What is film? How does it produce meaning? Can cinema be philosophical and, if so, how? What does it mean to “read” a film or to speak of “cinematic literacy”? Is film a language? In what sense is film political? Is cinema an art, or has it changed the very meaning of that term? Is there such a thing as “responsible” or “critical” viewing? Is there a media archeology of the virtual? To address such increasingly urgent questions for today’s media culture, this seminar will explore a wide range of canonical and contemporary works of film theory and aesthetics in relation to weekly screenings of narrative, documentary and avant-garde films.