Film Theory: Reflexivity, Self-Reflexivity

Charles Afron has observed:

“If all art is ultimately about itself, self-reflexive art draws the viewer’s attention to that fact.”

Susan Sontag on Ingmar Bergman’s Persona (1966):

“In the ways that Bergman made his film self-reflexive, self-regarding, ultimately self-engorging, we should recognize not a private whim, but the expression of a well-established tendency. For it is precisely the energy for this sort of ‘formalist’ concern with the nature and paradoxes of the medium itself which was unleashed¬† when the 19th century formal structures of plot and characters were demoted.”

(Sontag, S.  Styles of Radical Will. NY: Ferrar, 1976, p. 139)

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