Laura Mulvey’s still-moving dialectic on the cinema of Abbas Kiarostami
Laura Mulvey is a prominent figure in film theory from 1970s. Her work is particularly remarkable, though controversial, in regard to feminine appearance on the screen.Stasis is central to Laura Mulvey’s film theory. In her essay Visual pleasure and Narrative Cinema (1975), she criticized the role of patriarchy in Hollywood cinema. Mulvey suggested the theory of Patriarchal gaze based on Lacan’s Gaze Theory. She states that the presence of woman is an indispensable element of spectacle, yet her visual presence tends to work against the development of a story line, to freeze the flow of action in moments of erotic contemplation. In Death 24X a second: Stillness and the Moving Image (2006), she points out that now she is more interested in the way that those moments of spectacle were also moments of narrative halt, hinting at the stillness of the single celluloid frame. In fact with the advent of the digital cinema, the photographic base of cinema come to the fore. Mulvey tries to reformulate the idea of spectatorship through the perspective of time. She indicates that the everyday reality that video and digital media have opened up new ways of seeing old movies reveals up the significance of the dichotomy of stillness and movement. In fact, the use of new technologies results in the possibility of returning to and repeating a specific film fragment. Return and repetition necessarily involve interrupting the flow of film, delaying its progress, and, in the process, discovering the cinema’s complex relation to time. Mulvey is the first person to link Abbas Kiarostami’s Cinema to the Lacanian concept of the Real. She explains that Kiarostami’s unrepresented tragic earthquake is the same as the manner of the Real which is invisible, but has a significant presence. She argues that the tragic earthquake which destroyed the village is left intentionally unseen, unrepresented by Kiarostami in the following two films. The lack of any kind of re-enactment creates a situation where the actuality of the invisible yet traumatic is unquestionable- exactly in the same manner as Lacan describes the order of the always hidden Real that is behind or beneath any phenomenal appearance accessible to direct experience. In addition, representation of the gaze is considered the result of the style of a filmmaker who is best known as a self-reflexive filmmaker. This article discusses the Cinema of Abbas Kiarostami through a Psychoanalytic perspective based on the contradiction of stillness and movement in Mulvey’s film theory. The main issue to discuss is that how Mulvey considers the cinema of Kiarostami as delaying and immobile while his use of car and consequently movement is a persisting feature of his cinematic oeuvre. The result is that Kiarostami‘s cars respond to a relational conceptualization of space in mobility and breaks away from the conventions of representation in which space is considered fixed which carries specific and symbolic meanings. However, the sense of mobility emerged from a wandering car ends up to stillness through repetition and return that affect the spectator’s memory.
Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Honar-Ha-Ye-Ziba: Honar-Ha-Ye Mosighi Va Namayeshi, No. 61, 2019
79 - 86  
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