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Re: [a_film_by] Avant-garde & Narrative (was Andy)

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  • Dan Sallitt
    ... The line is so porous - even the most one-sided viewer has to cross it sometimes. A lot of the difference between narrative and non-narrative traditions
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 22, 2012
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      > On genre of avant-garde movie that somewhat bridges narrative and
      > non-narrative is the "trance" film like MESHES OF THE AFTERNOON or FRAGMENT
      > OF SEEKING. Then there are the avant-garde narratives of Straub-Huillet.

      The line is so porous - even the most one-sided viewer has to cross it
      sometimes.

      A lot of the difference between narrative and non-narrative traditions
      has less to do with the presence or absence of narrative than it does
      with the influence of totally different film cultures. For instance,
      when Brakhage scratches the emulsion, he's sort of allying himself
      with a fine-art tradition in which the celluloid is the medium. But
      one of the subtle points of the Bazinian revolution, which early
      auteurism grew out of, is that the true medium of film isn't the
      emulsion on celluloid, but is rather the ontological realism of the
      photograph. Like any other gap, this one can be shortened or bridged.
      But it's a real difference.

      In a very general way, the avant-garde grew out of various "pure
      cinema" traditions of the 20s and 30s, and consequently many
      avant-garde filmmakers still give editing the primacy that comes from
      it being a film-specific function. Whereas one of Bazin's
      transformations was a strong advocacy of impure cinema and of the
      value of relationships between cinema and the older art forms.
      Editing was therefore downgraded to some extent in post-Bazinian
      culture. Again, not an either-or thing, but a case of different
      parentage.

      My impression is that today's auteurist-influenced young cinephiles
      have mostly embraced avant-garde filmmaking, and that the generation
      of auteurists who gave the avant-garde a hard time is passing slowly
      from this earth. - Dan
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