Impersonal Enunciation, or the Place of Film by Christian Metz

Impersonal Enunciation, or the Place of Film

byChristian MetzTranslated byCormac DeaneAfterword byDana Polan

Paperback | February 2, 2016

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Christian Metz is best known for applying Saussurean theories of semiology to film analysis. In the 1970s, he used Sigmund Freud's psychology and Jacques Lacan's mirror theory to explain the popularity of cinema. In this final book, Metz uses the concept of enunciation to articulate how films "speak" and explore where this communication occurs, offering critical direction for theorists who struggle with the phenomena of new media.

If a film frame contains another frame, which frame do we emphasize? And should we consider this staging an impersonal act of enunciation? Consulting a range of genres and national trends, Metz builds a novel theory around the placement and subjectivity of screens within screens, which pulls in-and forces him to reassess-his work on authorship, film language, and the position of the spectator. Metz again takes up the linguistic and theoretical work of Benveniste, Genette, Casetti, and Bordwell, drawing surprising conclusions that presage current writings on digital media. Metz's analysis enriches work on cybernetic emergence, self-assembly, self-reference, hypertext, and texts that self-produce in such a way that the human element disappears. A critical introduction by Cormac Deane bolsters the connection between Metz's findings and nascent digital-media theory, emphasizing Metz's keen awareness of the methodological and philosophical concerns we wrestle with today.

About The Author

Christian Metz (1931-1993) is also the author of Film Language: A Semiotics of the Cinema; The Imaginary Signifier: Psychoanalysis and the Cinema; and Language and Cinema.
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Details & Specs

Title:Impersonal Enunciation, or the Place of FilmFormat:PaperbackDimensions:280 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.03 inPublished:February 2, 2016Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231173679

ISBN - 13:9780231173674

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsTranslator's IntroductionPart I: Humanoid Enunciation1. Humanoid EnunciationPart II: Some Landscapes of Enunciation (A Guided Tour)2. The Voice of Address in the Image: The Look to Camera3. The Voice of Address Outside the Image: Related Sounds4. Written Modes of Address5. Secondary Screens, or Squaring the Rectangle6. Mirrors7. "Exposing the Apparatus"8. Film(s) Within Film9. Subjective Images, Subjective Sounds, "Point of View"10. The I-voice and Related Sounds11. The Oriented Objective System: Enunciation and Style12. "Neutral" (?) Images and SoundsPart III: A Walk in the Clouds (Taking Theoretical Flight)13. (Taking Theoretical Flight)Afterword, by Dana PolanNotesOn the Shelf: Works CitedIndex

Editorial Reviews

The moments of poetry, wit, and charming cinephilia scattered throughout make this work as engaging as it is enlightening.... Essential.