Film-Philosophy Conference: A Reflection

by criticalhit009

Before my thoughts are lost to me, I am going to write down a few thoughts about the recent conference I was able to attend: Coming to Terms with Film-Philosophy. I learned a lot, and was challenged a lot, as film-philosophy is not my specialty. While I was initially frustrated with my inability to keep track and fully comprehend dense presentations, I did realize that such density was beneficial, as film-philosophy experts could exchange ideas with other experts and mutual benefit the field and themselves.

In terms of programming, the switch up from Alain Badiou to Slavoj Žižek as the keynote speaker was an unfortunate downgrade. I had a class conflict during Žižek’s presentation, so I attended all the panels without feeling left out. I did feel left out in a different way, however, in the lack of gender balance within the conference. Philosophy itself is still dominated by men, and that was still represented here, with women making less than 30% of the presentations.

The more I was familiar with the subject material, the greater I appreciated the presentations. Likewise the more the presentation was written for a general film audience, the better it often was. Presenters who presented a presentation rather than merely reading their paper were deeply appreciated.  I was able to make a great new friend, and share enthusiasm around animation, my specialty. If anything, finding new friends was the best part of the conference, as well as getting to know my department’s PhD students better.

Funniest thing I noticed: The phrase “always already” is a favourite among philosophers.