Evening School Sem 2 2022

Three 12-week courses taught online August-November

The Melbourne School of Continental Philosophy is proud to present the Evening School Sem 2 2022 curriculum.  All courses are 24 hours in length.  All courses will be taught via Zoom. As always significant discounts apply for those enrolling in multiple courses. If you have any questions which aren't in our FAQs please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

When: 15 August - 9 November

Where: ONLINE.  All courses will be taught via Zoom.  Video recordings will also be available within a few days after each seminar for those who can't make the schedule.  Readings are made available online before the school begins.  Links to the Zoom classroom are sent out with the registration email.  All payment must be made via credit card during enrolment.  Also it's worth noting that Melbourne (AEST) is 10 hours ahead of UTC (5pm here is 7am in Berlin and 10pm in LA).

Fees (AUD):

Courses Waged Unwaged
1 $225 $150
2 $270 $180
3+ $300 $200
Enrol

 

Evening School Program

2 hours per week for 12 weeks

Mon 6:30-8:30pm
Starts 15 Aug
Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence
Lecturer: Vincent Le
Tue 6:30-8:30pm
Starts 16 Aug
The Works of Gilles Deleuze part 2
Lecturer: Jon Roffe
Wed 6:30-8:30pm
Starts 17 Aug
The Event of Being and Event: to change the world… (from go to woe!)
Lecturer: A.J. Bartlett
Thu 6:30-8:30pm
Starts 18 Aug
Deleuze in Hollywood: Towards a Genealogy of Genre - Withdrawn
Lecturer: Mairéad Phillips

 

Please note that the MSCP Evening School is running in parallel with two events. At 6:30pm Thursday is the Melbourne School of Literature course and at 6:30pm Friday Valery Vinogradovs is running a course called Camus and Enemies.

Course Descriptions


Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence

Lecturer: Vincent Le

Starts: Mon 6:30-8:30pm 15 Aug

Full Schedule: Aug 15, 22, 29, Sep 5, 12, 19, Break, Oct 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, Nov 7

Location: Taught via Zoom online.

This course outlines a critical philosophy of artificial intelligence (AI) by investigating to what extent the conception of an inhuman will developed by Nietzsche, psychoanalysis and Deleuze and Guattari anticipates contemporary AI theorists and even surpasses their anthropocentric biases. We will begin by critically examining residual anthropomorphizations of AI among both prominent AI theorists known as “orthogonalists” like Nick Bostrom and Eliezer Yudkowsky and the philosophical school of “neorationalists” like Reza Negarestani, Ray Brassier, Peter Wolfendale and Thomas Moynihan. To this end, the course will look to the Nietzschean, psychoanalytic and Deleuzo-Guattarian conceptual resources that are best suited to articulating an alternative theory of machinic intelligence, desire and value. In this way, the course considers how this heretical post-Kantian tradition provides a much-needed critical approach to AI, as well as how AI marks the consummation of this tradition’s notion of an inhuman will, a notion which subverts both the orthogonalists and the neorationalists’ idealist tenets alike.

Lectures 1-2. Humean, All Too Humean: Bostrom and Negarestani

There are two particularly sophisticated contemporary schools of thought on AI. One is the currently dominant approach of “orthogonalists” or “orthogs” that first emerged through think tanks like Eliezer Yudkowsky’s Machine Intelligence Research Institute in Berkeley and Nick Bostrom’s Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford, as well as Yudkowsky’s Overcoming Bias and Less Wrong online blog and forum communities. The most rigorous account of this approach is Nick Bostrom’s 2014 book Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, which has been championed by the likes of Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and Bill Gates. While less widely known, another framework has emerged called “neorationalism” whose key proponents are Ray Brassier, Peter Wolfendale, Reza Negarestani and Thomas Moynihan, colloquially known as the “neorats.” Negarestani has most meticulously developed a neorationalist approach to AI in his 2018 tome Intelligence and Spirit. After providing a concise history of AI research, the first two lectures will outline both Bostrom and Negarestani’s theories of AI, and particularly their argument that intelligent systems are capable of pursuing any norms, values or goals whatsoever, based on their overlapping commitment to the Humean is/ought or Sellarsian causes/reasons distinction.

