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Re: Words and shots (Was: A thought about BLACK NARCISSUS)

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  • Richard Modiano
    ... 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
    Message 1 of 35 , Jun 2, 2005
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      --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, 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.

      Richard
    • 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, 2005
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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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