La critique marxiste du cinéma dans les années ’30. Brecht, Benjamin, Fondane: iconoclasme ou iconophobie?

Ioan POP-CURŞEU


Abstract:

This paper shows that some principles of the Marxist criticism of cinema in the thirties are very close to the iconoclastic attitude towards images (the one manifested in the 8-9th centuries, or in the protestant countries at the “Renaissance”). The critics chosen to illustrate this phenomenon (Bertolt Brecht, Walter Benjamin, B. Fondane) don’t go as far as a perfect iconoclasm would require; they confine themselves to some kind of “iconophobia”. Marxist critics show that cinema, submitted to economic imperatives, is incapable of transmitting a “real presence”, of keeping the aura of things and people, and of dealing correctly with the representation of reality. Besides, cinema has a traumatic effect on spectators, destroying their revolutionary conscience by amusement and visual pleasure.

Keywords: marxism, cinema, iconoclasm, iconophobia

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