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Abstract

Contemporary film aesthetics is beset by difficulties arising from the medium itself and the bewildering itinerary of film theory. Inspired by Martin Heidegger's hermeneutical vision in "On the Origin of the Work of Art" (1935), my essay seeks to overcome this paralysis by grounding the aesthetic value of cinematic art in its ability to "disclose the world" through a convergence of artist and viewer intentionalities. Stanley Cavell has gone far by exploring a corresponding "natural relation" between philosophy and cinema, but his work assumes an ontological discourse without an appropriate phenomenological method. I contend that Mikel Dufrenne's phenomenology of aesthetic experience provides the formal structure necessary for speaking of film's ontological possibilities. Terrence Malick's cinematic and narrative uses of point-of-view illustrate one such experience of world-disclosure.

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