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Oct 11, 13 (a little late)

by: Alexandra Graham

Oct 11, 13 (a little late) Film 4750

Alexandra Graham
GPA 4.0

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About this Document

Sorry about the lateness. Here's Lacan and Metz.
Film Theory and Criticism
Arzu Karaduman
Class Notes
25 ?




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Alexandra Graham on Tuesday October 18, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Film 4750 at Georgia State University taught by Arzu Karaduman in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see Film Theory and Criticism in Film and video at Georgia State University.


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Date Created: 10/18/16
October 11 Lacan and Freud  Freud stages: oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital o Regression in cinema leads back to one of these stages  Lacan o Mirror stage= 6-18 months  They encounter image in mirror  Experience shock and ecstacy  Mirror and baby= projector and screen  3 Lacanian Registers o The Real: before the mirror stage  inaccessible and traumatic  you cannot tell between yourself and other things  trauma= “a touch of the Real” o Imaginary: illusory sense of the self as unified IN FRONT of the mirror  You are a self and everything else is other  Mom is ego ideal (the thing to strive to be) and you are ideal ego (you think you have more powers than you actually do) o Symbolic: language/law/propriety  Everything after the mirror moment, basically  Human reality is symbolic  REALITY o Delay/deferral o Partiality, not plenitude o Substitution, not the real thing itself (the hamburger you eat is a substitute for mom’s breast) o Withdrawal o Language and desire (presence of the absence of a thing/reality)  Aka the thing’s ABSENSE is itself a PRESENCE (you are aware of an ABSENCE, making that absence tangible and PRESENT) October 13 METZ  Cinema’s signifier is perceptual (visual and auditory), consisting of images and sounds  Can make use of all the various arts  Everything is recorded; the signifier is absent  “The imaginary, by definition, combines within it a certain presence and a certain absence.”  The activity of perception is real, we’re not imagining seeing what we’re seeing, but what we’re seeing is an impression of an object or person, “its replica in a new kind of mirror.” Duality and the imaginary: ■ We can see everything as if it is in front of us (unlike in writing) but with an extra layer of unreality – A theater chair is just a chair, but cinema takes it a step further: the theater chair is just a chair AND it is not there anymore at the moment you actually watch the film – In this way dealing with the imaginary ■ Everything seems “present” because it is so wholly an impression of reality compared to other art forms ■ But actually its absence is the only signifier there Film is a mirror (but not really) ■ Your body is never projected onto the movie “mirror” ■ Cinema only works after the mirror stage because a) you’re a dumb baby who can’t follow a story b) you cannot see yourself on the screen, so you have to be aware enough of the “other” to not get confused about your lack of being there c) BUT the images are projected FROM you onto the screen and reflected BACK into you So what do we identify with?? ■ Not always characters or actors, because sometimes we just look at landscapes and even if we do look at others, they tell us nothing about where our ego is supposed to exist ■ PRIMARY CINEMATIC IDENTIFICATION= THE CAMERA ■ Your eyes= camera eye (the camera represents your “all-seeing capacity”) ■ Absent from the screen as perceived but present as a perceiver ■ The film is both what I see and what I release, as my camera eye projects on the screen and the screen projects on my human eye ■ SO I AM THE CAMERA, because I look and record and project (through the projector) (projector itself is a stand-in for the camera… yeesh) Apparatus ■ The apparatus is a fetish: we may fixate on “technique” as a prop that “negates its own absence” ■ Underscores the absence of the signifiers on screen (we know it was captured by the camera) ■ We fetishize the camera as the reason for the lack, and also a tangible connection to what was previously there ■ The apparatus needs the lack (the camera would be useless if it were not capturing signifiers) but also needs to be forgotten (lest we’re then fully faced with the lack.)


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