Since the 1970s, many academics and teachers have been taking the study of film out of Film Studies by producing curricula and critical literature hostile to notions of artistic endeavour and aesthetic value. Montage simply is the joining together of different elements of film in a variety of ways, between shots, within them, between sequences, within these. This book offers specific experiences of montage. Though there are clusters of experiences and practices that films share in common, each film is specific to itself. The book is led by that specificity towards these clusters and away from them then back to the films once more. Eadwaerd Muybridge's studies of human and animal locomotion consisted of photographed plates that reproduced bodies in movement in a sequence of still photographs he published in 1887. These reproductions, though sequential, were composed of intermittent, discontinuous immobile units, in effect, a linked series of snapshots. The game in Cahiers du cinéma is based on sixty-nine photographs that Kitano took of various subjects at different times and places, mostly in Japan, some in Africa. The notion and practices of the shot sequence were crucial for Pier Paolo Pasolini's formulations. The Kuleshov effect is the effect of desire. No shot in an Eisenstein film is ever complete because it reappears either analogically, or graphically, or in luminosity or by a contrast of beats and movements (the steps, the hammocks, descents, ascents). The book also discusses the works of David Wark Griffith, Eric Rohmer, and Alfred Hitchcock.
Film writing has rather overlooked cinematic colour. In a scrutiny of cinematic
moments, and when colour comes to the fore, films open up in new ways. This book
explores a spectrum of colourful applications. It begins by considering films
that use colour in sparing amounts, and moves on to discuss increasingly
abundant displays. While highlighting the use of colour, the book also considers
the connections between different stylistic elements such as camerawork,
editing, performance, music, and lighting. It also offers an alternative to
national, socio-political, and historically chronological approaches to film
style. Six films present chromatic measures moving from understatement to
amplification. Leading from one end of narrative cinema's colour spectrum,
the book examines Three Colours: White. It then explores
Equinox Flower hat is similarly restrained and concerned with
reservation. The book discusses how delicate colours accrue to convey a fragile
sensibility in The Green Ray. Written on the
Wind is about Technicolor schemes. It also considers the resemblances,
after Sirk's work, of a film by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Next, it
addresses The Umbrellas of Cherbourg as a multicoloured
fantasia of the everyday. The music, story, and colour combine and clash in
surprising ways in this film, in shifting forms of the 'style-subject
economy'. The book looks for language matching the rhetoric of the films
under scrutiny. It notes and moves beyond generally inscribed meanings of
certain colours, paying attention to shifting connections and comparisons.
This book is a collection of essays on the author's journeys taken during the past fifteen years. They are journeys in time and of memory about a country that no longer exists: the Italy of Roberto Rossellini's Paisà, torn by war and sometimes in conflict with the American 'liberators'. The essays concentrate on the structure and forms of the films they discuss; a confrontation of cultures, the Italy of Luchino Visconti, a territory more cultural than physical, subject to transfigurations wrought by a sophisticated intellectual who viewed the world through the lens of his sensibilities. The first three essays focus on discussions and films relating to neorealism. They seek problems and inconsistencies in points of view and prejudices that have become institutionalized in popular accounts of neorealism. The next two essays are dedicated to Visconti's commemorative and antiquarian vein, to the central importance of mise en scène (in the theatrical sense) in his films. The final essay is an attempt to recover an archetypical image in Pasolini's work. The characteristics shared by these essays include a sensitivity and knowledge of the cinema, genuine scholarship, and the ability to see aesthetic resonances to painting, literature, poetry, music. The contrast between darkness and light in Paisà and in Visconti's Vaghe stelle dell'Orsais most incisive and dramatic. They are all traversed by recurrent themes and obsessions: the contrast between darkness and light, night and day.