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March 2004, Week 3


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Lisa Kernan <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 15 Mar 2004 11:28:36 -0800
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Has anyone mentioned Miklos Jancso's THE RED AND THE WHITE (1968)?
Definitely long takes ('Scope no less) in the service of realism (verging
on surrealism) in depiction of war.

> On Sat, 13 Mar 2004 02:31:00 -0500 David Tetzlaff
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> One of the central principles of film studies (or so it seems) is the
>> distinction between a Bazinian realistic aesthetic on one hand, and a
>> more Eisensteinian montage/presentational style on the other, with
>> classical Hollywood film, or at least classical cutting, somewhere in
>> the middle. The realist style is said to favor long takes and
>> deep-focus cinematography, to preserve 'the ontology of the
>> photographic image' by avoiding editing where possible.
>> However, I can't seem to bring to mind any specific films that employ
>> long takes that seem particularly realist to me. Most of the
>> interesting long takes I can think of call attention to themselves by
>> virtue of their length. For example, the long takes in Stranger Than
>> Paradise seem more formalist to me than realist.
>> So i have two questions. The first is practical:
>> Can people recommend specific fiction films (and better specific
>> scenes) where long takes are employed toward the end of a Bazinian
>> realism?
>> The second is theoretical:
>> Have the representational markers of 'realism' changed. Is the
>> absense of editing still what enables the integrety of a photographic
>> images 'realness' (if it ever was)? I am thinking especially of
>> 'Dogme' influenced films, which seem very invested in a kind of
>> realism but have lots of cuts, and very obvious ones at that. My
>> hypothesis would be that all this descends from Direct Cinema
>> documentary, which established certain conventions of how
>> moving-picture photography is used to capture
>> life-as-it-actually-happens. The pragmatic necessities of Direct
>> Cinema dictated often jerky, hand-held camera work, narrow depth of
>> field, and often jerky edits -- which now seem almost universally
>> deployed in any narrative that wants to seem 'real' and 'urgent',
>> from the TV show 24 to the film Thirteen, just to take examples with
>> numbers instead of names.
>> Any thoughts?
>> ----
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> ----------------------
> Dr. Mike Chopra-Gant
> [log in to unmask]
> ----
> Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite

Dr. Lisa D. Kernan
Arts Librarian for Film, Television and Theater
UCLA Arts Library
[log in to unmask]

Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite