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Re: A thought about BLACK NARCISSUS

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  • Zach Campbell
    ... (Spoilers for AGE OF CONSENT in the second paragraph.) The expressive possibilities of superfluity are one of the mainlines through Powell s (and
    Message 1 of 35 , Jun 1 5:32 AM
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      --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Dan Sallitt <sallitt@p...> wrote:
      > Both these shots convey an idea, a storytelling concept that can easily be
      > put into words. And both shots do their utmost to give that idea the most
      > physical, tactile, sensual, dramatically obtrusive form possible.

      (Spoilers for AGE OF CONSENT in the second paragraph.)

      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.

      --Zach
    • hotlove666
      ... Certainly not of the kind Truffaut used, but Hitchcock always used inserts as part of his suspense curves - lighters, keys - and Truffaut does too,
      Message 35 of 35 , Jun 5 5:49 PM
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        --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "Robert Keser" <rfkeser@i...> wrote:
        > <hotlove666@y...> wrote:

        >
        > 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

        Certainly not of the kind Truffaut used, but Hitchcock always used
        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
        custom.

        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.
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