On Pros and Cons and Bills and Gates: The Heist Film as Pleasure

In: Film-Philosophy. Vol. 24, Nr.3, 2020. S. 304-320.

This article tries to shed light on the multiple, but underrated pleasures of the heist film – a genre that has attracted numerous major directors from Jean-Pierre Melville and Stanley Kubrick to Michael Mann and Steven Soderbergh, but has received limited scholarly attention. I approach the genre from a, broadly, philosophical perspective and draw on thinkers such as Peter Sloterdijk, Georg Simmel, Paul Souriau and Bruno Latour to argue that their emphasis on (1) skillful action and kinaesthetic empathy, (2) smooth transgression of boundaries and (3) well-functioning social collaboration and we-connection, the genre’s best exemplars satisfy, in fictional and quasi-utopian form, a number of real-life desires.

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