Kenneth Lonergan: Filmmaker and Philosopher (Philosophical Filmmakers) Todd May: Bloomsbury Academic

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Kenneth Lonergan

Filmmaker and Philosopher

By: Todd May
Media of Kenneth Lonergan
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Published: 02-06-2020
Format: Paperback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 184
ISBN: 9781350112070
Imprint: Bloomsbury Academic
Series: Philosophical Filmmakers
Dimensions: 5 1/2" x 8 1/2"
List price: $26.95
Online price: $18.86
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About Kenneth Lonergan

Kenneth Lonergan's three films-You Can Count on Me (2000), Margaret (2011), and Manchester by the Sea (2016)-are rife with philosophical complexities. They challenge simple philosophical approaches to central issues of human behaviour. In particular, they ask questions about how to cope with suffering that one cannot overcome, the role that self- deception plays in people's lives and how to think about characters who do not embody simplistic moral ideas of virtue and vice. By philosophically engaging with these themes as they unfold in Lonergan's films, we are then able to formulate a more nuanced answer to the questions they pose. Kenneth Lonergan: Philosophical Filmmaker will draw from Lonergan's films and plays, along with the philosophical literature on the topics that they explore. The rich history of philosophical reflection surrounding these areas enables the reader to determine how the themes central to Lonergan's work have combined to create a rich cinematic oeuvre.

Table of contents


1. Kenneth Lonergan: An Introduction to his Work
2. Irredeemable Suffering
3. Self-Deception
4. Moral Complexity
5. Conclusion: Complicating Philosophical Reflection



“With a lucidity typical of all his work, Todd May engages with Lonergan's cinema through moral philosophy, but with none of the technical knowledge from ethics or film studies that might alienate a non-expert. Beginning with only Nietzsche's famous adage concerning suffering and survival, this impressive study expands to find an equally philosophical spirit at work throughout Lonergan's art.” –  Professor John Ó Maoilearca, Professor of Film, Kingston University, UK.

“Todd May's accessible and engaging book will drive the uninitiated into the films of Kenneth Lonergan and enhance the experience of those who are already admirers. May connects philosophy to the films in ways that both professional scholars and laypersons can appreciate. One wishes more books like this existed.” –  Paul Schofield, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Bates College, USA

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