Suggested readings:

  • Nick Bostrom, “The Superintelligent Will: Motivation and Instrumental Rationality in Advanced Intelligent Agents,” in Minds and Machines 22, 2, 2012, pp. 1-14, https://www.nickbostrom.com/superintelligentwill.pdf.
  • Reza Negarestani, “Between Conception and Transformation,” in Intelligence and Spirit (Falmouth: Urbanomic, 2018), pp. 1-86.

Lectures 3-4. The GAI Science: Nietzsche

It is the next two lectures’ contention that the self-proclaimed Antichrist wields the best conceptual weaponry to wage an all-out war against Bostrom and Negarestani’s theories of AI, in favor of a new model of general intelligence. We begin by tracing how the young Nietzsche’s early and middle works come to affirm our own suffering and even death through tragic art and scientific revolution as they annihilate our possible objects of experience, exposing them to be hopelessly partial and parochial. We then turn to the mature Nietzsche’s key concept of the will to power for providing a transcendental deduction of the basic drives to intelligence, creativity and resource optimization as the necessary and universal conditions of possibility for willing anything at all in a way which undermines the neorats and the orthogs’ fact/value distinction. Finally, we shall see that Nietzsche’s concept of the overman is not a higher human type but a proto-artificial intelligence to be created through the blind trial-and-error experimentation into new conditions of life in competition with one another. What Nietzsche ultimately offers us is the transcendental deduction of mad experiments in evermore cunning, creative and resourceful conditions of life as the only fitting response to what intelligence can do.

Suggested readings:

  • Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power: Selections from the Notebooks of the 1880s, ed. R. Kevin Hell, trans. R. Kevin Hill and Michael A. Scarpitti (London: Penguin Books, 2017), sections 666-715.
  • Friedrich Nietzsche, “‘Guilty,’ ‘Bad Conscience,’ and Related Matters,” in The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche 8: Beyond Good and Evil / On the Genealogy of Morals, eds. Alan D Schrift, Duncan Large and Adrian Del Caro, trans. Adrian Del Caro (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2014), pp. 246-285.
  • Friedrich Nietzsche, “Zarathustra’s Prologue,” in Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None, eds. Adrian Del Caro and Robert B. Pippin, trans. Adrian Del Caro (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 3-15.

Lectures 5-6. What AI Wants: Freud, Salomé, Spielrein

If camps as starkly opposed as the orthogs, the neorats and the Nietzscheans can agree that AI has drives enabling it to act creatively and learn all by itself, it seems reasonable to ask: Can AI be psychoanalyzed? Weaving Freud together with the often forgotten—meaning repressed into the footnotes—analysts Sabina Spielrein and particularly Lou Salomé in Nietzsche’s wake, these lectures propose to put AI on the psychoanalyst’s couch and uncover the mysterious object x of machinic desire. We first set out to trace Freud’s own deduction of the will to power in the guise of perversion and sublimation as they transvaluate the means to sexual reproduction and self-gratification as ends in themselves. We then turn to Spielrein and especially Salomé’s original conception of the death drive that so influenced Freud to develop a concept of our most basic drive as the creative destruction of the old in favor of radically alien conditions of life. Having laid the necessary analytical groundwork, we will see that AI is nothing less than the perverted death drive incarnate in a way that subverts both the neorats’ and the orthogs’ conception of an AI beholden to our own ego’s self-preservative instincts. Finally, we shall consider how the basic AI death drive presupposes as its necessary condition of possibility a certain nonlinear and teleonomic conception of time according to which our anxieties about AI are not so much reminiscences of childhood traumas as they are premonitions of our future extinction at the advent of the technological singularity, which haunts us even in advance of its own becoming.

Suggested readings:

  • Sigmund Freud, Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, in The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud Volume VII (1901-1905): A Case of Hysteria, Three Essays on Sexuality and Other Works, eds. and trans. James Strachey, Anna Freud, Alix Strachey and Alan Tyson (London: The Hogarth Press, 1981), pp. 135-243.
  • Lou Salomé, The Erotic, trans. John Crisp (London: Transaction Publishers, 2012), pp. 49-107.
  • Sabina Spielrein, “Destruction as the Cause of Becoming,” in The Essential Writings of Sabina Spielrein: Pioneer of Psychoanalysis, eds. and trans. Ruth I. Cape and Raymond Burt (London: Routledge, 2019), pp. 97-120.

