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August 1995, Week 5


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liz weis <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 30 Aug 1995 21:17:37 EDT
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I'll add my two cents to the slashed glasses thread below.  But while
we're on the subject of the Odessa Steps Sequence I'm curious how others
of you deal when teaching beginning students with such images as:  1)
the mirror next to the bespectacled witness (Eisenstein?)  2) the
lighted pathway/reflection leading up the steps walked on by the woman
carrying her son  3) the swan on the  belt of the woman with the baby
carriage.  I have a certain amount of fun with thefirst two items in
teasing my students about their predilection for logical rather than
graphic reasons for the presence of certain images.  As for the glasses,
I relate them to the frequent images of seeing/witnessing in the film
that go back to the doctor's refusal to see the maggots on the meat and
their metonymic use during the mutiny.  In the Steps sequence I see the
slashed eyeglasses as thewoman's"punishment"for having witnessed the
massacre and as in Andalusian Dog I suggest that the viewer's eye is
being metaphorically slashed as well.  The four images of the cossack
slashing with his sword seem to rhyme with the four images of the woman
doing in effect a triple take that starts the sequence.  I agree with
the screen-l contributor that in the absence of standard continuity it
would be improper to speak of jump cuts in this sequence, as jump cuts
presuppose the establishment of classical geographic continuity.  liz
weis cuny
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