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Contemporary Cinema and the Philosophy of Iris Murdoch

Lucy Bolton

Hardback (Forthcoming)

Opens a dialogue between contemporary film and Iris Murdoch’s thinking on art, goodness and existentialism

Iris Murdoch was not only one of post-war Britain’s most celebrated and prolific novelists – she was also an influential philosopher, whose work was concerned with the question of the good and how we can see our moral worlds more clearly.

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List of illustrations

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Film as art, and cinema as a hall of reflection

Chapter 3: Film as a moral fable

Chapter 4: Film and the existential hero(ine)

Chapter 5: Film, love and goodness

Chapter 6: Film, comedy and tragedy

Chapter 7: Film and women’s stories

Chapter 8: Film and philosophy




About the Author

Lucy Bolton is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at Queen Mary University of London. She is the author of 'Film and Female Consciousness: Irigaray, Cinema and Thinking Women' (Palgrave 2011; 2015) and the co-editor of 'Lasting Screen Stars: Images that Fade and Personas that Endure' (Palgrave 2017). She is on the editorial boards of the journals 'Film-Philosophy', the 'Iris Murdoch Review' and 'Open Screens' (BAFTSS).


This monograph breaks new ground as the first substantial work to both recognise Iris Murdoch's engagement with cinema, and highlight the complementarity of Murdoch's philosophical work to film. Bolton's forging of new interdisciplinary links – with an emphasis on contemporary cinema – makes an accessible yet scholarly advance in this burgeoning field.

- Miles Leeson, Director of the Iris Murdoch Research Centre at the University of Chichester

Iris Murdoch's philosophy has not yet been considered in dialogue with cinema. This original, passionate, and very compelling book corrects this. With abundant clarity and good humour, Lucy Bolton draws Murdoch into debates in Film Philosophy, showing how she sees film reshaping reality, and how for her, art, including cinema, is a way of learning about morality and goodness. Brilliant, versatile readings of contemporary films confirm the vivid interest in returning to Murdoch now.

- Professor Emma Wilson, Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge

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