Philosophers Writings on Cinema

Various philosophers have written on cinema and the moving image. Here, we have organized these primary texts alphabetically by thinker, and occasionally included important secondary texts as well. This is a work in progress, so please use the submissions form to suggest citations here.

Adorno, Theodor

Agamben, Giorgio

Agamben, Giorgio. Means Without End: Notes on Politics. Translated by V. Binetti and C. Casarino. Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press, 2000.

Agamben, Giorgio. “Difference and Repetition: On Guy Debord's Films.” In Guy Debord and The Situationist International: Texts and Documents, edited by by T. McDonough, 313-19. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005.

Agamben, Giorgio. What is an Apparatus? and Other Essays. Translated by D. Kishik and S. Pedatella. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009.

Agamben, Giorgio. “Cinema and History: On Jean-Luc Godard.” In Cinema and Agamben: Ethics, Biopolitics and the Moving Image, edited by Henrik Gustafsson and Asbjorn Gronstad, 25-27. New York: Bloomsbury, 2014.

Agamben, Giorgio. “For an Ethics of the Cinema.” In Cinema and Agamben: Ethics, Biopolitics and the Moving Image, edited by Henrik Gustafsson and Asbjorn Gronstad, 19-25. New York: Bloomsbury, 2014.

Gustafsson, Henrik and Asbjorn Gronstad, eds., Cinema and Agamben: Ethics, Biopolitics and the Moving Image. New York: Bloomsbury, 2014.

Badiou, Alain

Badiou, Alain. “Philosophy and Cinema.” In Infinite Thought: Truth and the Return to Philosophy. Eds. and Trans. Oliver Feltham and Justin Clemens. 109-125. London, UK: Continuum, 2004. 

Badiou, Alain. Cinema. Ed. Antoine de Baecque. Trans. Susan Spitzer. Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2013.

Barthes, Roland

Barthes, Roland. Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography. Translated by R. Howard. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1981.

Barthes, Roland. "Upon Leaving the Movie Theatre." In Apparatus. Edited by T.H.K. Cha. Translated by B. August and S. White. New York: Tanam Press, 1980.


Baudrillard, Jean

"Baudrillard and Film Philosophy," edit. Jon Baldwin, Film-Philosophy vol. 14 (2010)

Baudrillard, Jean. The Consumer Society: Myths and Structures, London: Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1998. 

Baudrillard, Jean. Seduction, Palgrave Macmillan, 1991.

Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and Simulation University of Michigan Press, 1994 (English Translation). 

Baudrillard, Jean. Simulations trans., Paul Foss, Paul Patton and Philip Beitchman, New York : Semiotext(e), c1983. 

Laist, Randy. Cinema of Simulation: Hyperreal Hollywood in the Long 1990s, New York: Bloomsbury, 2015. 

Bazin, André

Andrew, Dudley. Andre Bazin (Revised Edition). New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

Andrew, Dudley and Hervé Joubert-Lauencin, eds. Opening Bazin: Postwar Film Theory & Its Afterlife. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Bazin, André. Andre Bazin’s New Media. Edited and Translated by Dudley Andrew. Oakland: University of California Press, 2014.

Bazin, André. The Cinema of Cruelty. Edited and with an introduction by François Truffaut. Translated by Sabine d'Estrée with the assistance of Tiffany Fliss. New York: Arcade Publishing, 2013.

Bazin, André. What is Cinema? Translated by Timothy Barnard. Montreal: Caboose, 2009.

Morgan, Daniel. "Rethinking Bazin: Ontology and Realist Aesthetics." Critical Inquiry 32.3 (2006): 443–481.

Benjamin, Walter

Bergson, Henri

Bergson, Henri. Matter and Memory (1896). Translated by N.M. Paul & W.S. Palmer. New York: Zone Books, 1994.

Bersani, Leo (& Ulysse Dutoit)

Bersani, Leo & Ulysse Dutoit. Forms of Being: Cinema, Aesthetics, Subjectivity. London, BFI: 2004.

Bersani, Leo & Ulysse Dutoit. Arts of Impoverishment: Beckett, Rothko, Resnais. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993.

Brenez, Nicole

Butler, Judith

Butler, Judith. “Gender is Burning: Questions of Appropriation and Subversion.” In Dangerous Liasons: Gender, Nation, and Postcolonial Perspectives, edited by Anne McClintock, Aamir Mufti, Ella Shohat, 381-396. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997.

Casebier, Allan

Casebier, Allan. Film and Phenomenology: Toward a Realist Theory of Cinematic Representation. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Carroll, Nöel

Carroll, Nöel. "Film/Mind Analogies: The Case of Hugo Munsterberg." Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 46.4 (Summer): 489-99. 

