Bringing Bodies Back In: For a Phenomenological and Psychoanalytic Film Criticism of Embodied Cultural Identity

Film-Philosophy 15 (1):1-12 (2011)
Abstract
This article reassesses the concept of identification in line with the increased importance phenomenology has taken on in film-philosophy of the 1990s and 2000s. In the 1970s and 1980s, a Lacanian psychoanalytic interpretation of identification dominated film theory and criticism, and spectatorial engagement with elements of films was understood as what psychoanalysis calls secondary identification – the identification with stable subject-positions (characters) in the film-text. But non-Lacanian psychoanalysis and Merleau-Ponty’s existential phenomenology offer film-philosophy a very different understanding of identification as a non image-based, ‘blind’, bodily affective tie that is established between spectators and what Vivian Sobchack describes as ‘the sense and sensibility of materiality itself’ (Sobchack 2004, 65). By first exploring how this more bodily (for psychoanalysis, primary ) identification is theorized by psychoanalysts (Freud, Paul Schilder, Henri Wallon) and by film theorists (Kaja Silverman), the article proposes that film criticism make greater use of it in order to engage more meaningfully with the visible cultural specificities – size, skin colour, age, sex – of the images of bodies viewed on cinema screens. It is not just ‘the’ body that needs bringing back into thinking about film spectatorship, but culturally differentiated bodies , both on the screen and in the auditorium. A psychoanalytic and phenomenological film criticism of embodied cultural identity, one that attends to the materiality of the film and of the body-images and objects on the screen, may be the most culturally and politically useful successor to ‘screen’ theory of the 1970s and 1980s
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,826
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
David E. W. Fenner (2001). Virtues and Vices in Film Criticism. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 15 (2):309-322.
Andrew Kania (2002). The Illusion of Realism in Film. British Journal of Aesthetics 42 (3):243-258.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-08-18

Total downloads

5 ( #234,982 of 1,100,127 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #90,386 of 1,100,127 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.