Talk to Her (Philosophers on Film)
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Pedro Almodóvar is one of the most renowned film directors of recent years. Talk to Her is one of the most discussed and controversial of all his films. Dealing principally with the issue of rape, it also offers profound insights into the nature of love and friendship whilst raising important philosophical and moral questions in unsettling and often paradoxical ways.
This is the first book to explore and address the philosophical aspects of Almodóvar’s film. Opening with a helpful introduction by Noël Carroll that places the film in context, specially commissioned chapters examine the following topics:
- The relationship between art and morality and the problem of 'immoralism'
- Moral injury and its role in the way we form moral judgments, including the ethics of love and friendship
- The nature of dialogue, sexual objectification and what 'listening to' means in the context of gender
- Almodóvar's use of allusion and the unmasking of appearances to explore hidden themes in human nature.
Including a biography of Almodóvar, Talk to Her is essential reading for students interested in philosophy and film as well as ethics and gender. It is also provides an accessible and informative insight into philosophy for those in related disciplines such as film studies, literature and religion.
Contributors: Noël Carroll, A. W. Eaton, Cynthia Freeland, Robert B. Pippin, C.D.C. Reeve, and George M. Wilson
primed early on to think of Benigno as failing to respect Alicia’s personal boundaries. Indeed, the scene where he intrudes into her room makes him appear psychopathic and stalkerish, preparing us to think of him as a violator. More important, all the aestheticization in the world couldn’t completely remove one’s sense that there is something deeply wrong with having intercourse with a comatose woman, no matter how much one loves her. When the judgment of rape comes at the end of the ﬁlm, it
only not enhance it artistically, but also wouldn’t even leave its most redeeming artistic qualities intact. If Benigno were presented as all bad and his actions as entirely gruesome and deplorable, there would be no dilemma nor any unsettling manipulation of our feelings. Nothing but a simple morality tale would remain and although this might satisfy us morally, it would leave us cold and unmoved. That is, what’s good about Talk to Her is that it succeeds in eliciting responses that our ethical
or insights to the conversation of philosophy. In this volume on Pedro Almodóvar’s Talk to Her, the essayists provide examples of all three of the preceding types of philosophical engagement with cinema, often in the same article, along with extremely nuanced readings of the narrative and profoundly probing examinations of the characters. In her piece “Almodóvar’s Immoralism,” A.W. Eaton addresses a current issue in the moral philosophy of the arts: the question of whether an artwork, in this
from the other of what they need and want. And this receptiveness is to be conjoined with a willingness to respond with equal openness to those signs, providing thereby an acknowledgment of the living reality of the other person and the value of his or her life. Finally, this openness in perception and action is to be sustained even in the face of contrary evidence and despite the negative mandates of common sense. In any case, this is the best positive characterization that I can give.
audience watching. This scene is both lyrical and painful to watch, much like the Bausch opening sequence. (I think it uses the same music.) We see Lydia ﬁghting in tight relation to an exhausted and bloodied bull; NOTHING IS SIMPLE 77 they both move in slow motion. Lydia is obviously well aware of the bull’s presence and danger, but gracefully eludes him as he moves back and forth across the screen and across her body. The bull is sweating and in obvious pain. Lydia stares at him in direct