Ileana JITARU, Voices in Dialogue in the Language of Film: From Fictional to Documentary Mode

Abstract: The main statements of cognitive film semiotics lie in the focus of actual mental activities (intuitive knowledge) involved in the making and understanding of filmic texts rather than the filmic texts themselves. This paper will critically examine Christian Metz’s cognitive film semiotics (his theory of impersonal filmic enunciation) (“The Impersonal Enunciation, or the Site of Film”, 1995), with a focus on reflexivity, metalanguage and anaphora, analysing it in contrast with Francesco Casetti’s personal filmic enunciation (“D’un regard l’autre. Le film et son spectateur”, 1990), a deictic theory of enunciation based on personal pronouns. These theories of enunciation will be applied to Davis Guggenheim’s documentary An Inconvenieint Truth (2006), where the enunciator and addressee are shaped as real. Conversely, in the fiction film, the enunciator and addressee are imaginary (or absent, constructed). This reformulation enables us to begin refining our understanding of the relation between fiction and reality in the construction of films. If the fiction film’s actants are foregrounded as real on the below-surface level, in documentaries they are foregrounded as real on the surface level, which would suggest that fiction and documentaries have a mutual connection, in ways other than the audience would generally perceive.

Key words: Film cognitive semiotics, filmic enunciation, documentaries, film actants, global warming.

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