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Dr. Louis N. Sandowsky



Philosophy, Fantasy and Film

(Formerly entitled – “Cinema: Philosophy and the Moving Image”)





Course Outline



This course examines the treatment of philosophical issues such as the Self and existential alienation, alterity and the ethics of difference, gender perception, the asymmetry of the relations between individual and collective, metaphysics, and the margins between reality and the imaginary in the medium of the moving image. It is not so much a class on the philosophy of cinema as an exploration of philosophy through the lenspiece of cinema.

The course also explores the ways in which certain forms of cinematic grammar have been introjected into other types of media, particularly first-person and third-person cyberspatial (computer generated) environments – immersive dimensions of the moving image that are progressively smudging the boundaries between the virtual and the real.

The classes will consist in audio-visual lectures and seminars.


The core films are:


Alien and Blade Runner (Dir. Ridley Scott)


Apocalypse Now (Dir. Francis Ford Coppola)


Bitter Moon (Dir. Roman Polanski)


Brazil (Dir. Terry Gilliam)


A Clockwork Orange and 2001: a Space Odyssey (Dir. Stanley Kubrick)


Dark Star (Dir. John Carpenter)


Equus (Dir. Sidney Lumet)


eXistenZ (Dir. David Cronenberg)


The Last Temptation of Christ (Dir. Martin Scorsese)


The Matrix (Wachowski Brothers)


Metropolis (Dir. Fritz Lang)


Monty Python’s Life of Brian (Dir. Terry Jones)


The Seventh Seal (Dir. Ingmar Bergman)


Solaris (Dir. Andrei Tarkovsky’s adaptation of Stanislaw Lem’s story)


The Truman Show (Dir. Peter Weir)





Course Requirements:


1.         Continuous Assessment.


2.         One research paper (in English) – approximately ten pages in length. This may take the form of an analytical essay or a screenplay and may utilize material from the first two assignments.


3.         An alternative to presenting a final research paper would be to produce a short film (in video format), based on your own screenplay.


I will provide relevant reading and video viewing lists as the course progresses.


Please address all questions about my courses to: cafedifferance@yahoo.com



Video List:


2001: A Space Odyssey – VCV 402 (Dir. Stanley Kubrick).


Alien – VCV 1993 (Dir. Ridley Scott).


Apocalypse Now – VCV 585 (Dir. Francis Ford Coppola).

+ the novel, Heart of Darkness (by Joseph Conrad)


Being John Malkovich VCV-6435 (Dir. Spike Jonze).


Bitter Moon – VCV 3095 (Dir. Roman Polanski).


Blade Runner – VCV 854 (Dir. Ridley Scott’s film adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?).


Brazil – VCV 2794 (Dir. Terry Gilliam).


Un Chien Andalou – VCV 835 (Luis Bunuel & Salvador Dali).


Citizen Kane – VCV 867 (Dir. Orson Welles).


A Clockwork Orange – VCV 607 (Dir. Stanley Kubrick).

+ final chapter of text (by Anthony Burgess) – PR6052.U38C4.


Dark Star – VCV 6158 (Dir. John Carpenter).


Deconstructing Harry – VCV 5536 (Dir. Woody Allen).


Doctor Strangelove – VCV 1414 and VCV 2074 (Dir. Stanley Kubrick. With Peter Sellars, George C. Scott).


Existenz – VCV-6377 (Dir. David Cronenberg).


Eyes Wide Shut – VCV-6594 (Dir. Stanley Kubrick).


Documentary on Stanley Kubrick’s final film [Eyes Wide Shut] – VCV 5578.


Equus – VCV-3147 (Dir. Sidney Lumet’s film adaptation of the play by Peter Shaffer).


The Fly – VCV-5609 (Dir. David Cronenberg).


La Grande Bouffe – VCV 3090


The Last Temptation of Christ – VCV 1383 (Dir. Martin Scorsese. Based on the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis).


Manhattan – VCV 575 (Dir. Wood Allen).


The Matrix – VCV-6373 (Directed and written by the Wachowski brothers).


Metropolis – VCV 649 (Dir. Fritz Lang).


Midnight Express – VCV 1570 (Dir. Alan Parker).


Monty Python’s Life of Brian – VCV 683 (Dir. Terry Jones).


The Name of the Rose – VCV 1163 & VCV 559 (Dir. Jean-Jacques Annaud. 1986. A palimpsest of the novel by Umberto Eco).


Nineteen Eighty Four – VCV 1769 (Dir. Michael Radford).


Rear Window – VCV 867 (Dir. Alfred Hitchcock).


The Seventh Seal – VCV 774 (Dir. Ingmar Bergman).


Solaris – VCV 1778 (Dir. Andrei Tarkovsky’s adaptation of the novel by Stanislaw Lem).


The Thing – VCV-6375 (Dir. John Carpenter).


The Truman Show (on order).


The Wall – VCV 987 (Dir. Alan Parker’s film adaptation of Pink Floyd’s album, The Wall. With Bob Geldof).


Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf – VCV 1771 (film adaptation of the play by Edward Albee).


Wittgenstein – VCV 3255 (Dir. Derek Jarman).


Zelig – VCV 650 (Dir. Woody Allen).






Jan Svankmajer:


Collection (including “Dimensions of Dialogue”) – VCV 2056. Two videos V1 & V2


Alice – VCV 2726


Faust – VCV 4608



Walt Disney:


Fantasia – VCV 1677


Oscar cartoons – VCV 971 & 972


Pinocchio – VCV 458, VCV 258





Allegro non Troppo (Bruno Bozzetto) – VCV 904


Animal Farm – VCV 437


Changes, Changes – VCV 168


Computer Graphics – VCV 5310


The First Animated Step – VCV 1178


Fourmations – VCV 2057 & VCV 2058 (includes Black Dog and Deadtime Stories for Old Folk)


Masters of Animation – VCV 1450


The Yellow Submarine – VCV 839