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February 1994


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louis schwartz <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 18 Feb 1994 19:01:11 -0600
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On Fri, 18 Feb 1994 [log in to unmask] wrote:
> I fail to see how Louis Schwartz sees a 'dialogue-driven' cinema
> as a "masculinist" cinema.  Please enlighten me; let's have some
> dialogue about it (wicked and evil and 'masculinist' as may be).
I never wrote that all films weith dialogue are masculinist, just that
current Hollywood output is both highly patriarchal and full of needless
and poorly written chatter.
> If anything, Prof. Schwartz, today's films are far LESS
> 'dialogue-driven' than films of 30 or 40 years ago.
I ain't no Prof. and if I were I wouldn't use the title.
I don't mean that their is more dialogue now than their was in the
Classical period, but that it is now, as it was for th most part then the
only way that the unimaginative American industry can find of emploting
the story. As my claims about Terminator indicate even action films, no
especially action films use the dialogue as a crutch for exposing verbally
what they can't convey by other means. Not that those means don't exist,
but that they are beyond the ken of most American film makers.
Anyways my main point is that the Hunter charcter in The Piano is not only
a figure for various historical and transhistorical constructions of
femininity, but for an alternative cinema of gesture music and writing.
The possibility of such a cinema is hinted at in the silent period, but as
soon as Griffith's editing strategies become formalized cinema becomes a
means orf stroy *telling* rather than something else. Hunters character
reopens this lost cinematic possibility, and in film that does well at the