The social utility of cinema as an anticipated work of mourning


In the book “Lavoro del lutto, melanconia e creazione artistica” of Massimo Recalcati, the following question is asked: what is the social and ethical message of a work of art?

The answer is that a work of art can have a social impact to the extent that it bears witness to the existence of something that can never conform. This demonstrates that the ordinariness of existence is a form of alienation.

By re-elaborating the Freudian and Lacanian theories it is possible to derive a theory on the social utility of art, and of cinema in particular. I try to develop this theory in this thesis. Neither like Plato then, who believed that the artist is an enemy of the polis, nor like those who believe that art is a comfort to personal anguish.

Federico Yang Maoloni