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Psychoanalytical film theory

The concepts of psychoanalysis have been applied to films in various ways; however the 1970s and 1980s saw the development of theory that took concepts developed by the French psychoanalyst and writer Jacques Lacan and applied them to the experience of watching a film.

The film viewer is seen as the subject of a "gaze[?]" that is largely "constructed" by the film itself, where what is on screen becomes the object of that subject's desire.

The viewing subject may be offered particular identifications (usually with a leading male character) from which to watch. The theory stresses the subject's longing for a completeness which the film may appear to offer through identification with an image; in fact, according to Lacanian theory[?], identification with the image is never anything but an illusion and the subject is always split simply by virtue of coming into existence.

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Psychoanalytical film theory

... "constructed" by the film itself, where what is on screen becomes the object of that subject's desire. The viewing subject may be offered particular identifications ...