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August 1996, Week 4


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Leo Bankersen <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 21 Aug 1996 22:46:00 +0200
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I agree with Mike Frank when he suggests that it does matter
whether we're talking about 1:1 storytime versus screentime, or
1:1 recorded time versus projected time.
It may be true that it is rather unusual when the storytime of a
film more or less equals the projection time. Nevertheless, when
I saw films like HIGH NOON, CLEO FROM 5 TO 7, NIGHT MOTHER or
NICK OF TIME they didn't 'feel' very special to me. Especially in
the last example, NICK OF TIME, I probably wouldnt even have
noticed this time-equality, were it not for the clocks that
repeatedly draw the attention to it. Probably the decoupage is
the blame. Shots and scenes edited together are forming an
instrument for storytelling, not for reproduction of time. Even
in ROPE the ever changing points of view are some sort of
substitute for the conventional decoupage.
A very different (and impressive) experience was for me Chantal
Akermans JEANNE DIELMAN. Although strictly speaking this film
doesn't meet the 1:1 requirements (about 3 days storytime in
just over 3 hours screentime) it is built out of a number of
episodes that in itself maintain a strict correspondence between
both times. Dry registrations of dull household work, getting
dressed, silent meals etc. Hardly any decoupage and, most
importantly I think, all the 'dead time' that is usually omitted
is still present here with its full weight. The effect is rather
Leo Bankersen
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