Search results

You are looking at 81 - 83 of 83 items for

  • Author: Sam Rohdie x
  • Refine by access: All content x
Clear All Modify Search
Abstract only
Sam Rohdie

There is no single narrative to films by Bernardo Bertolucci, none that follow (or trace) a progressive, chronological line. For the most part, his films begin in a present already past or a past yet to be, but in dissolution, a future or a present becoming past, and becoming the past instantly, as each time is made apparent, and apparent at the same time. Each and every time contains other times, the multiplicities of time.

The line between different times is difficult to separate. Borders tend to blur. There are no simple flashbacks nor flash forwards, not an exact before nor a precise after that is not contaminated by a time alongside it or one that overtakes it until time itself is called into question. The interrogative is a function not a subject. All Bertolucci’s films are questions and the questions are its future.

in Film modernism
Abstract only
Sam Rohdie

Welles became famous, indeed infamous, by a radio play based on the science fiction novel The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. Welles dramatised the H.G. Wells’ novel as a radio documentary of an invasion by Martians of America that parodied the form: the report of the fictional invasion as a news event taking place at the moment of broadcast, made to interrupt a light entertainment swing band programme. The false broadcast of a fictional invasion seemed to be a true report of a real invasion, so convincing that there was panic in the American northeast where the invasion from Mars was being reported as having occurred.

The War of the Worlds seemed true because it mimicked radio broadcasts of which it was a travesty. Because of the line between truth and spectacle, reality and fiction, Welles transformed an apparent substance (an invasion by aliens) into a form (documentary) and a commentary Welles’ Citizen Kane is similar to War of the Worlds. Like it, Kane is a spoof of the great man biography on the line between reportage and fiction.

in Film modernism
Abstract only
Sam Rohdie

The irrelevance that Hitchcock perpetrates (like a crime) or imposes (sadistically, grotesquely as reality is feigned, only imitated) - turn around a void, hence the vertigo, the dizziness, the loss of focus - is crucial to Vertigo and all his films where story, emotions, characters, occurrences are both realistic and improbable, as if the is looking at itself, pursuing itself as intently as Scottie pursues Judy/Madeleine/Carlotta. The regard and the pursuit are interrogative (the film marvels at itself, seeks itself in amazement) and mocking (this is absurd, all the more so, when Scottie ‘believes’ it) turning improbability (in a word, the fiction), into the only truth.

The world of Hitchcock’s films are littered with a profusion of signs (that indicate something, but are usually false, deceptive, misleading, confusing - what do they indicate? - that is, illusions, Mcguffins, pretexts and a lure because everything is simultaneously realistic and feigned, which is at the heart of the cinema, the nature of film) and these signs confront the character who looks at them and the audience who sees the character looking. Both character and audience are interpreters of signs, like detectives and the detective story, particularly the English detective story.

in Film modernism