Cinematic Realism: A Defence from Plato to Gaut

Rafe McGregor

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    The purpose of this paper is to defend a particular kind of cinematic realism, anti-illusionism, which is the thesis that cinematic motion is real. Following a brief introduction to realism and cinema in §1, I analyse Berys Gaut’s taxonomy of cinematic realism and define anti-illusionism in §2. §3 contrasts the anti-illusionist theories of Gregory Currie and Trevor Ponech with the illusionist theories of Andrew Kania and Gaut. I reconceptualise the debate in terms of Tom Gunning’s cinematic animation in §4, focusing on the question of cinematic singletons. In §5 I argue that cinematic singletons both exist and undergo objective displacement – and thus for anti-illusionism. I conclude, in §§6-7, with responses to potential objections to my argument from Kania and Gaut.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)225-239
    Number of pages15
    JournalBritish Journal of Aesthetics
    Issue number7
    Early online date6 Aug 2018
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2018


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