift in Lifeboat 165 CONSTANCE: That

the best life is that of making money (Rittenhouse); one who thinks that fame is the best life (Constance Porter, the reporter); one who thinks that the best life is equality in community (Kovac); one who thinks the best life is to serve God (Joe Spencer, the ship’s steward); one who thinks the best life is to help and care for others (Alice MacKenzie, the nurse); one who thinks that romantic love is the most worthy of human pursuit (Stanley Garrett, the radio operator); and one who lives for

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