Critical Cinema: Beyond the Theory of Practice

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Contributor note: invoice Nichols (Introduction)

Critical Cinema blurs the road among the making and the theorizing of movie, uniting concept and perform which will circulate past the industrial confines of Hollywood.

Opening with an advent via invoice Nichols, one of many world's prime writers on nonfiction movie, this quantity gains contributions through such favourite authors as Noel Burch, Laura Mulvey, Peter Wollen, Brian Winston, and Patrick Fuery.

Seminal filmmakers comparable to Peter Greenaway and Mike Figgis additionally give a contribution to the controversy, making this booklet a severe textual content for college students, lecturers, and self sustaining filmmakers in addition to for any reader attracted to new views on tradition and picture.

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What it potentially does is to give precedence to the experiential quality of the subject’s relation to the sign, to make sense of the world rather than be encapsulated by its logic (Nichols 1994). In Baudrillard’s critical philosophical approach we see representation dissolve into simulation and a critique of the object of desire of the intellectuals (2001). The end result is, for him, documentary’s loss of force which must lead by default to the false expectations of reality television. He dismisses theories whereby the gaze is external to its object as Burch dismisses Mulvey’s understanding of the male gaze and Brecht’s notion of alienation as having any use today as filmic modes of distancing or strategies for radical counter-cinematic action (Myer 2004: 77).

Within the debate between fiction and nonfiction, the feature documentary appears to be settling down as an acceptable genre alongside other new forms engaged in the use of new technology, such as the computer game film adaptation and even subtitled foreign films are becoming a part of the expanded normative. However, standing to one side of Burch’s fully pessimistic view, I infer that in recognising the significance of the inevitable role of collective consciousness in driving the social imperative, a praxis can operate and remain in a state of alienation with recuperation by working within the diegetic at the intensity that Barthes has indicated, as second-level myth at a second or even third level of diegetic interchange – the place where the first level of myth, the sign, can be engaged and re-mythified.

In contradistinction to this complex interpretation of the diegesis, the English usage conflates the Greek origin with a literal French rendition didactically neutralising the reading of the word from its representational, worldly and Other dialectical possibilities. The English definition depoliticises the essence of the French translation rendering it harmless to the dominant cinematic system compared to the Burchian more radical expectations of a diegesis invoking active, dynamic and potentially disruptive relationships between the viewer and the viewed.

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