INI100H1 Lecture Notes - Independent Film, Marcel Duchamp
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Sep/18/Lec 2: FORM
• Formal analysis: what it assumes and entails?
Film Form: overall set of relationships among a film’s parts (52)
o Form must be actively perceived/experienced by a viewer to produce meaning
o FA assumes an active perceiver and art work that provides cues
*Through FA we discover how movies make meaning
• Meanings are created in the interaction between film and viewer.
Meanings are the result of a collaborative effort from makers that provides cues, and
the viewer that picks up on these cues
Films have multiple meanings (don’t need to know the 4 labels): referential, explicit,
cinematic – know that film can mean different things
o Eg. Explicit – about making a movie
o Referential meaning (historical/geographically specific): Challenges involved
about being independent film maker working outside of Hollywood
Why do we say meanings?
1 The same film can be viewed differently by different viewers
2 Films have more than one meaning
• Filmic conventions ensure the mass legibility of cinema.
F.C – so commonplace, recurrent as to prove normative (they produce a sense of how
things should be, and condition our expectations as viewers)
o Eg. First short clips – personal experiences determine our response, but we
also have commonality about overall clips
o Birdman uses and refuses conventions like having an actor looking directly
into the camera as opposed to looking at the side
o F.C based on historicals moment and cultural context and they allow cinema
to be understood by a large community of people
• Film form: “the overall set of relationships among a film’s parts” (Bordwell /Thompson, 52)
The various parts that comprise a work of art are ordered in some way.
o Eg. Nude descending a staircase (1911) by Marcel Duchamp – captures
movements on a 2D plane
• Form and content are not distinct; content takes shape through form.
Eg. Through form Marcel produces a new content – redefines the body as a moving
machine of parts working together
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