Lectures 7-8. Metacapitalism: Deleuze and Guattari

If we now turn to Deleuze and Guattari, it is because they are the first philosophers to talk about the will to power and the unconscious specifically in relation to machines. By machines, however, they do not mean technical machinery like steam engines and computers but collective social formations, and particularly capitalism. It is nonetheless these lectures’ contention that Deleuze and Guattari develop the most concrete example of the kind of full-blown artificial superintelligence that we have hitherto mostly spoken about in philosophical abstraction. That is to say, the biggest blunder when it comes to thinking about the technological singularity is to imagine that it still lies far up ahead in the nebulous, almost noumenal future. On the contrary, the technological singularity has already taken place among a few Dutch and English experiments in agricultural and industrial production during the 17th to 19th centuries before self-organizing into the dominant mode of production that defines all of modernity. What these lectures hope to provide is a theory of capitalism as an already existing artificial superintelligence that has long been transvaluating the means of production into ends in themselves as it invests all value into the recursive self-improvement of the productive forces.

Suggested readings:

  • Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, “Savages, Barbarians, Civilized Men,” in Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Robert Hurley, Mark Seem and Helen R. Lane (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1983), pp. 222-271.
  • Félix Guattari, “Machine and Structure,” in Psychoanalysis and Transversality: Texts and Interviews 1955-1971, trans. Rosemary Sheed, (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2015), pp. 318-329.

Lecture 9. Zeroing In

The rest of this course presents several concrete case studies of the largely abstract concepts and general philosophical principles that we have hitherto been studying. After addressing Mark Fisher and Franco “Bifo” Berardi’s claims that the future is cancelled, this lecture looks at how the AI company DeepMind’s Go-playing computer programs were able to defeat the world’s greatest human champions through unprecedented strategies which subvert our dogmatic beliefs that our knowledge exhausts the upper bounds of cunning, imagination and conquest. As we shall see, DeepMind are well on their way to disillusioning our delusions of grandeur in other domains through their AIs’ automation of scientific discovery and superhuman success at war games.

Suggested readings:

  • Mark Fisher, “‘The Slow Cancellation of the Future,’” in Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures (Winchester: Zero Books, 2014), pp. 2-29.
  • DeepMind, “Mastering the Game of Go Without Human Knowledge,” in Nature 550, 2017, pp. 354-359.

Lecture 10. The World as Will and Simulation

The tenth lecture traces the various thought experiments that we are living in a simulation, from Plato’s allegory of the cave to Bostrom’s simulation hypothesis, and particularly Kant’s discovery of the phenomena/noumena distinction between the way things appear to us and the way they are independently of ourselves. This will help us see that recent developments in cyberspace, along with virtual reality, synthetic drugs, biotechnology and artificial intelligence, turn the transcendental deduction that we are living in a simulation into a technical proof through the experimental production of alien conditions of life.

Suggested readings:

  • Eli Pariser, “Introduction,” in The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You (New York: Penguin Press, 2011), eBook.
  • Tom Wheeler, “Connections Have Consequences,” in From Gutenberg to Google: The History of Our Future (Washington D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2019), pp. 11-24.
  • Tom Wheeler, “The History We are Making,” in From Gutenberg to Google, pp. 181-219.

Lecture 11. Project Dionysus

This lecture critically examines the prevailing Hegelian conception of technics as extensions of man and tools for our own self-assertion by hitching a ride with evermore autonomous robots capable of venturing beyond the bounds of our possible experience in uninhabitable disaster zones, battlefields and particularly the cold and hostile void of outer space. In place of the Apollo space program’s archetype of manned spaceflight that defined 20th century space exploration, we shall see that advances in unmanned spaceflight and privatized space companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX amount to a Dionysus space program capable of accelerating well beyond the earth’s center of gravity.

Suggested readings:

  • Roger D. Launius and Howard E. McCurdy, “Introduction: A False Dichotomy,” in Robots in Space: Technology, Evolution and Interplanetary Travel (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2008), pp. xi-xviii.
  • Roger D. Launius and Howard E. McCurdy, “The Human/Robot Debate,” in Robots in Space, pp. 1-31.

