The Language of Film

Friday, May 26 •  – 3

This paper focuses on exploring the linguistic dimension of film as a medium. Drawing from a poststructuralist tradition that places language at the center of attention, our primary aim is to take a further step and recognize that every experience we have is fundamentally intertwined with storytelling. This perspective casts a new light on narratives, revealing their crucial role as primary driving vehicles of our ability to talk about the structure of reality.

Film plays multiple roles in this context. As an exemplary medium, we argue that film provides a unique opportunity to deconstruct the binary oppositions inherent in Western metaphysics. On one hand, film can be seen as supporting a representational mode of thinking, which relies on the distinction between the signifier and the signified. But on the other hand, film can also demonstrate that, as a medium, it is inseparable from the productivity of language (stories) that enables the very existence of this signifier-signified distinction.

In essence, we argue that language primarily engages in a “dialogue with itself,” utilizing a multitude of stories. These stories can be shaped in and through various media, and film is just another example of this story-making process. The analysis presented here seeks to move beyond the hermeneutic principle of “merging of horizons” (Horizontverschmelzung), instead highlighting the idea that our experiences are intertwined through the “merging of stories” (Geschichtenverschmelzung).

This shift relegates the position of subjectivity, traditionally considered central in philosophical thought, to a secondary role. Additionally, we aim to demonstrate the limitations of classical structuralist and semiological analyses and where they fall short in their treatment of language and media.

RS 🇷🇸 • Associate professor at the FoP in Novi Sad orcid || Full bio

Nemanja Mićić, PhD, is an associate professor at the Faculty of Philosophy (Department of Philosophy), University of Novi Sad. His research work focuses on topics such as the philosophy of language, contemporary philosophy, philosophy of art, and philosophy of media.

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