Film, art, and the third culture : a naturalized aesthetics of film /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Smith, Murray, 1962- author.
Edition:First edition.
Imprint:Oxford ; New York, NY : Oxford University Press, 2017.
Description:xvi, 294 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Subject:Motion pictures -- Aesthetics.
Motion pictures -- Philosophy.
Motion pictures -- Aesthetics.
Motion pictures -- Philosophy.
Format: Print Book
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Notes:Includes bibliographical references and index.
Summary:In the mid-1950s C.P. Snow began his campaign against the 'two cultures' - the debilitating divide, as he saw it, between traditional 'literary intellectual' culture, and the culture of the sciences, urging in its place a 'third culture' which would draw upon and integrate the resources of disciplines spanning the natural and social sciences, the arts and the humanities. Murray Smith argues that, with the ever-increasing influence of evolutionary theory and neuroscience, and the pervasive presence of digital technologies, Snow's challenge is more relevant than ever. Working out how the 'scientific' and everyday images of the world 'hang' together is no simple matter. In Film, Art, and the Third Culture, Smith explores this question in relation to the art, technology, and science of film in particular, and to the world of the arts and aesthetic activity more generally. In the first part of his book, Smith explores the general strategies and principles necessary to build a 'third cultural' or naturalized approach to film and art - one that roots itself in an appreciation of scientific knowledge and method.
Review by Choice Review

In this book, Smith (Univ. of Kent, UK) aims to realize C. P. Snow's vision, in his seminal "The Two Cultures," of a "third culture" that would heal the rift between science and literature. In part 1, Smith outlines a cooperatively naturalized aesthetics that brings scientific and humanist approaches together in the study of film. Here, he triangulates phenomenological, psychological, and neuroscientific contributions to "thick explanations" (chapter 1) of the making and appreciation of motion pictures. In part 2, the author practices this naturalized aesthetics in case studies of films that examine the use of facial expressions in disparate film traditions (Rio Bravo and In the Mood for Love), the problem of modernism (in the experimental films of Stan Brakhage and Heimat), empathy and the extended mind thesis (Strangers on a Train and Lovers of the Arctic Circle), and the tension between generic emotions and the particularity of art (The Brave One and Half Nelson). The book is well written and cogently argued. It highlights the ways evidence from cognitive neuroscience supports observations about the making and interpretation of motion pictures one may arrive at by otherwise cognitive approaches to film. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. --John M. Carvalho, Villanova University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review