By Teresa de de Lauretis
"There is infrequently a web page during this selection of hard-thought and brilliantly written essays that doesn't yield a few new insight." ―Hayden White
"... de Lauretis’s writing is brisk and refreshingly lucid." ―International movie Guide
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Extra info for Alice Doesn’t: Feminism, Semiotics, Cinema
To say that woman is a sign (Levi-Strauss) or the phallus (Lacan) is to equate woman with representation; but to say that woman is an object of exchange (Levi-Strauss) or that she is the real, or Truth (Lacan), implies that her sexual difference is a value founded in nature, that it preexists or exceeds symbolization and culture. " In The Imaginary Signifier Metz shifts his investigation from the semiological study of the cinematic signifier (its matter and form of expression), to the "psychoanalytic exploration of the signifier" (p.
Thus it tended to hide or make non-pertinent the other components of the signifying process; for example, to hide the fact that cinematic signification and signification in general are not systemic but rather discursive processes, that they not only engage and overlay multiple codes, but also involve distinct communicative situations, particular conditions of reception, enunciation, and address, and thus, crucially, the notion of spectatorship--the positioning of spectators in and by the film, in and by cinema.
The importance of psychoanalysis for the study of cinema and of film is not to be denied. It has served to dislodge cinematic theory from the scientistic, even mechanistic enterprise of a structural semiology and urged upon it the instance of the subject, its construction and representations, in cinematic signification-just as the historical importance of semiology was to affirm the existence of coding rules and thus of a socially constructed reality there where a transcendental reality, nature (Bazin's "ontology of the image"), had been supposed to manifest itself.