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F RENCH I MPRESSIONISM PART 2 Lecture 11. Three Phases 1) 1918-1922 pictorialist 2) 1922-1925/1926 (most unified) – Rapid cutting as in La Roue (Gance,

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Presentation on theme: "F RENCH I MPRESSIONISM PART 2 Lecture 11. Three Phases 1) 1918-1922 pictorialist 2) 1922-1925/1926 (most unified) – Rapid cutting as in La Roue (Gance,"— Presentation transcript:

1 F RENCH I MPRESSIONISM PART 2 Lecture 11

2 Three Phases 1) pictorialist 2) /1926 (most unified) – Rapid cutting as in La Roue (Gance, 1922) – Ex: The Smiling Madame Beudet 3) – Stylistic diffusion – Ex: Menilmontant and The Fall of the House of Usher

3 F RENCH I MPRESSIONISM : M ODE OF REPRESENTATION 1.On subject matter or referentiality – Standard: literary text adapted for screen esp. melodrama, naturalist novel, historical epic – Narrative avant-garde: Substituted reality for literature – Louis Delluc: “So you have nothing to say? Walk about, look around you, really look. The street, the subway, the streetcars, the shops are filled with a thousand dramas, a thousand good and original stories.” (quoted in Abel) – Auteur vs. metteur-en-scene Photogénie (from a collection with the same title, written by Louis Delluc in 1920)

4 P HOTOGÉNIE 1: ON THE S UBJECT OF R EPRESENTATION 1.The real and natural are the basis of film representation. – Epstein on The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari: “If you must say about a film that it has beautiful sets, I think it would be better not to speak about it at all; the film is bad. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is the best example of the misuse of sets in cinema… Everything in Caligari is a set: first the décor itself, next, the character who is as painted and tricked up as the set, finally, the light which is also painted—an unpardonable sacrilege in cinema—with shadows and halflights illusionistically laid out in advance. Thus the film is a still life, all its living elements have been killed by strokes of the brush.” – Landry on Caligarism

5 F RAME ENLARGEMENT FROM T HE C ABINET OF D R. C ALIGARI

6 From The Fall of the House of Usher (Epstein, 1928)

7 P HOTOGÉNIE 2: ON THE PHOTOGENIC SHOT Every detail of reality can be extended into the ‘realm of the wondrous’ (René Clair) Something irrational, ineffable in this quality—it escapes articulation. Epstein: “The cinema is essentially supernatural. Everything is transformed…” The camera/screen transformed the real into something radically new through camera but also framing, lighting, directional movement within the frame—the camera’s ability to poeticize and aestheticize Objective: to make us see ordinary things as they have never been seen before, as if we were seeing them for the first time—to defamiliarize the familiar – Jean Epstein: “the camera lens…is an eye endowed with inhuman analytical properties…an eye without prejudice, without morality, free of influences, and it sees in the human face and gestures traits that we, burdened with sympathies and antipathies, habits and inhibitions, no longer know how to see.” (quoted in Abel 292)

8 Photogénie

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11 P HOTOGÉNIE 3: ON THE PHOTOGENIC SEQUENCE ( I. E. ON PHOTOGÉNIE AND EDITING )

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14 F RENCH I MPRESSIONISM : M ODE OF REPRESENTATION 1.On subject matter or referentiality 2.On narration and representation – Standard: intertitles, uninterrupted narrative flow, focus on action, objective and omniscient narration – Narrative avant-garde: Few or no intertitles Privileges subjectivity; shifts emphasis from action to perception (Ex: The Smiling Madame Beudet) – *Two kinds of subjectivity*

15 T WO K INDS OF S UBJECTIVITY 1.Impressions of characters in the film – Ex: Menilmontant – Ex: The Smiling Madame Beudet 2.Impressions of the filmmaker Photogénie becomes complete when that poeticization is in the service of an authorial voice and vision, in the service of the auteur – Ex: Menilmontant – Ex: The Fall of the House of Usher

16 Madame Beudet’s Day Dreams

17 W HOSE P ERSPECTIVE ?

18 F RENCH I MPRESSIONISM : M ODE OF REPRESENTATION 1.On subject matter or referentiality 2.On narration and representation (how the story gets told filmically) 3.Editing and Continuity (how time-space is organized) – Standard: linearity, logical causal relations between shots, spatial-temporal continuity style (helped by analytical and contiguity editing, match on action) – Narrative avant-garde: Play with contiguity and eyeline matches – Ex: Menilmontant Continuity often based on graphic, rhythmic, associative, connotative relations – Ex: rapid montage in La Roue: graphic and rhythmic – Ex: associative and graphic montage in Menilmontant

19 E DITING D EVICES : P LAY WITH C ONTIGUITY M ENILMONTANT

20 E DITING D EVICES : RAPID CUTTING, RHYTHMIC AND GRAPHIC MONTAGE F ROM L A R OUE (1922)

21 E DITING D EVICES : A SSOCIATIVE M ONTAGE M ENILMONTANT

22 E DITING D EVICES : C ONNOTATIVE M ONTAGE F ROM M ENILMONTANT (1926)

23 T ECHNIQUES OF F RENCH I MPRESSIONISM Optical devices – Superimposition – Distortions – Masks – Filters – Soft focus Transitions – Fades – dissolves

24 Optical Devices: superimposition From The Smiling Madame Beudet (1922)

25 Optical Devices: superimposition and p.o.v. distortions From The Smiling Madame Beudet (1922)

26 Camera Devices: moving camera, subjectivity without p.o.v., photogénie From Menilmontant (1926)


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