Apparatus theory, derived in part from Marxist film theory, semiotics, and psychoanalysis, was a dominant theory within cinema studies during the 1970s. It maintains that cinema is by nature ideological because its mechanics of representation are ideological. Its mechanics of representation include the camera and editing. The central position of the spectator within the perspective of the composition is also ideological.
Apparatus theory also argues that cinema maintains the dominant ideology of the culture within the viewer. Ideology is not imposed on cinema, but is part of its nature.
Apparatus theory follows an institutional model of spectatorship.
(this is an incomplete list)
- Jacques Lacan
- Louis Althusser
- Jean-Louis Comolli
- Christian Metz
- Giorgio Agamben
- Laura Mulvey
- Peter Wollen
- Jean-Louis Baudry
- Narrative, Apparatus, Ideology: A Film Theory Reader, Columbia University Press 1986
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