Revolutionizing the Transcendental Subject
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This paper examines two films by Cuban Director Tomas Alea, "Strawberries & Chocolate" and "Memories of Underdevelopment". These are discussed in light of theorist Jean Louis Baudry's idea of the "transcendental subject", which is used by Alea to inscribe meaning into his works.
From the Paper:"In Memories of Underdevelopment and Strawberries and Chocolate, Tomas Alea created two of the most complex, compelling and thought provoking films ever to come out of Cuba. Though they were produced decades apart, the unique quality that pervades both narratives and defines Alea's work is the way these films force their intended audiences to confront many tough issues that faced post-revolutionary Cuba. Memories presents a protagonist who fails in life because he remains complacent and is unable to adapt to change. Strawberries and Chocolate conversely, depicts a young man's journey from ignorance to enlightenment as he comes full circle to embrace someone he previously regarded as an undesirable miscreant. Though these films tell the two very different tales, Alea makes masterful use of an instrument that theorist Jean-Louis Baudry termed the "cinematic apparatus," to compel the audience to identify with each of his protagonists. The filmmaker then undermines this empathetic connection by depicting a radical change in character (as in Strawberries and Chocolate) or portraying the protagonist as a hopeless, dejected failure (e.g. Memories). This technique results in a deeply personal message that forces the viewer to confront issues, problems or prejudices within themselves since they've identified so strongly with the protagonist. In this sense, Alea uses his main characters as extremely powerful tools that he can mobilize to change his audiences' attitude and defeat ignorance and oppression one theatergoer at a time."
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Revolutionizing the Transcendental Subject (2003, October 27) Retrieved February 22, 2024, from https://www.academon.com/essay/revolutionizing-the-transcendental-subject-45405/
"Revolutionizing the Transcendental Subject" 27 October 2003. Web. 22 February. 2024. <https://www.academon.com/essay/revolutionizing-the-transcendental-subject-45405/>