• Moment & Myth in the Philosophy of Film •

Dr. Trevor Mowchun
Assistant Professor
Director of the Film and Media Studies Program
University of Florida

December 8, 2023, 5PM EDT • Lecture
December 8, 2023, 7PM EDT • Screening
School of Image Arts, Toronto Metropolitan University, IMA 307, 122 Bond St. M5B 1E9

In this talk, Trevor Mowchun retrospectively identifies some of the underlying impulses that shaped the writing of his recent book, Metaphysics and the Moving Image, and its guiding intuition that, in film, the end of the Western tradition of metaphysics is confronted with the possibility of its transformative renewal, a renewal that may help to reverse the tradition’s ill-effects on our relationship with Being. A speculative addendum to his book, Mowchun asks why its ideas are borne out through a corpus of narrative fiction films at the expense of the avant-garde. But does such a distinction hold for films which harness the revelatory powers of philosophy? Beneath their radical differences, narrative and avant-garde film can share the same mythic aspirations. Screening program.

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Trevor Mowchun works as both a film scholar and filmmaker, exploring the philosophical dimensions of film in theoretical and creative ways. As a filmmaker, Mowchun is currently writing the script and developing digital techniques for his second experimental dramatic feature film about a historian who goes in search of his ancestral past. The film contains sequences which attempt to show the complexities of memory—what is seen, heard, felt, imagined, distorted, longed for and hidden away in memory. These streams-of-memory are presented photographically until a moment from the past is relived, resulting in the photographs becoming cinematic. As a film scholar, Mowchun just completed an essay for publication on time-narratives in the cinema and is now in the process of writing an essay on a unique experimental film which strikes him as conjuring the contemplative and therapeutic spirit of haiku poetry. His most recent conference presentation proposes film’s inheritance of Western metaphysics in a paper entitled “The Death of God, the Birth of Film, and the New Metaphysics.” Representative examples of his published writings in film studies and philosophy are as follows: “Dare to Digress: Cinematic Self-discovery in Victor Erice’s Dream of Light,” (New Review of Film and Television Studies, forthcoming) and “A Machine’s First Glimpse in Time and Space” (Evental Aesthetics, 2015). His first feature film entitled World to Come was completed in 2015 and can be described as a poetic investigation into the repressed unconscious of a traumatized community struggling to cohere, move on, and reconnect with the world in the wake of tragedy.

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▶︎ The event is free and will be held in person at the School of Image Arts, Toronto Metropolitan University, IMA 307, 122 Bond St. M5B 1E9.

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Organized by:
The Spiral Collective in collaboration with
The Communications Program, Glendon Campus, York University
School of Image Arts, Toronto Metropolitan University