THTRFLM 1T03 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Chantal Akerman, War Measures Act, Red Psalm

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Lecture Nine
Midterm: February 12th @ 4:30-5:30 and 10%
Some Stylistic Trends of Counter Cinema
1) Reflexivity
. Les Ordres (Michel Brault, 1974)
. Political film
. Deals with the implementation of the War Measures Act by
Trudeau in 1970
. Actors describe their character to the viewer
. We are distanced so we can analyze it
. The husband answers questions from an interviewer and he
introduces his character
. Then the wife introduces her character
2) Stylized History and Myth
. Red Psalm (Miklós Janscó, 1971, Hungary)
. Political allegory and symbolism
. Long takes, constantly moving camera, abstract space,
revolutionary
. Why does the woman walk with the bread?
. What kind of church ceremony is this?
. What are these horse whippers doing?
3) Minimalism
. Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Chantal
Ackerman, 1975, France, 3h 20m)
. Long takes and dead time
. Seeks to understand the female perspective of day-to-day
drudgery, servitude, ritual, boredom
. A revelatory cinema, one that requires patience and effort by
the viewer
. Onus is on the viewer to synthesize meaning
. We are bored watching her peel potatoes, so imagine your whole life as boring as
hers is
. There is a revolution in the end
Cinematography
. Aspects of filmmaking that relates to the camera
. Operation of the camera
. Camera placement
. Camera movement (tri- pod, dolly, etc.)
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