Re: Words and shots (Was: A thought about BLACK NARCISSUS)
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Dan Sallitt <sallitt@p...> wrote:
"The ringing doorbell in silent films...is an extreme example of a
very common occurence, where the spatial qualities of an image are
all but obliterated because the image delivers its message too well."
Dosen't your objection depend on what the filmmaker is trying to
establish with such a shot? It seems to me that in this example the
filmmaker is using the shot to reduce redundancy, a simple metonymic
use of the image. Or is there something else at work here?
"I propose a paradox: that, even though the camera always shows
space, the filmmaker (or photographer) has to do some work to
overcome the mind's tendency to slap a label on the image and rob it
of its ability to represent space. Not all filmmakers are interested
in this goal."
Isn't this absence of illusory space only temporary since presumably
another shot will follow (eventually) that re-establishes space? It
seems to me that this is like what happens when viewing a sumi-e
painting, the moment when the eye rests on the line of text that
asserts the flatness of the picture plane and travels to the rest of
the picture thus returning to illusory space.
- --- 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.