Against Interpretation - Part 4 Summary & Analysis

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Summary

In the first essay of this section, "Spiritual Style in the Films of Robert Bresson," Sontag examines the films of the French filmmaker and introduces his work to her decidedly American audience. She argues that Bresson is a cinematic master of what she calls reflective art. This is a type of art elicits emotional involvement on the part of the viewer, but also postpones or defers it. In reflective art, Sontag argues, emotional power is always mediated by elements of impartiality, distance, and disinterestedness. "Reflective art," she writes, "is art which imposes a certain discipline upon the audience-postponing easy gratification" (180). American audiences, she thinks, resist this sort of reflection and contemplation. This has led to a widespread misunderstanding of Bresson outside his French context, i.e., the assumption that his work is cold, removed, and over intellectual.

Sontag begins her reading of the French...

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This section contains 1,692 words
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Buy the Against Interpretation Study Guide
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