Names in Dispute – What Titles Can Do in the Films of Straub and Huillet

Ramos Martinez, Manuel. 2015. Names in Dispute – What Titles Can Do in the Films of Straub and Huillet. La Furia Umana(26), ISSN 2037-0431 [Article]

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The title, as a proper name, guarantees the unity of the oeuvre. Titles have the capacity to hold together, sum up, stand for and register an oeuvre as oeuvre, countering the threat of disorganisation, endlessness and dispersion. Different authors have interrogated the powers of the proper name and created new economies between title and work that question their presumed equivalence and unification. T. W. Adorno pursues in various texts a crusade against the conformist and exploitative titles of the culture industry[1]. Against titles-for-profit, he favoured titles «so close to the work that they respect its hiddenness», titles «into which ideas immigrate and then disappear, having become unrecognisable»[2]. Adorno imagines an intimacy between title and titled that does not sell. Roland Barthes, against the supreme authority of the title with regards to meaning, insisted on a fertile separation between title and oeuvre. He explored generative distances where the proper name does not exhaust the named, or, more precisely, where the relation between titles and titled can function as a terrain to play with the expectations of nominal identification...

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Visual Cultures


1 December 2015Published

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12 May 2015 16:12

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16 Jan 2018 15:01

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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