John Orr (1943-2010) was an original and forensically detailed writer on film, culture, politics and literature, and the complex connections between them in the modern age.
John Orr is best known for his work on the cinema’s aesthetic and thematic engagement with modernity.
He rejected the prevailing intellectual orthodoxies and fashions in film theory to interrogate the ways in which the great European and American film-makers engaged with the conflicts and contradictions of modern society.
He returned time and again to core themes of power and politics; identity, subjectivity and the unconscious; desire and the gaze; the uncanny and the double and the machinations of commodity culture.
In all his writing, John Orr’s critical approach was to seek ways to shed new light on familiar films and film-makers to see them afresh and in their cultural relationships to other film-makers, literature and philosophy.
John Orr was Emeritus Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Edinburgh, where he taught and lectured widely on film, modern culture, critical and political theory.
This website is intended to act as a resource and a compilation of links and references to his work.