Great Ideas Lost in the Verbiage
By Hunter Vaughan
Columbia University Press, $29.50, 244 pages
Sometimes a great idea can get obscured by the language. Where Film Meets Philosophy explores a number of philosophical questions raised by the nature of film itself and seeks to unravel them. It specifically looks at the spectrum of schools created by the polar extremes of Godard’s subjectivity, where the camera was used to make a point about life, versus that of Resnais’ more objective school, where the camera essentially reported what it saw, and how they make discussing philosophy more interesting.
Although there are a lot of great points raised, such as how a known artifice can make valid points about reality and the degree to which it influences thinkers, Vaughan tends to chew up the dictionary. A lot of great points get lost because he persists in using the most obtuse phrasing possible; too many great pieces of analysis are obscured by the verbiage. Not only does he use far too many big words, but he also flits from idea to idea like a butterfly in park. For those willing to really slow down and digest what they are reading, this is a great book, but for most it is probably going to be too verbose.
Reviewed by Jamais Jochim