The Primal Scene

16mm, black and white, sound, 6 min
scans not available
In recent film theory, the look is a much discussed film subject. The camera is understood as looking, representing the gaze of the spectator who subsequently identifies with it. What makes this equation ...
Rental format: 16mm $30.00

About

In recent film theory, the look is a much discussed film subject. The camera is understood as looking, representing the gaze of the spectator who subsequently identifies with it. What makes this equation particularly fascinating is the fact that it defines the position of the spectator as voyeuristic. The main instance of voyeurism in Freudian theory being the primal scene – in which the child watches paternal coitus – there is an automatic connection between the viewing situation in a movie theatre and the early childhood experience discovered by Freud. The film tries to focus on and exploit this connection. Taking into account that most primal scene experience is imaginary rather than real, it plays on the role of the imagination, and the function of the suggestive, in all cinematic experience. And taking into account that even in recollections, it abstains from being explicit. Instead it relies on a musical example of primal scene displacement, in order to remind the viewer of the many forms of disguise his or her grappling with the primal scene might have taken. Apart from being a film on voyeurism as a cinematic experience, THE PRIMAL SCENE is also a brief compendium of contemporary German bedroom styles.

Films

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