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Tom Dommisse

Tom Dommisse
Tom Dommisse

(1958) is a philosopher and lecturer on the esthetics of music and cultural philosophy at the Royal Conservatory. Since his time as a university researcher, he has worked in the border areas of philosophy where it encounters literature, theatre and politics. He has published on themes of esthetics, metaphysics, political philosophy and the philosophy of law. According to Dommisse, all philosophy again faces the challenge of linking an academic level of thought with the need to carefully bring it into the public sphere. Theatre companies seek him out for wanted and unwanted dramaturgical advice. He is involved with the work of Thomas Mann and Pasolini and nurtures a passion for Shakespeare. Together with STET English Theatre, he organized a Shakespeare festival in 2016 and 2018.


Archive available for: Tom Dommisse

  • Winternachten 2019 – Friday Night Unlimited

    Immortality by Choice

    Philosopher Tom Dommisse shared his thoughts about immortality and illustrates them with excerpts from films like E.T., Blade Runner, Wall-E, The Matrix, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Citizen Kane. People want long lives. Science and technology help to achieve this. Sci-fi films reflect this desire and the technical possibilities, and sometimes the fantasy lies close to the reality. Think of Pixar's Wall-E, with its almost human-like robot and the people drifting around, glued to their touch-screens. Or of Orson Welles' 1941 Citizen Kane, according to many the best film ever made, in which the media magnate's lust for power coincides with a wish for eternal life.

  • Winternachten 2018 – Friday Night Unlimited


    The speech is a powerful instrument. Through its form and content it is by definition also very filmic. Christopher Nolan knows this as he uses one of the most famous speeches - Winston Churchill's We shall fight them on the beaches speech - in his film Dunkirk.

    The speeches that are remembered and revered are often those that mark historical turning points. Such as Robert Kennedy who, right after Martin Luther King got murdered on April 4, 1968, finds the power to state that it is best to accept the moment hoping that we grow wiser in time. These historic speeches keep returning in movies. But how about the present day speeches? Are historic speeches something from the past?

    Gerlinda Heywegen and cultural and political philosopher Tom Dommisse discussed the function and beauty of the speech, based (of course) on some well-chosen exceprts from film and television.

  • Winternachten 2017 – Friday Night Unlimited

    Might is Always Right - Lessons from House of Cards

    While the United States welcome their new president, the festival is investigating another one: Frank Underwood, star of House of Cards. Philosopher Tom Dommisse wrote an article that is the basis for a discussion between The Hague Filmhuis programmer Gerlinda Heywegen and Felix Rottenberg, touching on fragments from the series. How are politics presented in the Netflix hit series and what image of themselves do real-life Underwoods create? And what is the imact of all this on how we think about politics?
    Felix Rottenberg is a director, moderator, chair of the academic bureau of the PvdA labour party, and writer of a weekly column in Het Parool newspaper.

  • Winternachten 2016 – Friday Night Unlimited

    Film: Shakespeare's villains

    If you want to understand today's bad guys, take a look at the characters Shakespeare created four centuries ago. We can easily recognize Putin, Saddam Hussein or Eichmann in characters from Macbeth, Hamlet or Richard III. These are bad people acting from clear motives like jealousy, passion, rage, blind ambition, or bitterness. Shakespeare scholar and philosopher Tom Dommisse introduces the villains in clips from screen adaptations from countries like Russia, Japan, Great Britain and the United States. Film connoisseur Gerlinda Heywegen engages him in discussion.