Tuesday, September 3, 2019
WhatÃ¢â¬â¢s Theory Got to Do With It? :: Movies Media Papers
This is not a book about film, contrary to its title, but a book about a way of seeing social and economic relationships differently. Film is just a convenient vehicle to use to pursue our analysis. It is an entry point, a doorway, into an understanding of the processes that have shaped and continue to shape the world (and remember that we are an integral aspect of the world, not separate from it). This process of shaping and being shaped by is what we call overdetermination. Overdetermination implies that no aspect of reality is insignificant in the shaping of any other aspect of reality. In other words, everything is significant: all processes (whether political, economic, cultural, or environmental) have an effect on all other processes. The dialectic of overdetermination is the dialectic of ceaseless change, of the constant pushes and pulls of the unique influences that come together to constitute each and every aspect of reality. Freud used the concept Ã¢â¬Å"overdeterminationÃ¢â¬ in his analysis of dreams to refer to the way in which the content of dreams was not simplistically determined by a finite set of life-events, but was, rather, the product of the totality or gestalt of life experiences. The formation of our consciousness and unconsciousness is the culmination of the unique interaction of more social and natural conditions than could ever be named or identified. In other words, everything, absolutely everything that we have experienced in life has molded our consciousness and unconsciousness. Film is a medium through which ideas are communicated. Film is an illusion trying to mirror a specific reality or set of realities. Many of us grow up viewing film as a window from which to look out at the world and make sense of it. The images and stories projected into our minds help to form our consciousness about various social and natural relationships. The ideas transmitted through film become part of the knowledge base from which one understands the world. These ideas help form the consciousness as well as the unconsciousness of the individual, shaping her perception of not only herself, but of social relationships, in a more general sense. This is why it is so important to critically examine films. Ideas are transmitted in the blink of an eye, so to speak, instantaneously lodging themselves in the mind---oftentimes unexamined.