Publication

Omission, Suggestion, Completion: Film and the Imagination of the Spectator

Hanich, J., 6-Apr-2018, In : Screening the Past : an international electronic journal of visual media and history. 2018, 43, 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

This article counters the widespread assumption that film is exclusively a medium of showing, presentation or appearing by emphasizing the importance of the viewer’s act of imagination.

At the center of attention is the aesthetic principle of omission, suggestion, and completion in film – in other words, cases in which a conspicuous elision and filmic evocation set in motion an act of sensual imagining on the viewer’s part: The viewer’s visual and aural imagining fills in and enriches what the film’s visuals or its soundtrack both conceal and allude to at the same time.

The essay may also be seen as a first step toward a poetics of omission, suggestion and completion, as it discusses altogether ten strategies of how to omit and suggest. Examples of visual and aural completion come from films like Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau’s Tartuffe (1925), Fritz Lang’s M (1931), Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove (1964), Werner Herzog’s Heart of Glass (1976), Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man (1995), Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights (1997), Dogville (2003) by Lars von Trier, Cristian Mungiu’s 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007) and Shirin (2008) by Abbas Kiarostami.

The text is a translated and strongly revised version of my introduction to the volume Auslassen, Andeuten, Auffüllen. Der Film und die Imagination des Zuschauers (Munich: 2012) that I co-edited with Hans Jürgen Wulff. Translator: Brian Currid.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
JournalScreening the Past : an international electronic journal of visual media and history
Volume2018
Issue number43
Publication statusPublished - 6-Apr-2018

    Keywords

  • film aesthetics, film style, film studies, imagination

ID: 56405837