Carroll, Nöel. Philosophical Problems of Classical Film Theory. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1988.

Carroll, Nöel. The Philosophy of Horror: Or, Paradoxes of the Heart. New York: Routledge, 1990.

Carroll, Nöel. The Philosophy of Motion Pictures. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008.

Cavell, Stanley

Cavell, Stanley. The World Viewed. Cambridge, Harvard University Press. 1971. 

Cavell, Stanley. Must we Mean what we Say?: A Book of Essays. Cambridge Eng.; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1976.

Cavell, Stanley. Pursuits of Happiness: The Hollywood Comedy of Remarriage. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1981.

Cavell, Stanley. “Ugly Duckling, Funny Butterfly: Bette Davis and ‘Now, Voyager.’” Critical Inquiry 16, no. 2 (Winter, 1990): 213-47.

Cavell, Stanley. Contesting Tears: The Hollywood Melodrama of the Unknown Woman. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1996.

Cavell, Stanley. Cities of Words: Pedagogical Letters on a Register of the Moral Life. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2004.

Rothman, William. Cavell on Film. Albany, SUNY, 2005. 

Copjec, Joan

Copjec, Joan. “The Anxiety of the Influencing Machine.” October 23 (Winter, 1982): 43-59.

Copjec, Joan.  “The Orthopsychic Subject: Film Theory and the Reception of Lacan.” October 49 (Summer, 1989): 53-71.

Copjec, Joan. “The Phenomenal Nonphenomenal: Private Space in Film Noir.“ In Shades of Noir: A Reader, edited by J. Copjec, 167-99. New York: Verso, 1993.

Copjec, Joan. Read My Desire: Lacan Against Historicists. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1994.

Copjec, Joan. Imagine There’s No Woman: Ethics and Sublimation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002.

Copjec, Joan. “The Object-Gaze: Shame, Hejab, Cinema.” Filosofski vestnik 27, no. 2 (2006): 11-29.

Debord, Guy

Debord, Guy. Society of the Spectacle. Detroit: Black & Red, 1970.

Debord, Guy. Comments on the Society of the Spectacle. New York: Verso, 1998.

Deleuze, Gilles

Bogue, Ronald. Deleuze on Cinema. New York: Routledge, 2003.

Coleman, Felicity. Deleuze and Cinema: The Film Concepts. Oxford, UK: Berg 2011.

Deamer, David. Deleuze's Cinema Books: Three Introductions to the Taxonomy of Images. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016.

Deleuze, Gilles. Cinema 1. Translated by Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam. London, UK: Continuum, 2005.

Deleuze, Gilles. Cinema 2. Translated by Hugh Tomlinson and Robert Galeta. London, UK: Continuum, 2005. 

Deleuze, Gilles. Difference and Repetition. Translated by Paul Patton. London, UK: Continuum, 2004.

Flaxman, Gregory, ed. The Brain is the Screen: Deleuze and the Philosophy of Cinema. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000.

Jagodzinski, Jan, ed. Psychoanalyzing Cinema: A Productive Encounter with Lacan, Deleuze, and Zizek. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

Martin-Jones, David and William Brown, eds. Deleuze and Film. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012.

Rodowick, D. N., ed. Afterimages of Gilles Deleuze's Film PhilosophyMinneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010.

Rodowick, D. N. Gilles Deleuze's Time Machine. Durham: Duke University Press, 1997.

Rushton, Richard. Cinema After Deleuze. London, UK: Continuum, 2012.

Deren, Maya

Derrida, Jacques

Special Issue on Derrida and Cinema, edited by James Cahill and Timothy Holland, Discourse 37, no. 1-2 (2015).

de Baecque, Antoine and Thierry Jousse. "Cinema and its Ghosts: An Interview with Jacques Derrida" Translated by Peggy Kamuf. Discourse 37, no. 1-2 (2015): 22-39.

Epstein, Jean

Epstein, Jean. Critical Essays and New Translations. Edited by Sarah Keller and Jason N. Paul. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2012.

Epstein, Jean. The Intelligence of a Machine. Translated by Christophe Wall-Romana. Minneapolis: Univocal, 2014.

Wall-Romana, Cristophe. Jean Epstein: Corporeal Cinema and Film Philosophy. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013.

Flusser, Vilém

Flusser, Vilém. "L'Art sociologique et vidéo à travers la démarche de Fred Forest." [Sociological Art and Video through the Work of Fred Forest.] Paris: UGE, 1977.

Flusser, Vilém. Towards a Philosophy of Photography. Translated by A. Mathews. London: Reaktion, 2000.

