Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media



Film-Thinking and Narrative Indeterminacy

Jimmy Billingham


Abstract: This article elaborates on Daniel Frampton’s concept of “film-thinking” to propose a novel conception of the status of the narrative event presented in film, providing an alternative to previous conceptions of narration and agency in film. More specifically, the article develop Frampton’s idea that the moving images of film manifest a particular and unique mode of “thought,” with the agent of this thought immanent within the images that it “thinks.”  Frampton terms this agent a “filmind” and regards it as transsubjective, it is not an objective perspective, outside the world of the film, nor a subjective character perspective within it, but is immanent within the film-world which constitutes its intentionality as a unique mode of thought.  The article utilises this model of filmic agency and the underlying ontological indeterminacy to reconsider the status of narrative events presented in the moving image of film and how we may conceptualise narrative agency and viewer activity in relation to this, especially with regards to flashbacks, voice-over and unreliable narration.


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