“INTERDISCIPLINARITY AND THE CINEMA: A HISTORICALGEOGRAPHICAL- LITERARY-PHILOSOPHICAL-SOCIOLOGICALPOETICAL VIEW OF THE FILM, THE ENGLISH PATIENT”

Gerry Coulter

Abstract


The importance of an interdisciplinary perspective is demonstrated by way of a reading of the film The English Patient [Dir. Anthony Minghella, 1996]. The film is born in literature as it is based on a novel by the brilliant Michael Ondaatje. It is historical [Herodotus to World War II]; while demanding knowledge of ‘Middle-Eastern’ geographies; involves a sociology of race and gender relations; while being cinematographically philosophical and deeply poetic. What my paper “does” with The English Patient is to stress that without an interdisciplinary perspective the film is devoid of deeper meanings on several levels. Specifically, I address some of these meanings with extensive reference to two vital interdisciplinary concepts key to the film: ‘reversibility’ and ‘the other’. ‘Reversibility’ (the notion that all empires eventually fall or that all systems contain the means and mechanisms of their eventual undoing), and ‘the other’ (a concept of no mean import in a broad range of studies today) focuses on the positive outcome of the fact that we are all other to each other. I conclude that those who lament the disappearance of poetry in our time would do well to look for it, through interdisciplinary lenses, in contemporary cinema such as The English Patient.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.19044/esj.2013.v9n19p%25p


European Scientific Journal (ESJ)

 

ISSN: 1857 - 7881 (Print)
ISSN: 1857 - 7431 (Online)

 

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