Flusser, Vilém. "De la Production et de la consommation des films" [On the Production and Consumption of Films]. In La Civilisation des médias, translated by C. Maillard, 75-88. Belval: Circé, 2006.

Martin, Adrian. "Revolution of the Head: Vilém Flusser." Lola 2 (2012).

Foucault, Michel

Foucault, Michel. "Film and Popular Memory." Foucault Live - Interviews 1966-84. Edited by S. Lotringer. Translated by M. Jordin, 89-106 [1974]. New York: Semiotexte, 1989. 

Foucault, Michel. "Sade: Sergeant of Sex." Aesthetics, Method, and Epistemology. Edited by James D. Faubion. Translated by Robert Hurley and others. New York: The New Press, 1998. 223-229.

Patrice Maniglier and Dork Zabunyan, Foucault au cinéma. Paris: Ba-yard, 2011. 

Guattari, Félix

Guattari, Félix. "Le Cinéma: un art mineur." La Revolution moléculaire, 203-38. Fontenay-sous-Bois: Recherches, 1977. 

Jameson, Frederic

Jameson, Fredric. “Reification and Utopia in Mass Culture.” Social Text no. 1 (1979): 130-48.

Jameson, Fredric. “Cognitive Mapping.” In Marxism and the Interpretation of the Culture, edited by C. Nelson and L. Grossberg, 347-60. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1990.

Jameson, Fredric. Postmodernism, Or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. Durham: Duke University Press, 1991.

Jameson, Fredric. The Geopolitical Aesthetic: Cinema and Space in the World System. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992.

Jameson, Fredric. Signatures of the Visible. New York: Routledge, 1992.

Jameson, Fredric. “Notes on Globalization as a Philosophical Issue.” In The Cultures of Globalization, edited by F. Jameson and M. Miyoshi, 54-81. Durham: Duke University Press, 1998.

Jarvie, Ian

Jarvie, Ian. Philosophy of the Film: Epistemology, Ontology, Aesthetics. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1987.

Kittler, Friedrich

Kittler, Friedrich A. Literature, Media, Information Systems: Essays, edited by John Johnston. Amsterdam: GB Arts International, 1997.

Kittler, Friedrich A. Gramophone, Film, Typewriter. Translated by Geoffrey Winthrop-Young and Michael Wutz. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999.

Kittler, Friedrich A. Optical Media. Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2010.

Kittler, Friedrich A. The Truth of the Technological World: Essays on the Genealogy of Presence. Translated by Erik Butler. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2013.

Sale, Stephen and Laura Salisbury, eds. Kittler Now: Current Perspectives in Kittler Studies. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2015.

Kofman, Sarah

Conley, Tom. "Sarah Kofman." In Film, Theory and Philosophy, edited by Felicity Colman, 190-200. Acumen: Durham, 2009.

Kracauer, Siegfried

Siegfried Kracauer, “Mass and Propaganda. An Inquiry into Fascist Propaganda,” trans. Nicholas Baer, in Film Studies, vol. 16 (Spring 2017): 9-15

Levinas, Emmanuel

Lyotard, Jean-Francois

Lyotard, Jean-Francois. “The Unconscious as Mise-en-scene.” In Performance in Postmodern Culture. Eds. Michael Benamou and Charles Caramello. 87-98. Madison, WI: Coda Press, 1977.

Lyotard, Jean-Francois. “Acinema.” Trans. Paisley Livingston. In Narrative, Apparatus, Ideology: A Film Theory Reader. Ed. Philip Rosen. 349-359. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 1986.

McLuhan, Marshall

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. Phenomenology of Perception (1948). Translated by C. Smith. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1962.

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. “The Film and the New Psychology.” In Sense and Non-Sense. Translated by H. Dreyfus P.A. Dreyfus. Evanston, Il: Northwestern University Press, 1963. 48-59.

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. The Visible and the Invisible (1964). Translated by Alphonso Lingis. Evanston, Il: Northwestern University Press, 1968.

Morin, Edgar

Morin, Edgar. The Stars. (1989) Translated by Robert Howard. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005.

Morin, Edgar. Cinema, or The Imaginary Man. (1956) Translated by Lorraine Mortimer. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005.

Edgar Morin, "Chronicle of a Film," in Ciné-Ethnography, 229-265. Edited by Steven Feld. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003.

Nancy, Jean-Luc

Nancy, Jean-Luc. L’Intrus. Paris: Galilée, 2000.

Nancy, Jean-Luc. Abbas Kiarostami: The Evidence of Film. Translated by Christine Irizarry and Verena Andermatt Conley. Brussels: Yves Gevaert, 2001.

