sinecine ISSN: 1309-5838

The Politics of Film: Discourse, Pychoanalysis, Ideology


After a general evaluation of theories of film and culture, Ryan discusses discourse, psychoanalysis, and ideology as the politics of film. He draws attention to the importance of bottom-up strategies instead of currently established top-down politics. He emphasizes that film is basically a social discourse that uses and recreates social discourse. Accordingly, formalism/sociology opposition cannot be defended in the light of deconstructive analysis. In order to explain the impact of films on their audience, Ryan invokes psychoanalysis and “object relations theory.” The way people perceive the world and the values ascribed to the world and how these values are internalized and partially determined by representations of the world have been supported and sustained by popular films. Popular films are seen as a space in which representations of the struggle between social formation and other value models meet and clash.