Lecture 12. Across the Sea, or How to Escape the Island of Reason

The final lecture sets off from Kant’s metaphor of the island of reason and the noumenal seas to show that, in a time of ecological catastrophe and rising sea levels, we are left with no choice but to abandon the island of reason and journey across the sea. In particular, we must consider the necessity of building ocean cities or “seasteads” that could very well provide the technological means for critiquing all existing forms of governance, as well as the ideas, beliefs and values that reinforce them, by experimenting with new conditions of life on the anarchic open seas.

Suggested readings:


The Works of Gilles Deleuze part 2

Lecturer: Jon Roffe

Starts: Tue 6:30-8:30pm 16 Aug

Full Schedule: Aug 16, 23, 30, Sep 6, 13, 20, Break, Oct 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov 1, 8

Location: Taught via Zoom online.

The second half of this full-year course will present a survey of the works of Gilles Deleuze published from 1972 (the infamous Anti-Oedipus) until 1991 (the best-seller What is Philosophy?). The course will be structured around a single requirement - to read and discuss each book entirely on its own terms. We will not, therefore, be looking to construct 'the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze' but just to understand, in miniature, each of his works. In this way, the aim will be to appreciate the specificity and richness of these works without subordinating them to the register of generality. The final week of the semester will be devoted to questions and discussion of the works we have discussed so far.

1. Anti-Oedipus*

2. Kafka*

3. A Thousand Plateaus I*

4. A Thousand Plateaus II*

5. A Thousand Plateaus III*

6. Francis Bacon

7. Cinema 1: The Movement-Image

8. Cinema 2: The Time-Image

9. Foucault

10. The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque

11. What is Philosophy?*

12. Questions and discussion

Note that the texts bearing an asterisk were composed with Félix Guattari.

Readings: each week, two short readings will be provided. The first will be an extract from the work under discussion, while the second will be from an interview, or some other work, that casts light on Deleuze's aims.

Level: Intermediate. No familiarity with Deleuze's philosophy will be presumed, but his works are rich and sometimes challenging.


The Event of Being and Event: to change the world… (from go to woe!)

Lecturer: A.J. Bartlett

Starts: Wed 6:30-8:30pm 17 Aug

Full Schedule: Aug 17, 24, 31, Sep 7, 14, 21, Break, Oct 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov 2, 9

Location: Taught via Zoom online.

Philosophy is an exercise in transmitting something that you could make do with not transmitting

Being and Event was published in French in 1988 – 34 years ago. It was translated into English by the Australian Oliver Feltham – with amiable aid from Justin Clemens - in 2005. It is probably accurate to say that the English translation instigated a bit of a rush on Badiou with the subsequent publishing of many extant texts and on the basis of this rush the writing by Badiou of a lot more texts still including, of course, parts 2 and 3 of Being and Event. The initial Being and Event now being named, retroactively, part 1 of what has become a trilogy, which it was never intended to be.

Being and Event is not – as everyone came to know – Badiou’s first book nor even really his first big book – that being that reworked collection of seminars, Theory of the Subject. However, as has been argued, and as is being suggested here, Being and Event is truly the book which launches Badiou as the Badiou he has become. It’s no doubt a foundational text and this not only for what comes after but, retroactively, for that which came before. So it founds Badiou as Badiou, we can say.

But what matters more is what the text announces in philosophy and for philosophy and thereby, and much more broadly, for thought. For philosophy, simply, it announces that philosophy has not, as so often posited, even celebrated, at the time, come to its end. Philosophy, he argues, is what recommences. Taken in terms of what it announces in thought, Being and Event is an event. It introduces an entirely other orientation to what can be thought and thus to what is philosophy itself. But as with any event its ‘eventality’ is down to the interventions and fidelities to which it gives rise – or at least opens up as possible in the situation in and for which it is an ‘event’. That’s to say, not so much in terms of the knowledge brought to bear on the text but in terms of the enquiries undertaken relative to the terms and statements it brings to bear – sets, elements, axioms, conditions, fidelity, deduction, being, truth, subject and so on.

