Because Hollywood’s storylines are linear and causal, an event in them can only directly affect the future. None of the classical Hollywood films I will be discussing involves time travel,1 and so I believe it is not trivial to ask how an event in them can be meaningful in relation to the past, which cannot now be altered, that is, in relation to that which already exists and to that which has already taken place.2 I would like to propose two ways. One, which I will discuss in this chapter, is by serving an epistemological or cognitive function, by enabling fuller access to knowledge of what was already there. And the other, which I will be discussing in the next chapter, is an ontological one, in which the past truth is embodied in the character who dies. In each chapter, I will also show some of the problems to which each method of rendering death meaningful can lead.
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- Two Platos: Death, Truth, and Knowledge
- Palgrave Macmillan UK