Filmosophy Philosophy Thinking though Film

Plato’s Cave and the Cinema

In his Cave Allegory (Republic, c.360 BCE), Plato presents a strikingly visual account of the distinction between knowledge and belief and, in doing so, provides us with what may be considered the earliest picture-house.

Filmosophy News

Filmosophy: Regeneration!

’Filmosophy’ is a series of philosophical film screenings and related events curated by James Mooney of The University of Edinburgh’s Office of Lifelong Learning in association with the Edinburgh Filmhouse cinema. Previous seasons have focused on issues ranging from the appearance/ reality distinction to the doppelgänger and have featured films including Dogtooth, Moon, Pontypool, and Time Crimes.

The fifth season of Filmosophy will return in the Autumn/ Winter of 2015 and will focus on the theme of ‘regeneration’. This season will be offered in association with the Centre for Regenerative Medicine. The MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine (CRM) is a world leading research centre studying stem cells, disease and tissue repair to advance human health.

The films screened will allow an opportunity to discuss the groundbreaking research currently being undertaken at CRM, the diseases they study, and associated ethical issues surrounding the use of stem cells. We will seek to distinguish between science fiction and science fact, and to gain a valuable insight into the lives of those touched by the diseases and injuries that regenerative medicine aims to treat.

Some potential titles are: Blade Runner (Scott 1982); I Am Breathing (Davie, McKinnon 2013); Gattaca (Niccol 1997); Never Let Me Go (Romanek 2010); Rust and Bone (Audiard 2012).

Each film will be preceded by a short introduction and followed by a range of post-screening events, featuring scientists from the Centre for Regenerative Medicine and other invited speakers. The season will also incorporate artwork by Hamer Dodds, who is the artist in residence for CRM and who has been highly influential in setting up this exciting initiative.

At this point, you can get involved by suggesting relevant films which you would like to see screened and/ or themes you would like to see addressed. You can do this by commenting below or by engaging on FacebookTwitter, or Ello.


3-Iron: tonight (Tue 21 Apr), 6pm at Filmhouse Edinburgh

Korean writer-director Kim Ki-duk captures raw realities about modern life while telling a genuinely touching romance using virtually no dialogue.

Tae-suk (Jae Hee) is a young man who takes up residence in homes that sit empty while the occupants are on holiday. He cleans, does the laundry, indulges in subtle practical jokes, then moves on. This pattern changes drastically when he takes up residence in the upscale home of Min-kyu and Sun-hwa, a hothead, golf-obsessed businessman and his battered trophy-wife.



The third season of FILMOSOPHY at Filmhouse Edinburgh starts on Tuesday 21 October at 6PM with Timecrimes. This is a rare opportunity to see this mind-bending time-travel film-noir on the big screen. We will be joined by philosopher Dr Alasdair Richmond – who has written widely on time-travel. In addition, the film’s director, Nacho Vigalondo, has made himself available for a twitter Q&A during our post-screening discussion.

For more information and to book, click the following link:

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Book now for #Filmosophy at the @Filmhouse on Tuesday 8 April


After a superb opening evening screening and discussion of Lanthimos’ Alps at the Filmhouse in March, Filmsophy returns on Tuesday 8 April with The East. Book now via the following link:

Film Filmosophy Philosophy Thinking though Film

Filmosophy season at Filmhouse Edinburgh

Filmosophy is where film meets philosophy. Some films, like philosophy itself, can challenge our preconceived views of ourselves and the world around us. They may provide more questions than answers; yet, in doing so, they will expand our ideas and allow us to view familiar things in an unfamiliar way. They are films that demand to be discussed.

Following on from the success of the inaugural Filmosophy season last year, our second season features four more original and thought-provoking works. Join us as we explore philosophical issues such as: reality and self-deception (Alps), political resistance (The East), memory and identity (Moon), and authenticity (The Consequences of Love).

Each screening will be preceded by a short introduction and followed by an opportunity to discuss the philosophical issues raised in an informal and accessible manner. The screenings will be introduced and discussion sessions hosted by James Mooney (Open Studies lecturer and course organiser at The University of Edinburgh). Post-screening discussions will be held in the Guild Rooms. Please pick up your ticket for the discussion at the time of booking or on the evening.

For more information and to book tickets follow this link:

Film Filmosophy News

Michael H. Profession: Director

Over the last 25 years, Michael Haneke has established himself as one of the most important directors in cinema history. From his early work to Amour, he has explored some of the most important moral and philosophical questions. Through interviews with his actors, Isabelle Huppert, Juliette Binoche, Emmanuelle Riva and many more, as well as previously unseen footage, Yves Montmayeur’s documentary, Michael H. Profession: Director, provides an insight into the thought of a unique filmmaker, thinker and filmosopher.

Available now at Curzon on Demand:



Dogtooth (Kynodontas) is the third feature directed by Giorgas Lanthimos. Released in 2009, it received international acclaim, winning the Prix Un Certain Regard at Cannes before being nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Despite these accolades, Dogtooth is a film that many will find unsettling, disturbing even. While it features scenes of incest and violence, this is not, in my view, the source of the discomfort viewers will feel. This is, rather, due to the fact that Dogtooth is what I will call a philosophical film. 


Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Imagine a procedure whereby you could rid yourself of troubling memories.  Suppose that you could have particular people or traumatic events erased from your mind. This is the basis for Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, where just such a procedure helps rid tormented souls of the memories of their lost loves. If the science-fiction like technology shown in Eternal Sunshine was available, ought we to use it? Under what circumstances, if any, would we be justified in erasing our memories? 


Abre los ojos (Open your eyes)

The arguments of French philosopher René Descartes (1596-1650) have had an enormous impact on philosophy. In what follows, Descartes arguments will be examined through the contemporary viewfinder of Alejandro Amenábar’s Abre los Ojos (1997). The intention, however, is not to use the film as a mere vehicle for conveying Descartes’ thought, but rather to consider whether the particular context that Amenábar provides, and the nature of film itself, can enhance our understanding and and provide fresh insight into the issues that Descartes raises.


Memento – Memory and Identity

In Christopher Nolan’s Memento, Leonard Shelby suffers from a very particular disability. When he and his wife are attacked, Leonard suffers a head injury which renders him unable to form new memories. In considering Leonard’s condition, it is possible to examine how important memory is in making us who we are, and in ensuring the continuation of our identity over time.