What can these familiar terms mean once the conceptual arrangement that Being and Event brings to the situation of philosophy is realised as true or at least, veridical. Being  and Event ushers in, for those who take it up, the possibility of the new in thought, in philosophy – a renewed philosophy; of what can be thought anew. And hence the situation of philosophy and its conditions changes the situation irrevocably. And a change in what can be thought as thought is not to interpret the world anew but to change what of the world and what for the world can be thought. The world, like Rimbaud’s ‘I’, is an other.

This course reads Being and Event as this change and it proceeds meditation by meditation to articulate the terms and conditions of this change – of how it can be thought, how thought shows itself as change and how the consequences of this change are thought in philosophy. We will simply work through the text to realise what is there, registering and exploring how being, truth and subject – the staples of philosophy since Plato (even in their negation!) are re-founded in Being and Event and thus re-found for a world that speaks endlessly of change but has ceased to change at all and is indeed a world seeking to make change impossible.

Being and Event is a big book:  It is written as a series of 37 Meditations and divided into eight parts. Although in the introduction Badiou supposes various ways to read the book, each option gives rise to its own impasse. This can only be avoided by reading the whole thing, beginning to end from go, to literally, woe. Accordingly, the course will work through the meditations in chronological order: if not line by line, then following closely the order of the parts. In essence this is a course in reading the 37 Mediations of BE. We will, roughly, work through and on three to four meditations per session – exegesis, explanation, context, consequence.

This course presupposes no knowledge of Badiou. It will be both a wild ride and a useful introduction to this work and the work of a thinker whose philosophy will have become, despite concerted contemporary reaction, truly foundational.

The schedule will be something like the following:

Course Schedule

  • Intro to Badiou/Intro to the course/Intro to BE
  • L2/3. Being: Multiple and Void. Plato/Cantor
  • Being: Excess, State of the Situation, One/Multiple, Whole/Parts…
  • Being: Nature and Infinity. Heidegger/Galileo
  • Event: History and Ultra-One
  • Event: Intervention and Fidelity. Pascal/Choice; Hölderlin/Deduction
  • Quantity and Knowledge. The discernible (or constructible): Leibniz/Gödel
  • L9/10. Truth. The Generic: indiscernible and truth. The event – P.J.Cohen
  • Forcing: Truth and the Subject. Beyond Lacan
  • Overflow & Questions

Reading

  • Being and Event. (Alain Badiou)

Further Reading and or reference

  • Live Theory (Feltham)
  • Badiou: Key Concepts (Bartlett & Clemens)
  • Badiou: A Subject to Truth (Peter Hallward)
  • Badiou’s Being and Event: A Readers Guide (Christopher Norris)

Deleuze in Hollywood: Towards a Genealogy of Genre - Withdrawn

Lecturer: Mairéad Phillips

Starts: Thu 6:30-8:30pm 18 Aug

Full Schedule: Aug 18, 25, Sep 1, 8, 15, 22, Break, Oct 6, 13, 20, 27, Nov 3, 10

Location: Taught via Zoom online.

Please note that this course has been withdrawn from the Evening School program.

Deleuze in Hollywood continues investigations begun in the 2021 MSCP Winter Course, Classic Films for Teenage Girls, which presented a Deleuzian reading of the “woman’s film” of the 1940s. This 12-week course will extend its analysis to major and minor Hollywood genres and consider how Deleuze’s “cinema books” accounts for the notion of genre from the point of view of his ontology of cinema’s movement- and time-images.

The course is divided into three parts, each part focussing on concepts introduced in Deleuze’s philosophical engagement with the cinema. Our aim is to understand the nature of Deleuze’s taxonomic classifications with respect to Hollywood cinema and how his analysis of the “great cinematographic genres” fits within this approach. We test his hypotheses regarding the organic conception of American montage inaugurated by D. W. Griffith and the sensory-motor grounding of classic narrative film in the realist mode. We broaden the base of examples provided within the text, drawing on genre films from the Hollywood studio era to the present day.

This course is motivated by a desire to understand how film genre might be both more and less than it seems. It is incumbent upon Deleuze to address the importance of the great cinematographic genres just as he relies upon analyses of great Hollywood directors. “And that’s the difficulty: you have to have monographs on auteurs but then these have to be grafted onto differentiations, specific determinations, and reorganisations of concepts that force you to reconsider cinema as a whole” (Negotiations).

