FILM 1400 Study Guide - Final Guide: Thumb, Super 8 Film, Cartesian Coordinate System

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Published on 17 Apr 2013
School
York University
Department
Film
Course
FILM 1400
Tom Gunning Cinema of Attractions
What is the cinema of attraction?
- It is a cinema based on the quality that Leger celebrated: its ability to SHOW something.
- Discussing early cinema- before 1906
- The cinema of attractions construts a different relationship with the spectatos: the
recurring look at the camera by actors
- Cinema displays its visibility
- The cinema of attractions directly solicits spectator attention, inciting visual curiosity,
and supplying pleasure through an exciting spectacle a unique event, whether fictional
or documentary, that is of interest in itself. The attraction to be displayed may also be of a
cinematic nature, such as the early close ups just described or trick films in which a
cinematic manipulation (slow motion, reverse motion...) provides the films novelty
- Accoding to Eisenstein, theatre should consist of a montage of such attractions, creating a
relation to the spectator entirely different from his absorption
- Like a circus, becoming a spectacle
- Even when presented in the nickelodeons that were emerging at the end of this period,
these short films always appeared in a variety format, trick films with farces and cheap
vaudeville acts
- These acts had no narrative
- MORE NOTES ON EARLY CINEMA IN NOTEBOOK 4 charactersitics of early
cinema
Eisenstien: Cinematographic Principle and the Ideogram:
- Cinema is montage
- A picture of a dog and a mouth = to bar
- A mouth and a child = to scream
- A knife and a heart = sorrow
- In cinema we combine shots the are depictive single in meaning, neutral in content into
intellectual contexts and series
- Comes from the Japanese and hyroglifics
- Kuleshov
- Montage is conflict
- As the basis of every art is conflict (an ―Imagist‖ transformation of the dialectical
principle
- Conflict is potential montage
- You can frame a shot by putting a rectangle around it
Peter Wollen: the Auteur Theory
- NOTES IN NOTEBOOK!!
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- The auteur theory does no limit saying te director is the main author of the film
- In time, owing to the diffuseness of the original theory, two main schools of au¬ teur
critics grew up: those who insisted on revealing a core of meanings, of the¬ matic motifs,
and those who stressed style and mise en scene. There is an impor¬ tant distinction here,
which 1 shall return to later.
- Nowell-Smith has summed up the auteur theory as it is normally presented today:
- One essentia] corollary of the theory as it has been developed is the discovery that the
defining characteristics of an author's work are not necessarily those which are most
readily apparent. The purpose of criticism thus becomes to uncover behind the super¬
ficial contrasts of subject and treatment a hard core of basic and often recondite mo¬ tifs.
The pattern formed by these motifs . , , is what gives an author's work its particu¬ lar
structure, both defining it internally and distinguishing one body of work from another.
- Howard Hawks is a good example of an auteur because he has made films in many
different genres (western, gangster..)
- What the heros go through (hawksian heroes)
- All heroes in Ford‘s film all represent the fact they are in a ford film
- An auteur has a certain look to their films which the audience can identify that THAT
director made that film. You can tell by looking at it (tim burton dark..)
- What the auteur theory does is to take a group of filmsthe work of one directorand
analyse their structure. Everything irrelevant to this, everything non-pertinent, is
considered logically secondary, contingent, to be discarded.
- What the auteur theory demonstrates is that the director is not simply in com¬ mand of a
performance of a pre-existing text; he is not, or need not be, only a metteur en scene.
- I think it is important lo detach the auteur theory from any suspicion that it simply
represents a 'cult of personality' or apotheosis of the director. To my mind, the auteur
theory actually represents a radical break with the idea of an 'art' cinema, not the
transplant of traditional ideas about 'art' into Hollywood.
PETER WOLLEN on Godard as Counter-cinema
1. Narrative Transitivity/ Intransitivity
(instead of one thing following another, there are gaps and interruptions, episodic structre)
2. Identification. Estrangement
(instead of empathy and emotional involvement with characters, there is direct address,
multiple and divided characters commentary to camera)
3. Transparency/ Foregrounding
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(instead of not calling attention to its construction, the film makes the structures of the film/
text visible to spectator)
4. Single diegesis/ Multiple diegesis
(instead of one coherent world, many that don‘t necessarily go together)
5. Closure/ Aperture
(the film is open-ended and inter-textual- lot‘s of quotations and parody, a surplus of
meaning)
6. Pleasure/ Unpleasure
(instead of merely entertaining the spectator, aiming to dissatisfy and change him or her)
7. Fiction. Reality
(trying to break through the seamless fiction with real life, breaking down representation with
‗truth‘).
STAN BRAKHAGE: metaphors on vision
- To see is to retain to behold
-
Documentary: NICHOLAS
In ―The Voice of Documentary, Nicholas points to 4 Historical styles of documentary:
1. Direct Address style of the Griersonian tradition- the ―Voice of God‖ at its most
extreme
2. Cinema Verite‟s ―reality effect‖
3. Interview style that incorporates direct address (characters and/or narrator speaking
directly to the camera
4. “Self Reflexive in the sense that they reflect on how they‘re made and who they‘re
made by
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Document Summary

It is a cinema based on the quality that leger celebrated: its ability to show something. The cinema of attractions construts a different relationship with the spectatos: the recurring look at the camera by actors. The cinema of attractions directly solicits spectator attention, inciting visual curiosity, and supplying pleasure through an exciting spectacle a unique event, whether fictional or documentary, that is of interest in itself. The attraction to be displayed may also be of a cinematic nature, such as the early close ups just described or trick films in which a cinematic manipulation (slow motion, reverse motion) provides the films novelty. Accoding to eisenstein, theatre should consist of a montage of such attractions, creating a relation to the spectator entirely different from his absorption. Even when presented in the nickelodeons that were emerging at the end of this period, these short films always appeared in a variety format, trick films with farces and cheap vaudeville acts.

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