Among others, Brian Lennon has discussed the direct connection between national literary print culture and monolingual discourse. Unexplored is the relationship of national film culture and monolingualism. This presentation will take the moving image as its primary medium of investigation, a move which will also shift our focus from oral communication to visualtiy.
We can note that the transition from silent to sound film is an important moment in the development of monolingalism. The binding of soundtrack to imagetrack, a fairly punctual transition, reduced the polyvalence of the cinematic image, binding the image to specific linguistic communities and particular national markets. It marks in effect the emergence of distinctly national cinemas. Yet it also marks the emergence of experiments in film production that sought to restore polyvocality to visual language.
This presentation will discuss two antithetical forms of film production: the multi-language version film and the national-appearing co-production. These models of production will mark the poles of multi- versus mono-lingual film.
A goal of the overall project of which this presentation is a part is to revise the structuralist film semiotics initiated by Christian Metz and psychoanalytic, especially Lacanian film analysis by considering the phenomenological investigations of Maurice Merleau-Ponty,
Emmanual Levinas, and Vivian Sobchack. In exploring the varying strategies of film production strategies, this presentation will consider questions of medium specificity. The presentation will reflect on the difference in communicative strategies based on lingual, affectual, and visual information and it will contend that visual communication, is a form of communication that precedes oral communication, and is by nature polyvalent.
Randall Halle. "Toward a Phenomenology of Emotion in Film: Michael Brynntrup and The Face of Gay Shame," in Modern Language Notes (2010).
Ibid. “European Film Beyond its Borders: NeoMOrientalism in Transnational Production Strategies.” Global art cinema: new theories and histories Rosalind Galt and Karl Schoonhover eds. Oxford University Press (2010).
Ibid. “Perceiving the Other in the Land of Silence and Darkness.” Blackwell Companion to Herzog, Bradley Praeger ed. Blackwell, 2011.
Maurice Merleau-Ponty, "Film and the New Psychology." Sense and Non- Sense 48- 59.Multilingual, 2.0? An International Symposium, The University of Arizona, April 13-15, 2012
Emmanuel Levinas, "Signification and Sense," Humanism of the Other Wolfgang Metzger, Laws of Seeing.