Touch, Transcendence and Immanence in Film

  • Andrew Murphie


TAKING OFF THE GLOVES: TOUCH, TRANSCENDENCE AND IMMANENCE IN FILM Beginning with excessive acts of both violence and compassion, as depicted in Martin Scorsese's Bring out the Dead (1999, USA), I attempt to sketch the play between transcendence and immanence in film. In particular, I am interested in Paul Schrader's philosophical discussion of "transcendental style", as well as his film work, and in the work of Scorsese, Yasujiro Ozu, and Gilles Deleuze concerning the film relations between transcendence and immanence. In the process I hope to foreground the role of touch in film and begin to question an aesthetic syntax in film and in philosophy. In a way the moment of bashing and compassion in Bringing Out the Dead that I shall begin with crystallises a history of ambiguity and anxiety surrounding issues of touch, immanence and transcendence. I shall try and tease out only a few moments in...