Research Unit in European Philosophy Public Lecture

Monday 14 September: 4.30 pm
Caulfield campus, Building H, Theatre HB 39

Professor Eli Friedlander (Tel Aviv U):
Benjamin, Chaplin and the Utopian Image of Fantasy

Abstract: I want to suggest in my talk that Walter Benjamin’s admiration for the work of Charlie Chaplin has to do in part with the way Chaplin concentrates and realizes in his person, or cinematic figure, many of the tendencies that Benjamin diagnosed in his investigation of the nineteenth century. This consummate realization in an utopian image of fantasy of what may at times appear as a cursed environment of life is inseparable, for Benjamin, from Chaplin’s recognition of the technical possibilities of the medium of film, which he puts into play in his films.

RSVP by Tuesday 8 September: