A study of ‘spectre’ (rather than ghost) cinema, as well as a philosophical essay on the haunting of images.
Since the end of the twentieth century, our ghost stories have been systematically replaced by ghost stories. While we usually use the two terms similarly, the spectre is much more offensive. It seeks to incarnate itself, at any cost. Spectre cinema, one of whose main films is Ring, directed by Hideo Nakata in 1998, seizes on this distinction to portray fears that are viscerally linked to our times and to offer a way of thinking about our contemporary relationship with images.
Here, Jean-Baptiste Carobolante offers a study of this cinema and a theory of what a ‘spectral image’ might be. It is a study that allows itself to be submerged by the images and narratives in order to examine all their aspects: the haunting of the haunted house meets that of technological devices, the depression of the characters meets demonic possession.
The spectral image. Allégorie du cinéma de spectre is as much a work of art history as it is a book of film studies and a philosophical essay on the haunting of images. It is the adapted version of a doctoral thesis in art history defended in 2020.
Jean-Baptiste Carobolante (b. 1988) is an art historian, theorist, curator and art school teacher.