Monday, April 14, 2014

Receiving your Project

My next point of constellation from The Cinematic could be formulated as: the phenomenological parameters of an image or filmic moment are determined by its relationship to those images and filmic moments which precede it. In your experiment, become friendly with the replay button, review your productions with strict attention to its internal ecology. In the same way that you put yourself in the place of the reader in reviewing your writing, put yourself in the place of the viewer/receiver in reviewing your project.

Sergie Eisenstein focuses on the relational constitution of images in his 1929 essay “Montage is Conflict.” He writes about how the final murder scene of Chantal Akerman’s film Jeane Dielman becomes all the more shocking in its comparison to the quotidian events that preceded it (Jeane is shown washing dishes, bathing, etc.). Create a jarring juxtaposition of events in your project in order to manifest the unique felt of a particular image. In this case, a murder scene should indeed be shocking, however, filmic representations of this act have become anything but at this point. Perhaps recourse to Lacan’s notion of the veil in painting would be useful for creating this feeling, establishing an illusion which the film can then subvert. Again, it is not a distortion of reality we are after here; murder is jarring and unexpected, and its representation should be as well.

Gaesenheimer writes rather eloquently in her essay that it “is neither the motif nor the particular position that grant significance to the individual image, but its function as a constitutive fraction of a comprehensive sequence of movement” (69). I think the instruction to be drawn from this point is to not try to control the flow of events in a filmic felt as you won’t really know what you have made until it is finished and you notice how the disparate moments you originally focused on have been reconstituted by their relationship to the whole film. Again, this is the importance of reviewing your project.

What all of these theorists are after in this entire collection is the importance of the relationship between still and moving image. They hold firm that there is constitutive component of the power of the still that can only be captured in its juxtaposition with the moving.

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