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Themesicon: navigation pathArt and Cinematographyicon: navigation pathGraham
Der Mann mit der Kamera (Vertov, Dziga), 1929

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mirror image. The mirror image appears to him as an ideal ego. The identity available to the child, his ego-logical subjectivity, thus derives from a site external to itself. [8] Decisive for film theory was Lacan’s point that the foundation for all later imaginary narcissistic identification was laid in the mirror phase. The film screen was no longer to be understood phenomenologically as a «window» (or as in Jean Mitry’s formalist film theory as a «frame») but in its relationship to the observer metapsychologically as a «mirror.« [9] As Baudry explains: «Just as the mirror assembles the fragmented body in a sort of imaginary integration of the self, the transzendental self unites the discontinuous fragments of phenomena, of lived experience into unifying meaning. Through it each fragment assumes meaning by being integrated into an ‘organic’ unity.« [10] Lacan’s starting point was the premise that the subject was structured by the experience of lack, and thus constitutively characterized by the wish for transcendental unity, fullness and omnipotence. For Baudry, this cinema fulfils this wish in a unique way by producing a phantasmification of the subject. [11] The cinematic


apparatus is intended to be internalized in order to maintain a fiction without which the state apparatus could not function ideologically: the fiction of an autonomous and transcendental subject, which as the self-conception of an individual that believes itself to be free and unique is accompanied by a denial of real social coercion. [12] For Baudry, the only way to break through this phantasmification was to make its production obvious. Thus, he explained, every demonstration of the technological conditions of its own production is potentially a radical act. The example according to which he oriented himself was Dziga Vertovs 1929 film «The Man with the Movie Camera,» which thematized the technical conditions of its own making; the film displays the technological apparatus as such, the camera, the process of montage, the projection apparatus and the conditions of film viewing in the cinema. At the same time, he depicts the ideal of a Soviet everyday world, in which the entire apparatus—the Soviet state as such—would be transparent for all and the mass of the population would control the means of production. [13]

Baudry’s analysis of «the cinematic apparatus»

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