2020-01Thematic Section
The Role of Phantasy in Relation to the Socially Innovative Potential of Filmic Experience


The aim of my essay is to distinguish the aspects of the filmic experience that are decisive in relation to the film’s capability to sensitize the viewer to social issues in Williams’s sociology of culture. In order to do that, I will take into consideration Williams’s understanding of film as a particular medium that is connected with the general dramatic tradition and is able to realize a total expression of the structure of feeling rooted in every aspect of community life. On the basis of Williams’s understanding of film, I will analyze the film’s potential for social innovation from the standpoint of the viewing subject. In the later part of my essay, I will argue that the filmic experience’s capability to promote phantasies is a decisive element in relation to the expressive power of the film. I will analyze the role of phantasy in relation to the socially innovative potential of film in the accounts of the filmic experience provided both by Williams and by other authors that follow in Williams’s footstep by conceiving the filmic flow as a gaze located outside the viewer. Finally, I will draw my conclusions concerning the elements of the filmic experience that are decisive in relation to the film’s potential for social innovation.


Raymond Williams, film, structure of feeling, total performance, flow, fourth look, phantasy

How to cite:

Giorgi, Federico. “The Role of Phantasy in Relation to the Socially Innovative Potential of Filmic Experience.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 4, no. 1 (2020): 57-69. https://doi.org/10.14394/eidos.jpc.2020.0006.


Federico Giorgi
Department of Philosophy, University of Namur
rue de Bruxelles 61, B-5000 Namur, Belgium


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