Signs and Meaning in the <i>Decalogue</i>

Matilda Mroz

in Temporality and Film Analysis

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780748643462
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780748676514 | DOI:
Signs and Meaning in the Decalogue

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Interpretations of the Decalogue series have largely focused upon symbolism and the relationship between the Ten Commandments and the individual films, seeking to attribute symbolic attachments to particular images. This chapter, by contrast, attempts to bring out those moments in between those that seem to be significant or symbolically meaningful, using David Trotter's formulation of the ‘hermeneutic threshold’ to explore moments which do not seem particularly concerned with meaning at all, but are, instead, affective. The films continually suggest the presence of an ordered system of meaning, through omens, significant objects, and patterns, while ultimately deferring a full explication of significance. Disjunctive chronologies and the slow unfolding of the films continually resist attempts to fasten meaning onto their images, resonating instead with uncertainty and indeterminacy. The chapter also analyses the significance of music in the films (Zbigniew Preisner's score) and discusses the distinction between affect and emotion posited by Brian Massumi.

Keywords: Trotter; Symbolism; Objects; Affect; Patterns; Music; Preisner; Emotion; Massumi; Indeterminacy

Chapter.  23820 words. 

Subjects: Film

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