What is it about?

The experience of watching a film can sometimes make it easy for spectators to affirm a world view that they prefer, even if deep down they know that their perspective isn't altogether true. Films can have the same effect on character traits and attitudes, enabling us to remain secure about beliefs that we should be more critical of. In these ways films can enable our projects of self-denial. This paper explores this form of spectator activity, examining how films can encourage or discourage bad faith in viewers.

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Why is it important?

This essay explores a form of spectator activity that has not received scholarly attention: the way in which viewers are encouraged or discouraged in their projects of bad faith. While there has been a good deal of attention directed at aspects of film that promote various stereotypes or attitudes, this essay instead investigates how viewers make use of films to enable, or undermine, their projects of self-denial.

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This page is a summary of: Bad Faith in Film Spectatorship, Film-Philosophy, June 2020, Edinburgh University Press, DOI: 10.3366/film.2020.0135.
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