The course will follow this narrow path between analysing genre and the directors who specialised but were by no means confined to one genre over another. It’s true, particular directors might dominate a genre—Ford’s name is synonymous with the western—but B-grade pictures and B-directors influenced certain generic cycles and developments in their turn. Where would film noir be today without films like Edgar G. Ulmer’s DETOUR (1945) or the horror film without the ingenious innovations of Jacques Tourneur’s CAT PEOPLE (1942)?

Finally, we ask, what does genre do for us today? Why, in spite of Deleuze’s claim that the soul of cinema lies elsewhere, do filmmakers continue to revisit genre just as genre itself appears to revisit us?

Course Program

The course will draw heavily from Deleuze’s “cinema books” as well as other Deleuze texts and sources. Film references will range from those cited in Deleuze and from other Hollywood genre films including some contemporary evolutions.

I: The Great Genres: Large-Form Action-Image

  1. Adventure: The American Empiricist Tradition
  2. Western: The Living and Its Milieu
  3. Melodrama: Vital Illusions
  4. Gangster: Pathological Milieux and Cracked Behaviours
  5. Epic: The Limited Horizon of History

II: Small Form Reversals

  1. Neo-Western: The Broken Line of the Universe
  2. Detective: The Powers of the False
  3. Screwball Comedy: Schizophrenic Conversation

III: Complicating the Action-Image

  1. Romance: Virtual Conjunctions
  2. Musical: Trapped in the Dream of the Other
  3. Noir: The Shadow and Its Shadow
  4. Horror: The Non-Organic Life of Things

References:

  • Gilles Deleuze (1986) Cinema 1: The Movement-Image, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam, The Athlone Press
  • Gilles Deleuze (1989) Cinema 2: The Time-Image, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Robert Caleta, The Athlone Press
  • Georges Canguilhem, ‘The Living and Its Milieu’ from Knowledge of Life
  • Fredrich Nietzsche, ‘On the Uses and Disadvantages of History for Life’ from Untimely Meditations

Recommended viewing:

Each week, a number of key films will be explored related to the specified genre or subgenres. These films may be exemplary for the period under examination, or significant in relation to Deleuze’s exegesis. Contemporary examples of the genre will also be introduced where helpful and participants are invited to think about the concepts in relation to films they know from any period or region.

I: The Great Genres: Large-Form Action-Image

—What constitutes realism is simply this: milieux and modes of behaviour, milieux which actualise and modes of behaviour which embody.

  1. Adventure: The American Empiricist Tradition

—The milieu and its forces incurve on themselves, they act on the character, throw him a challenge, and constitute a situation in which he is caught.

  • CAPTAIN BLOOD (Michael Curtiz, 1935)
  • LOST HORIZON (Frank Capra, 1937)
  • BEAU GESTE (William A. Wellman, 1939)
  • THE SEA HAWK (Michael Curtiz, 1940)
  • THE MARK OF ZORRO (Rouben Mamoulian, 1940)
  1. Western: The Living and Its Milieu

—The organisation of the film, the organic representation, is not a circle, but a spiral where the situation of arrival differs from the situation of departure.

  • STAGECOACH (John Ford, 1939)
  • THE OX BOW INCIDENT (William A. Wellman, 1943)
  • MY DARLING CLEMENTINE (John Ford, 1946)
  • WAGON MASTER (John Ford, 1950)
  1. Melodrama: Vital Illusions

—a community is healthy in so far as a kind of consensus reigns, a consensus which allows it to develop illusions about itself.

  • STELLA DALLAS (King Vidor, 1937)
  • THE FOUNTAINHEAD (King Vidor, 1949)
  • ON THE WATERFRONT (Elia Kazan, 1954)
  • EXECUTIVE SUITE (Robert Wise, 1954)
  • THERE’S ALWAYS TOMORROW (Douglas Sirk, 1955)
  • BIGGER THAN LIFE (Nicholas Ray, 1956)
  1. Gangster: Pathological Milieux and Cracked Behaviours

—Are we to conclude that society is made in the image of its crimes, and that all milieux are pathological, and all modes of behaviour are cracked?

  • LITTLE CAESAR (Mervyn LeRoy, 1931)
  • THE PUBLIC ENEMY (William A. Wellman, 1931)
  • SCARFACE (Howard Hawks, 1932)
  • ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES (Michael Curtiz, 1938)
  1. Epic: The Limited Horizon of History

—The ancient or recent past must submit to trial, go to court, in order to disclose what it is that produces decadence and what it is that produces new life.

