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Lecture 5

FILM 1000 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Nail Polish, Celluloid, Great Tribulation

Film Studies
Course Code
FILM 1000
Jose Sanchez

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Alternatives to Narrative Construction
- Documentary: four types (factual, instructional, persuasive, propaganda), nonction, always
focus on representing actuality
- Avant-garde: loose term for lms that don’t align with classical narrative construction,
innovative instead of following the pack, trying to separate themselves from the mainstream,
push the boundaries of what people think movies should be, seek to defy classication, if they
tell stories that are highly personal in relation to the lmmaker, try to stimulate the thought
process of the audience, not as a spectator but as an active agent, to be constantly conscious
that they’re watching the lm and that the lm is trying to get them to make an e#ort to
perceive it, narratives challenge the classical paradigm by changing, refusing, altering
narrative construction by sometimes fully disregarding causality, uncomfortable because we
cannot just sit there and watch, you must engage and pay attention, constantly thinking and
trying to interpret, majority make statements about the world outside the lm, refer to the
outside world by exploring the formal properties of lm as a medium itself, how to manipulate
them to be able to express ideas, subjectivity, surrealism, symbolism
- Experimental: group of lms within the overall avant-garde practice, di'cult to dene, try to
avoid any kind of categorization, try to play with the medium itself, not bound by traditions, six
criteria, but not the only six and not every lm has all six: not commercial, it isn’t going to
make money, single lmmakers, may have team of collaborators, minimum budgets if any
budget at all, no expectation of nancial gain, only shown in festivals or at alternative venues;
personal, re*ect a creative vision of a single artist who typically makes the movie entirely by
themselves with minimal (if any) help, all about what one person wants to express; do not
conform to conventional expectations of cause and e#ect, no transparent narrative; exploiting
possibilities of cinema, want to explore all of the possibilities of the medium, often reveal and
enjoy tactile and mechanical qualities of lms, want the viewer to be aware that they are
watching a lm, to see all the things they can do with the lm, embrace the articiality;
critique culture and media, voluntarily position themselves outside the mainstream to criticize,
to frustrate the expectations that the viewer associates with the lm, making us aware of how
we are conditioned to expect certain things, how we have been “brainwashed by mainstream,
conventional narratives; invite individual expression and interpretation, like an abstract
painting, each viewer interprets it the way they want
- Wavelength: lm explores space, but also how we represent space and how we see it
- Meshes of the afternoon: concerned with manipulation of space and time, series of images that
keep defying continuity, as if it is reality of a dream, image is constantly manipulated and
seemingly randomly edited, equivalent of stream of consciousness, tries to capture unedited
*ow through tne mind in a visual form
- Ballet mecanique: pure surrealism, series of incomplete actions, tries to represent impressions
instead of observations, visual experience of movement, industrial approach to society
- Tribulation 99: satire of paranoid conspiracy theories, edited things from horror movies and
things like that overlaid with stu#, with an urgent voiceover talking about alien conspiracy
theories, using those sources with the serious voiceover turns upside down the way audiences
interpret the lm
- Removed: manipulate the celluloid, in this case to reinterpret and re-examine the footage,
used nail polish to remove the female character from a porn she found from the 70s,
objectivity of the female body so she removed it from the lm