This book provides a comprehensive, critical overview of the turn to ethics in literature, film, and visual culture. It discusses the concept of a biovisual ethics, offering a new theory of the relation between film and ethics based on the premise that images are capable of generating their own ethical content. This ethics operates hermeneutically and materializes in cinema's unique power to show us other modes of being. The author considers a wealth of contemporary art films and documentaries that embody ethical issues through the very form of the text. The ethical imagination generated by films such as The Nine Muses, Post Tenebras Lux, Amour, and Nostalgia For the Light is crucially defined by openness, uncertainty, opacity, and the refusal of hegemonic practices of visual representation.
Asbjørn Grønstad is professor of visual culture in the Department of Information Science and Media Studies, University of Bergen, where he is also founding director of the Nomadikon Center for Visual Culture Studies. The author or editor of nine books and numerous articles, his latest publication is Seeing Whole: Toward an Ethics and Ecology of Sight (co-edited with Mark Ledbetter, 2016).
Introduction.- Part I: Ethics.- From an ethics of transgression to a general ethics of form.- Optics as an Ethics.- The Return of Ethics in Literary Studies.- Screen Ethics before the Ethical Turn.- The Ethical Turn in Film and Visual Culture: From Content to Form.- The Responsibility of Forms.- Six Theses on the Ethical Imagination.- Part II: Imagination.- Ethical Intimacy and the Cinematic Face.- Slow Cinema and the Ethics of Duration.- The Ethics of Dying.- A Cinema of Gestures.- Ethics, Politics and the Question of Form.- The Ethical Image Between Fiction and Politics.- The Ethics of Matter and Memory.- Bioscreens.- Film Visions, Planetary Ethics.-