|Originally posted by EgosXII |
So does the creator, or the viewer create meaning in a film?
To paraphrase a popular saying, "The author is dead, Roland Barthes killed him."
What post-structuralism introduced is the idea that an author can't be a source of any definitive meaning - it's up to the viewer/reader to infer meaning from the text. Or, to directly quote Barthes:
|Originally written by Roland Barthes |
To give a text an Author and assign a single, corresponding interpretation to it is to impose a limit on that text.
In other words, there's no denying that certain artistic intentions exist. However, we can never know what they truly were (especially in such a collaborative medium like film) and even if we did, it wouldn't matter much. So the most sensible approach is to forget the author figure and work with what's fully accessible to us - the film/text itself.
This viewpoint is shared even by cognitivists (Bordwell & Thompson) whose neoformalist approach is dominant now in film studies, and is far more analytical - in a sense that "analysis" doesn't try to figure out what the film says (the message), but rather how does it say that (grammar/syntax). Their book "Film Art" is well known and is a great introduction to this.
I probably just barely scratched the surface, but this is such a broad topic that I didn't know where to start. I can elaborate on some of this if it isn't clear.