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The Spectator's Position as a Thinking Space for the Contemporary Essay Film: Face aux fantômes (2009) and Jaurès (2012) (English and Spanish Versions)

Monterrubio Ibáñez, Lourdes

This article aims to carry out an analysis of the spectatorial position as a thinking space for the contemporary essay film based on the comparative study of two Francophone films: Face aux fantômes (Jean-Louis Comolli and Sylvie Lindeperg, 2009) and Jaurès (Vincent Dieutre, 2012). The dialogism of the essay film, the interpellation to the spectator to produce self-reflection on their position and critical thinking about the images shown, is then generated from the premise of identification. The analysis shows how Face aux fantômes offers an audiovisual thinking process on the mobilization of the gaze of the emancipated spectator theorized by Jacques Rancière, while Jaurès provokes the same reflection from the opposite approach: the fixation of the gaze and the representation of spectatorial passivity. In this way, both films reveal the possibilities of the spectator’s position as an epistemological space for the contemporary essay film.

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