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Film Quarterly (1975) - Against "The System of the Suture"




Such a criticism might well systemically investigate his use of terms such as "ideology," "system," "codes," "classical cinema," "fiction," "enunciation," "de-construction" and so on-each of which is used in a way loaded with theoretical implications which could be challenged. Dayan argues that this sequence of "experiences" (the viewer's discomforting discovery of the frame; his uncertainty as to why the frame is what it is; his realization that he is only authorized to see what is contained in the glance of an "absentone" who rules over that frame; his acceptance of the figure shown in the subsequent reverse shot as that sovereign "absent-one") is not contingent: it is the effect of a system. Throughout Dayan's article, there is an unacknowledged tension between the Marxist trappings he adopts and the fundamentally anti-Marxist idea that point-of-view sequences and hence "classical" films are by their very nature (regardless of history) reflections of a timeless bourgeois ideology.