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June 2001, Week 1


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 6 Jun 2001 11:27:33 -0400
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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i just want to be sure i understand WLT4's point [though of course
i'm well aware of the great differences in image quality]

seems to me that he   [or she . . . can't tell and shouldn't
presume]  is saying that, for audiences that know how
much "art" is involved in using the long take in filmmaking,
the experience of a significant technical achievement is
part of the experience of the film [analogous, i propose, to
the way we appreciate a tight rope walker more when
she's walking ten stories up than  five feet up] . . . that is,
we are responding not ony to the diegesis but to the filmmaker's
control of the medium . . . fair enough, if that's what is
intended . . . it does, howeverr, presuppose a special [and
i supect minority] view of how film narrative is generally
experienced . . . to wit:  in my introduction to cinema classes i
often show the opening of TOUCH OF EVIL without previous
comment and  ask the students to tell me what they
notice . . . even after  i run the clip two or three times
most of the students have not noticed the fact that it is all
a single take  . . . their viewing protocols focus exclusively
on the actions and characters protrayed and in effect they
MAKE  the cinematography all but invisible


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Sent by: Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
06/06/01 10:37 AM
Please respond to Film and TV Studies Discussion List

        To:     [log in to unmask]
        Subject:        Re: QUERY / planning an introductory filmmaking course

>A long take works in both mediums if the goal is to understand film
>story telling technique and NOT to put together your DP reel

There are important differences at both the production and viewing ends.
Long takes in video are easily accomplished, something that a good bit of
video art is based on.  (I believe video was actually designed for this
but perhaps somebody can correct that.)  Film requires better planning and
has stricter time limits.  One result is that long takes have a different
impact on film than video.  Imagine the long takes in films by Hou,
Jancso, Godard, Welles, Jarmusch, Tati, etc done on video and it's
possible to imagine just what's lost (or at least different).  One extreme
example is that a video version of Warhol's "Empire" would be a completely
different experience but even in a more conventional style video with long
takes rarely has that sense of aesthetic decision or bravura and can
easily appear just lazy.  (And the image quality would matter in extreme
long shots like some in Tati, Kitano, Hou and Yang since video would
result in blurs more than figures.)  One of the oth!
er posts--from Leo I think--nailed the matter in that film requires
planning and concision that creates qualitative differences from video.

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