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The Reality of FilmTheories of Filmic Reality$
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Richard Rushton

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780719082689

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719082689.001.0001

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Filmic reality and the aesthetic regime

Filmic reality and the aesthetic regime

(p.172) 7 Filmic reality and the aesthetic regime
The Reality of Film

Richard Rushton

Manchester University Press

This chapter analyses Jacques Rancière's approach to cinema as a category of the aesthetic. For him, film is part of the historical bloc in which people live, which defines artworks by means of the category called ‘aesthetics’. People live in an era of what Rancière calls ‘the aesthetic regime’, a regime by means of which art has been defined for the last two hundred years or thereabouts. The cinema, according to him, is very good at telling stories which have a precise beginning, middle and end. Indeed, this is one aspect of art that the cinema almost completely borrows from the representative regime: the ability to tell great stories. The conjunction of the aesthetic and the representative regimes fully defines what film is and which contributes to making it such an important artform. Rancière's contribution is important because it disrupts the quest for ‘purity’ in theories of cinema.

Keywords:   Jacques Rancière, aesthetics, aesthetic regime, story-telling, representative regime, purity

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