Cinema and Language Loss: Displacement, Visuality and the by Tijana Mamula

By Tijana Mamula

Cinema and Language Loss offers the 1st sustained exploration of the connection among linguistic displacement and visuality within the filmic realm, interpreting intensive either its formal expressions and theoretical implications.
Combining insights from psychoanalysis, philosophy and picture conception, the writer argues that the stream from one linguistic setting to a different profoundly destabilizes the subject’s relation to either language and fact, leading to the hunt for an alternative choice to language in imaginative and prescient itself – a reversal, because it have been, of talking into seeing. The dynamics of this shift are relatively glaring within the works of many displaced filmmakers, which regularly show up a conflicted interplay among language and imaginative and prescient, and during this query the signifying strength, and the perceptual ambiguities, of cinema itself.
In tracing the stumble upon among cinema and language loss throughout quite a lot of movies – from Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard to Chantal Akerman’s News from domestic to Michael Haneke’s Caché – Mamula reevaluates the function of displacement in postwar Western movie and makes an unique contribution to movie concept and philosophy in keeping with a reconsideration of where of language in our event and realizing of cinema.

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Additional resources for Cinema and Language Loss: Displacement, Visuality and the Filmic Image (Routledge Advances in Film Studies, Volume 21)

Example text

However, to the extent that the latter remain unspeakable or even unimaginable, their recollection obliterates not only our linguistic acts, but the very referent of the photograph itself, the “thing” it represents. If there is a “stain” or a “blind spot” in the photograph—and in its cinematic extensions—this is not because it confronts us with the gaze of the Other (to cite a popular explanation) but because the force of the semiotic itself abstracts our own gaze just as it collapses the gap in which meaning is constituted.

However, before going on to look at Kristeva’s theorization of asymbolia, in its relation to Freud’s work on aphasia as well as in its implications for the study of the relationship between cinema and language loss, it is necessary to offer some preliminary observations on the debates surrounding the question of repression, denial and splitting as they have developed in the psychoanalytic literature on multilingualism and language loss. Although the complexity of this issue, which far transcends the study of linguistic displacement, prevents anything more than its cursory overview in the present discussion, it nonetheless remains not only a crucial indicator of the specific import of Kristeva’s work, but also an indispensable introduction to the questions of linguistic, mnemic and perceptual disturbance as they emerge in the films discussed in this book.

Indd 21 10/18/2012 5:00:45 PM 22 Cinema and Language Loss definable in terms of repression. What the experience of displacement demonstrates, however, is that thing-presentations may be, and often are, severed from words even where these words continue to be used (this is made particularly evident in the work of Marguerite Duras, explored in Chapter 4), as well as the fact that any new language—however great the fluency of its acquisition and the longevity of its use—may remain conditioned by this experience and thus susceptible to a similar disinvestment of affect and memory.

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