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date: 04 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the multifaceted relationship of humanism to film, without ever losing sight of the irony inherent in that context: humanism’s compulsory inter-animation with technology. The first half briefly traces the dramatization of humanists on celluloid, before exploring specific movies and movements that notably espoused a humanist philosophy, as well as advances in filmmaking that sometimes facilitated a humanist ethics. The chapter’s second half more innovatively addresses why conventional assessments regarding what constitutes a “humanist film” might not apply uniformly across today’s spectrum of spectators. In doing so, it intentionally forces a rethinking of where and how humanism can—and, in some instances perhaps, ought—cinematically to go. Such an analytical move seems especially pertinent given the incumbent rise of computer graphic imagery and digital media (including as animation) and consequent fading of film as a material medium.

Keywords: animation, alphabetic literacy, Italian neorealism, orality, post-humanism, Jean Renoir, storytelling, technology

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