Cinema 2


The second issue of Cinema: Journal of Philosophy and the Moving Image, which I co-edit with Patrícia Silveirinha Castello Branco and Susana Viegas, has been published today. The contents may be consulted, read, and downloaded here:


“The Philosophy of Film and Film as Philosophy”, Tom McClelland (University of Sussex)

“Layering Images, Thwarting Fables: Deleuze, Rancière and the Allegories of Cinema”, Agustin Zarzosa (Purchase College, SUNY)

“The Twilight of the Index”, Temenuga Trifonova (York University)

“Semiotic Images”, Flore Chevaillier (Central State University)

“‘Biopolitics on Screen’: Aernout Mik’s Moving-Image Installations”, Gabriella Calchi-Novati (Trinity College Dublin)

“Para uma Teoria do Cliché”, Leonor Areal (New University of Lisbon /School of Fine Art and Design, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria)

“Técnicas Cinematográficas e Actos Mentais: ‘The Photoplay’ de Hugo Münsterberg”, Teresa Pedro (Berlin Institute of Technology/New University of Lisbon)


“Merleau-Ponty e o Pensamento do Cinema”, Mauro Carbone (Jean Moulin University - Lyon 3), trans. Débora Quaresma and Davide Scarso


“Questions for Jacques Rancière Around His Book Les écart du cinéma” [ENG.]/“Questions à Jacques Rancière autour de son livre Les écart du cinéma” [FR.], by Susana Nascimento Duarte (New University of Lisbon)

Conference Report:

“Film-Philosophy Conference (Liverpool John Moores University, 6-8 July 2011)”, William Brown (University of Roehampton)

Book Reviews:

cem mil cigarros: Os Filmes de Pedro Costa”, Iván Villarmea Álvarez (University of Zaragoza)

Magníficas Obsessões: João Bénard da Costa, um Programador de Cinema”, Paulo Cunha (University of Coimbra)


Cinema: Journal of Philosophy and the Moving Image: 1

Au hasard Balthazar: Teologia e a Arte da Presença


Peregrinação Exemplar.

O número 14 da revista italiana Fata Morgana: Quadrimestrale di cinema e visioni dedicado à animalidade acabou de ser lançado. Um dos artigos é da minha autoria. Trata-se de uma análise de Peregrinação Exemplar (Au hasard Balthazar, 1966) e da arte de Robert Bresson, que descrevo como arte da presença, a partir da perspectiva teológica franciscana. Em italiano ficou “Au hasard Balthazar: teologia e arte della presenza”. O alinhamento desta edição pode ser consultado aqui.

Film noir, um Género Imaginado


Foi ontem lançado e apresentado o volume 32 da Revista de História das Ideias, dirigida por Fernando Catroga e publicada pelo Instituto de História e Teoria das Ideias da FLUC, para o qual contribuí com o ensaio “Film noir, um Género Imaginado”. Sob o signo das artes, esta publicação reúne artigos que abordam as áreas cobertas pelo curso de Estudos Artísticos da Universidade de Coimbra: cinema, fotografia, música, e teatro. Inclui ainda um texto sobre dança e vários contributos sobre as muitas facetas da actividade artística.

A Cinema Inhabited by the Angel of History



I participate in the fourth annual international conference organised by the Research Centre for Communication and Culture today. The centre is based at the School of Human Sciences of the Catholic University of Portugal. This year’s event is called (Post-)Conflict Cinema: Remembering Out-breaks and In-tensions and includes the Israeli filmmaker Samuel Maoz and Thomas Elsaesser (University of Amsterdam/Yale University) as keynote speakers. Further information here.

My paper is called “A Cinema Inhabited by the Angel of History: On Rossellini’s Paisan”:

In her poetry book, The Angel of History, Carolyn Forché shares a vision of the poet’s work as resembling that of the angel of history. This figure is presented in Walter Benjamin’s essay “On the Concept of History”. Inspired by Paul Klee’s Angelus Novus (1920), Benjamin talks about this angel as a contemplative creature whose face is turned toward the past and whose back is turned to the future. Propelled into the future by progress, its eyes are fixed on the wreckage that piles in front of its feet.

Following Forché’s idea, this paper looks at the work of a filmmaker as resembling that of the angel that Benjamin describes. Robert Rossellini’s films, and his war trilogy in particular — Rome Open City (Roma, città aperta, 1945), Paisan (Paisà, 1946), Germany Year Zero (Germania anno zero, 1948) — are structured around ruins, the remains of what was (and that, because of its sheer presence, still is). These films look directly at the physical and mental disintegration that World War II has generated and, like Benjamin, they reject a set perspective on the past instead of a variable one. My focus will be on Paisan, a film in episodes whose structure intensifies the fragmentary feeling (or incompleteness) and the sense of indetermination (or openness) of the other two. As André Bazin suggests, by filming on location, within the debris and the life of devastated cities, this film turns history into something actual, present — a present made of many characters, languages, and stories. This is a cinema inhabited by a kind of angel of history, Rossellini, who sees cinema as an anthropological activity, as a way of understanding reality, and for whom the future cannot be quite anticipated, because it does not yet exist.

Notes for a Stylistic Analysis of Heroes


I received an email from David Simmons (University of Northhampton) informing me that Investigating “Heroes”: Essays on Truth, Justice and Quality TV is now out in the USA. It will be available in the UK in January 2012. I have contributed with a chapter called “Super Style: Notes for a Stylistic Analysis”, which is based on a paper that I presented in 2009 at a conference on superheroes held at Yale University.