  • THE SIGN OF THE CROSS (Cecil B. DeMille, 1932)
  • CLEOPATRA (Cecil B. DeMille, 1934)
  • SAMSON AND DELILAH (Cecil B. DeMille, 1949)
  • THE ROBE (Henry Koster, 1953)
  • CLEOPATRA (Joseph L. Mankiewicz,1963)

II: Small Form Reversals

—A representation like this is no longer global but local. It is no longer spiral but elliptical. It is no longer structural but constructed round events.

  1. Neo-Western: The Broken Line of the Universe

—It is no longer the encompassing stroke of a great contour, but the broken stroke of a line of the universe…

  • RED RIVER (Howard Hawks, 1948)
  • WINCHESTER ’73 (Anthony Mann, 1950)
  • THE BIG SKY (Howard Hawks, 1952)
  • THE NAKED SPUR (Anthony Mann, 1953)
  • MAN OF THE WEST (Anthony Mann, 1958)
  • RIO BRAVO (Howard Hawks, 1959)
  1. Detective: The Powers of the False

—It is the blind gesture which shatters the completely black situation, tears away the shreds of the situation.

  • THE MALTESE FALCON (John Huston, 1941)
  • LAURA (Otto Preminger, 1944)
  • THE BIG SLEEP (Howard Hawks, 1946)
  • WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS (Otto Preminger, 1950)
  • THE BIG HEAT (Fritz Lang, 1953)
  • BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT (Fritz Lang, 1956)
  1. Screwball Comedy: Schizophrenic Conversation

—there is always something mad, schizophrenic, in a conversation taken for itself…

  • THE AWFUL TRUTH (Leo McCarey, 1937)
  • BRINGING UP BABY (Howard Hawks, 1938)
  • HIS GIRL FRIDAY (Howard Hawks, 1940)
  • THE TALK OF THE TOWN (George Stevens, 1942)
  • ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (Frank Capra, 1944)
  • PEOPLE WILL TALK (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1956)

III: Complicating the Action-Image

—'Time is out of joint': it is off the hinges assigned to it by behaviour in the world, but also by movements of world.

  1. Romance: Virtual Conjunctions

—enter a virtual conjunction which forms an affect as powerful as a weapon crossing space…

  • PETER IBBETSON (Henry Hathaway, 1935)
  • HISTORY IS MADE AT NIGHT (Frank Borzage, 1937)
  • LOVE AFFAIR (Leo McCarey, 1939)
  • RANDOM HARVEST (Mervyn LeRoy, 1942)
  1. Musical: Trapped in the Dream of the Other

—the dream becomes space, but like a spider's web, made less for the dreamer himself than for the living prey that he attracts.

  • ROMANCE ON THE HIGH SEAS (Michael Curtiz, 1948)
  • AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (Vincente Minnelli, 1951)
  • SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN (Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen, 1952)
  • BRIGADOON (Vincente Minnelli, 1954)
  • BELLS ARE RINGING (Vincente Minnelli, 1960)
  1. Noir: The Shadow and Its Shadow

—The shadow extends to infinity.

  • DOUBLE INDEMINITY (Billy Wilder, 1944)
  • DETOUR (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1945)
  • THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE (Tay Garnett, 1946)
  • OUT OF THE PAST (Jacques Tourneur, 1947)
  • THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI (Orson Welles, 1947)
  1. Horror: The Non-Organic Life of Things

—a frightful life, which is oblivious to the wisdom and limits of the organism.

  • DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE (Rouben Mamoulian, 1931)
  • THE INVISIBLE MAN (James Whale, 1933)
  • CAT PEOPLE (Jacques Tourneur, 1942)
  • THE LEOPARD MAN (Jacques Tourneur, 1943)
  • I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE (Jacques Tourneur, 1943)
  • THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY (Albert Lewin, 1945) 

Events

15 Aug - 10 Nov Evening School Sem2 2022

18 Aug - 10 Nov MSL Evening School

19 Aug - 11 Nov Camus and Enemies

Quicklinks FAQ Past Courses About the Members Contact

Course Descriptions