Bakhtin and the Movies: New Ways of Understanding Hollywood by M. Flanagan

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By M. Flanagan

Martin Flanagan makes use of Bakhtin's notions of dialogism, chronotope and polyphony to deal with basic questions on movie shape and reception, focussing really at the method cinematic narrative utilises time and house in its very development.

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8), a reaction that prompted Mulvey’s own revisitation of the original paper in 1981 (Mulvey, 1989). Mulvey’s conception of the artistic strategies of narrative cinema as dedicated to maintaining the sexual status quo was provocative but also limiting, a reading that perhaps presumes too much on the side of the spectator without ever really considering their individual response to the text in detail. The assumption that the female spectator can engage with the text on its own terms only tells half of the story.

However, the general spectator tends to remain at a certain distance from the cinematic meaning event in this early Metzian account. The ‘one-way’ model prevents Metz from acknowledging the influence of the viewer as multiply present – both addressee and participant in the textual process. 274). This dialogue does not only occur between the multiple voices that sound within narrative (in the sense of heteroglossia) but beyond the level of the text in the relationship between utterance and addressee (reader/spectator), and further, between that addressee and all the other addressees of the same text, generating a linked interpretative community.

53), perhaps peaking in the mid-1970s but bearing an active influence on developments in the field for at least a decade after this,24 was strongly imprinted with a specific political slant (inspired by the revolutionary moment of France during 1968 and intellectually in thrall to Marxism of the Althusserian stripe). The result was the widespread circulation of a model of film viewing as predicated on the positioning, fixing or force-feeding of desirable images to a passive consumer by the dominant cultural order.

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