Nancy, Jean-Luc. 2001 ‘L’Areligion’. Vacarme, Winter (2001).

Nancy, Jean-Luc. The Ground of the Image. Translated by Jeff Fort. New York: Fordham University Press, 2005.

Nancy, Jean-Luc. “L’Intrus selon Claire Denis.”, 2005.

Papini, Giovanni. "The Philosophy of Cinematograph." Early Film Theories in Italy: 1896-1922. Edited by Francesco Casetti with Silvio Alovisio and Luca Mazzei. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2017.

Rancière, Jacques

Baumbach, Nico. “Rancière and the Persistence of Film Theory.” In Critical Cinema: Beyond the Theory of Practice. Ed. Clive Myer. 99-110. New York, NY: Wallflower, 2011.

Chesney, Duncan. “Rancière, Deleuze, and Contemporary Film Aesthetics.” New Review of Film and Television Studies 8.1 (March 2010): 22-40.

Conley, Tom. “Cinema and its Discontents.” In Jacques Rancière: History, Politics, Aesthetics. Eds. Gabriel Rockhill and Philip Watts. 216-28. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2009.

Rancière, Jacques. Film Fables. Trans. Emiliano Battista. Oxford, UK: Berg, 2006.

Rancière, Jacques. The Future of the Image. Trans. Gregory Elliot. London, UK: Verso, 2007.

Rancière, Jacques. The Emancipated Spectator. Trans. Gregory Elliot. London, UK: Verso, 2009.

Sarte, Jean-Paul

Dossier on Sarte and Cinema in Senses of Cinema 84 (Sept 2017)

Schefer, Jean-Louis

Schefer, Jean-Louis. The Ordinary Man of Cinema (1980). Translated by Max Cavitch, Noura Wedell and Paul Grant. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2016.

Shaviro, Steven

Shaviro, Steven. Post Cinematic Affect. Winchester: Zero Books: 2009.

Shaviro, Steven. Without Criteria: Kant, Whitehead, Deleuze, and Aesthetics, 2010. Cambridge, MIT Press: 2009. 

Shaviro, Steven. Cinematic Body (Theory Out Of Bounds). Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1993.

Singer, Irving

Singer, Irving. Cinematic Mythmaking: Philosophy in Film. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2008.

Singer, Irving. Ingmar Bergman, Cinematic Philosopher: Reflections on his Creativity. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2007.

Singer, Irving. Three Philosophical Filmmakers: Hitchcock, Welles, Renoir. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2004.

Singer, Irving. Reality Transformed: Film as Meaning and Technique. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1998.

Sobchack, Vivian

Sobchack, Vivian. Carnal Thoughts: Embodiment and Moving Image Culture. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004.

Sobchack, Vivian. The Address of the Eye: A Phenomenology of Film Experience. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991.

Stiegler, Bernard

Stiegler, Bernard. Technics and Time, 1: The Fault of Epimetheus. Translated by R. Beardsworth & G. Collins. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1998.

Thacker, Eugene


Virilio, Paul

Virilio, Paul. War and Cinema: The Logistics of Perception. Translated by P. Camiller. London: Verso, 1989.

Virilio, Paul. The Aesthetics of Disappearance. Translated by Philip Beitchman. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 1991.

Virilio, Paul. The Information Bomb. Translated by Christ Turner. New York: Verso, 2005.

Virilio, Paul. The Original Accident. Translated by Julie Rose. Cambridge: Polity, 2007.

Žižek, Slavoj

Žižek, Slavoj. Enjoy Your Symptom! Jacques Lacan in Hollywood and Out. New York: Routledge, 1992.

Žižek, Slavoj. “In His Bold Gaze My Ruin Is Writ Large.” In Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Lacan: (but Were Afraid to Ask Hitchcock), edited by S. Žižek, 211-73. New York: Verso, 1992.

Žižek, Slavoj. “Cyberspace, or, How to Traverse the Fantasy in the Age of the Retreat of the Big Other.” Public Culture 10, no. 3 (1998): 483-513.

Žižek, Slavoj. The Art of the Ridiculous Sublime: On David Lynch’s Lost Highway. Seattle: The Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities, 2000.

Žižek, Slavoj.  The Fright of Real Tears: Krzysztof Kieslowski between Theory and PostTheory. London: British Film Institute, 2001.

Žižek, Slavoj. How to Read Lacan. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2006.

Žižek, Slavoj.  The Sublime Object of Ideology. New York: Verso, 2008.

Žižek, Slavoj.  The Plague of Fantasies. New York: Verso, 2009.