A Philosophy of the Screenplay
Routledge – 2013 – 270 pages
Recently, scholars in a variety of disciplines—including philosophy, film and media studies, and literary studies—have become interested in the aesthetics, definition, and ontology of the screenplay. To this end, this volume addresses the fundamental philosophical questions about the nature of the screenplay: What is a screenplay? Is the screenplay art—more specifically, literature? What kind of a thing is a screenplay? Nannicelli argues that the screenplay is a kind of artefact; as such, its boundaries are determined collectively by screenwriters, and its ontological nature is determined collectively by both writers and readers of screenplays. Any plausible philosophical account of the screenplay must be strictly constrained by our collective creative and appreciative practices, and must recognize that those practices indicate that at least some screenplays are artworks.
"Engaging effectively with an impressive range of relevant literatures and examples, Ted Nanicelli’s book provides a fresh and cogent perspective on the art of the screenplay."
--Paisley Livingston, Department of Philosophy, Lingnan University
Introduction Part I: Definition 1. Defining the Screenplay 2. The Screenplay as Historical Concept Part II: Art Status 3. The Historical Narrative Approach to Identifying Art: Exegesis and Defense 4. From Playwriting to Screenwriting: The Historical Narrative Part III: Ontology 5. Objections and Ontology I: Is the Screenplay an Autonomous Work? 6. Musical Scores, Theatrical Scripts, Architectural Plans, and Screenplays 7. Objections and Ontology II: Is the Screenplay Literature? 8. Towards an Ontology of the Screenplay Conclusion: Virtual Series and Future Theorizing of the Screenplay
Ted Nannicelli is a Lecturer in Screen and Media Studies at the University of Waikato in Aotearoa/New Zealand