Re: A thought about BLACK NARCISSUS
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Dan Sallitt <sallitt@p...> wrote:
> Both these shots convey an idea, a storytelling concept that can easily be(Spoilers for AGE OF CONSENT in the second paragraph.)
> put into words. And both shots do their utmost to give that idea the most
> physical, tactile, sensual, dramatically obtrusive form possible.
The expressive possibilities of superfluity are one of the mainlines through Powell's (and
Pressburger's) art. I loved the moment in THE SMALL BACK ROOM when, as Sue and the
other fellow look for Sammy in the pub. They walk in and don't notice him at the bar fairly
close to the door; they walk over screen-left, the camera following them, for a few steps
until they turn around and find him, practically back where they started.
Or: the fact that Nat in AGE OF CONSENT, when he takes Brad's money, decides to put a
few dollars back in Brad's pocket.
Digression from or excess to the narrative line, whether in an image, a camera movement,
a character action, is in itself a way that the Archers exerted their sensibility (-ies), and a
site for further expression.
In BLACK NARCISSUS, I think the overwhelming tactility of some of those images is deeply
tied to the nothingness--the sublime precipice--which taunts Clodagh. The images are
so powerful because they must be expressive of the void into which she will fall if she lets
fall her cultural and religious crutches.
- --- In email@example.com, "Robert Keser" <rfkeser@i...> wrote:
> <hotlove666@y...> wrote:Certainly not of the kind Truffaut used, but Hitchcock always used
> But how does this relate to Hitchcock, apart from sharing the goal
> of inducing anxiety? Thinking literally, I can't recall any such
> object + gesture shots in Hitchcock.
> --Robert Keser
inserts as part of his suspense curves - lighters, keys - and
Truffaut does too, especially at the beginning, when the guy is
racing to the airport. As I recall, time pieces get into the act as
well. But I completely agree that the plethora of inserts calls
attention to itself and to features of the modern world, which as far
as I know is a new point about that film. Again, because for me every
Truffaut film corresponds to a Godard film, look at A Married Woman
for a stylistically different atempt at "French Antonioni."
The other Hitchcockian element in Soft Skin is all the cutting on
looks, which he had used for some of Antoine et Colette, but not the
whole movie. Here it's the whole movie, and the looks are pretty
neutral throughout, a la Hitchcock.
Reportedly, this is the one Truffaut script - writen in an unusual 20-
day spurt - that already contains the decoupage as it appears on
screen, with no room for writing scenes the night before, as was his
I think your point about the inserts raises something interesting
about Truffaut's "Hitchcockism": However immensely he admired
Hitchcock, the Hitchcock style stands for something in a Truffaut
film that it doesn't in a Hitchcock film. Hitchcock style in
Fahrenheit 451 stands for authoritarian mind-control, for example.