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PHL710 - Lecture 1.doc

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Ryerson University
PHL 710
James Cunningham

Lecture 1 Chapter: 98-122 Neighbors – By Norm Mclaren (A Film maker in Canada) The thesis of the first lecture was Neighbors was a film worthy of the name. Where as most films out of Hollywood are not. They are advertised as a Film, has superficial . The film is not a film unless it is art. It was different from the film making of the time. It was a great film because it has aura, great. It is still relevant today. • It had enduring shock value (Babies being kicked). It was a disturbing scene that was shocking so we remember it well. It shows violence is not funny but the film is. The film does a great job of playing the fool. “The fool” in medieval time was like the kings private clown. The essence of the fool’ job is that because he was comedic he can say things that usually will not be tolerated. (eg. “Telling the king he is wrong”) • The fool has a reputation as someone who we should not take seriously, that’s why he can get away with it. • The king’s councilor are powerful men, they are capable of doing great things. If they oppose there is chance for opposition, and the king does not want that. The king does not want to hear opposition. • The jester has to present himself has impotent (not aware of what he is saying), but of course he cannot actually be impotent because he couldn’t think of smart things to say. Film makers worthy of the name are modern day fools Radicalism: Essayist –Writes essays professionally and writes essays of importance that people want to read. • Columns are usually less than 1500 words. Essays are much bigger and usually address a much larger audience. Essays focus more on academic topics. • Columnists work for a company so there might be some bias. Essayists tend to be a scholar while columnists churn out what happens on a daily/weekly basis. They not only have less space but also less time. They are timely; Essayists worthy of the name should not sound like they have had a couple days to think about it. They dedicate the space and time to the importance of the topic. Susan Sonte – Was a famous essayist. She wrote essays on a wide variety of topics. • She said what everyone in the community was saying, but was afraid to say. • The embrace of radicalism that makes art art. th • She said art is different now. Shthis talking about the Modern age so the 20 century, and a late part of the 19 century. When you live in a society where change is the norm. The rules about art also changes. What defines art in the modern age is its resistance to what has been and resistance to fixed definitions First we have to establish what a film is. • Susan Sonte talked a lot about Erwin Panofsky. Panofsky takes a lot of time to describe how film is different from theatre. And how film should avoid being like theatre. • He calls theatres static. He thought that if film was like theatre and film makers tried to make film like theatre. They will strip it of its essence they will make it like theatre. He thought film is capable of more, and to make it seem like theatre is a waste of potential. • Panofsky does not believe art is just entertainment, because it can do more. It can teach us things and change us for the better. According to Panofsky, Film is the democratic art. While theatre is an aristracratic art. The art of the elite • Sonte talks a lot about Panofsky because Panofsky’s view was very influential. It can even be considered the majority view. But she wants to show he is wrong, but she cannot show he is wrong, unless she talks about what he thinks. She raises him to refute him Panofsky – Why film should avoid being like theater. • Theatre is the artificial art, while film is the realistic art. • Film can ca
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