chapter  13
18 Pages

The Politics of Interpretation: The Case of Bergman's Persona

What is the Relationship Between Film and Theory? Marxist and feminist film critics alike often engage in the exposure and identification of subterranean----Dr not so subterranean-ideologies within films. Marxists look for inherent capitalist structures and images while feminists look for inherent patriarchal structures and images. This raises the question of the relationship between film and ideology. 1 For the purposes of my analysis here I will define ideology as the naturalization of structures and modes of domination. Ideology, then, is the process and effect of various structures and institutions that causes certain beliefs and values to appear natural or true for all time, when by examining their histories and engaging in crosscultural analysis we see ways in which they arc socially and culturally created and evolving. It seems, however, that all discourses are engaged in this process of naturalization and therefore all discourses are engaged in naturalizing structures of domination-even while they may resist it. All propositions in our language to some extent operate by assuming that there is a natural set of facts. Even as I try to argue that language creates a naturalization effect I am engaged in the process of using language to create such an effect: I am trying to persuade you that my hypothesis about ideology is true and that it accurately describes the way language works. If language operates by assuming that there is a set state of affairs, matters of fact, or nature, then ideology is everywhere. If ideology is everywhere then the critique cannot merely be engaged in a process of exposing ideology and the truth. The critic is also creating ideology, replacing one mask with another. In the case of film, the question then becomes, what is the relationship between film and criticism or theory? Or, in this context, what is the relationship between film

parent-but also she must accept her responsibility to the film and its integrity as a complete work.