Psychoanalytic Film Theory Essay

Only twelve countries are included, and they are represented by a mere twenty-four filmmakers.Just six countries are represented by more than one filmmaker.

In order to be included, they had to attract enough critical attention to have at least three critical monographs written in English about them.

Each monograph was thoroughly vetted in a method described in “American Filmmakers: A Critical List of Books.”[2] Because we limited our list to monographs written in English, foreign-language filmmakers are somewhat neglected, as they receive far more attention in the language of their home country.

The purpose of this bibliography of world filmmakers is to provide a record of critical scholarship for use by librarians, educators, scholars, and students of film and cultural history.

The monographs that make up this bibliography are critical works that analyze the influential filmmakers being written about over the last four decades, from the 1970s to the present.

For them, the film screen serves as a mirror through which the spectator can identify himself or herself as a coherent and omnipotent ego.

The sense of power that spectatorship provides derives from the spectator's primary identification with the camera itself.

Represented by one filmmaker each are Denmark (Lars von Trier), Germany (Max Ophüls), India (Satyajit Ray), Poland (Krzysztof Kieślowski), Spain (Luis Buñuel), and Sweden (Ingmar Bergman).

The most studied world filmmakers in the English language, covered by at least five books each, are Ingmar Bergman, Jean-Luc Godard, and Akira Kurosawa.

The attractiveness of this idea for film theory is readily apparent if we can accept the analogy between Lacan's infant and the cinematic spectator.

Psychoanalytic film theorists such as Christian Metz and Jean-Louis Baudry took this analogy as their point of departure.


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