Analysis Of Jean Louis Comolli And Jean Narboni 's ' Cinema / Ideology / Criticism '

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In Jean-Louis Comolli and Jean Narboni’s essay “Cinema/Ideology/Criticism,” they put forward the central argument that film is a commercial product in the capitalist system and therefore also the unconscious instrument of the dominant ideology which produces it. In opposition to the classic film theory that applauds camera as an impartial device to reproduce reality, they argue that what the camera reproduces is merely a refraction of the prevailing ideology. Therefore, the primary and political task for filmmakers is to disrupt this replication of the world as self-evident and the function of film criticism is to identify and evaluate that politics. Comolli and Narboni then suggest seven categories of films confronting ideology in different ways, among which the second category resists the prevailing ideology on two levels. Films of this group not only overtly deal with political contents in order to “attack their ideological assimilation” (Comolli and Narboni 483), but also achieve their goal through breaking down the conventional way of depicting reality.
Palindromes (2004), directed by Todd Solondz, to a large degree corresponds to the category B proposed by Comolli and Narboni. On the level of the “signified,” namely the film’s content, this black comedy directly tackles the heatedly debated social and political issues surrounding teen pregnancy and abortion in the United States. When approaching this controversial subject, the film puts great emphasis on revealing,

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