Film Theory: Ambiguity/Ambivalence–Concept; Approaches; Movies

Walter Benjamin:

“Ambiguity is the pictorial image of dialectics, the law of dialectics seen at a standstill.”

Openness is not common in American films.

But open-endedness and ambiguity are not the same.

Ambiguity implies uncertainty, instead of plurality of meanings.

Ambiguity may or may not  present/encourage demands on the viewers

Ambiguity can mean  freedom from concern about what was seen as indefinite, unrealizable, unknowable.

Ambiguity can provoke passivity, offering viewers secure subjectivity.

Ambiguity does not necessarily upset assumptions or endanger tranquility.

Usually there’s narrative closure, completeness.

Ford Bordwell, it’s excessively obvious cinema.”