[Marxism] Quentin Tarantino, Eileen Jones, and the perils of film school theorizing | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Richard Modiano richardmodiano at gmail.com
Thu Aug 22 09:43:00 MDT 2019


At NYU there was a Dept. of Cinema Studies and a Dept. of Film & Television
Production. By the mid-70s the theorizing of Screen magazine was taking
center stage, and much of that theorizing was informed by linguistic models
derived from Sassure, psychological interpretations from Lacan,
structuralism, etc, and the jargon was the "suture"," le petit object a",
the "gaze", etc., very different from substituting intellectual montage for
Hollywood montage. I remember the enthusiasm for Noel Burch's article
classifying Hollywood movies according to their formal challenges to the
dominant ideology, where violation of the Hollywood representational codes
constituted a critique. The other big article was Stephen Heath's piece on
Touch of Evil in Screen. My point is that the movies were used as examples
to prove the theoru rather than as investigative tools for understanding
the movie.

Richard Modiano

On Thu, Aug 22, 2019 at 8:11 AM Jeffrey Masko <j.alan.masko at gmail.com>
wrote:

> Good and bad news here, the bad news is as an academic subject, we do use
> jargon - such as "intellectual montage" instead of "Hollywood montage" -
> comes from theory, so yes jargon can still be used to mystify positions
> taken on interpretation. One the other hand, we are a long way away from
> the 70s; film study in no longer a humanities based project, but more
> fruitfully finds its home in communication studies, especially mass comm,
> among others. One of my mentors, Bill Nichols had read ALL film criticism
> while at UCLA in the early 70s; now one could not read all of the
> literature coming out in any given quarter, so quite a bit more going on
> now than in the 70s. To me this is not a question of using theory, but
> which ones and to what extent and purpose.
>
>
>



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