Style and technique
in Eric Rohmer
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In the narrative cinema, style is often assumed to lie on the side of visible excess. It is the domain of the provocateur, the virtuoso, the formalist, the mannerist. This chapter presents the interdependence of film style and technique in the director's pursuit of cinematographic realism. It explores how sound and image are configured, and to what effect. And what is the production process envisaged from screenplay to shoot. In addressing cinematography, mise en scène, sound design, and music in synoptic fashion, the chapter shows why Rohmer's deceptively prosaic mode of presentation is ultimately so effective in sustaining and critiquing cinematic illusion at one and the same time. The filmmaker's practice runs slightly against the grain of the institutional mode of representation (IMR), prompting viewers to listen and look at the texture of a film and question assumptions about how film language works in its classical and modernist guises.

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