Philosophers on film

It’s interesting how many philosophers have been captured on film. I’ve seen footage of some surprising people, long gone now, such as Heidegger, Foucault, Baudrillard, Sartre and more recently Derrida (I saw him IRL lecture on Spectres of Marx once) and Badiou (still lecturing).

Digital storage and digital video have certainly helped, especially in capturing video, but what’s helping the most may be the fact that companies like Google are making it very easy to distribute these videos (Youtube and Google video). Whereas previously this film was stacked in a dusty shelf or on someone’s video off the TV, the fact that it can be shared motivates people to upload it. And for events that are occurring now the availability of material is even greater.

These thoughts were spurred by seeing that David Harvey’s lectures on Marx are being made available on his website (the fact that Harvey has a website is also somewhat arresting). They are introduced by his CUNY colleague and former student, Neil Smith, and are very well done (multiple cameras in the classroom, professional editing etc). Harvey has talked about teaching Marx in the introduction to one of his books (I forget which) and how while it has waxed and waned, today it seems more relevant than ever.

Update: I should add that David Harvey was kind enough to contribute a commentary on Foucault for our book called “The Kantian roots of Foucault’s Dilemmas.” Here is the first page of that chapter (pdf).

And here’s the first Harvey video.


One Response

  1. Hey,

    I just ran into your blog while searching for Foucault and film.

    I think you might be interested in this book that a friend wrote

    The book is more interested in French media/intellectual history than philosophy proper, but i know she has gone through quite a lot of primary sources (like french tv archives).

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