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November 1996, Week 3


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Marta Braun <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 20 Nov 1996 14:10:00 +0100
text/plain (47 lines)
Just another interpretation to the tennis ball scene  in Blow Up described
by Stephen Brophy:
 What if the subject of the film was about the protagonist's arrival at a
recognition of what is truly real  - or probably better: of a more
authentic "ground of being".  I think then we are to understand the camera
in front of his eye as  signalling a kind of existential blindness. (Jack
Nicholson's profession of  "reporter"  serves the same purpose in
*Passenger*). The camera in front of his eyes means doesn't see the murder
happening in front of him, he doesn't see the corpse, although Antonioni
has fixed it so that anyone who watches the film more than once can make it
out behind the tree. When he does see the corpse after his struggle to
understand what happened, he doesn't have the camera in front of his eye
anymore and he doesn't even take pictures of it. The confrontation with
death and the follow up  inability to make himself heard produces some kind
of recognition. And ...big lead up to what I wanted to say in the first
place.... When he gets to the mimes playing tennis that morning, this
transformation has occurred: he now can recognize ("see") what is
authentic, what is pretence. He puts his camera down (significant, I think)
to pick up the ball and throw it back. We hear the pock pock sound of the
ball because the soundtrack conveys this new vision through sound - neat
trick -  and signals his knowing participation in pretense.
Oops, just read to the end of the digest and saw Aaron Curtis's reply.
Couldn't have said it better.
I've come into this thread late. Has anyone mentioned the article in Yale
French Studies 60  that gives a taxonomy of diegetic and non diegetic
sounds? I'm sorry that I don't have it in front of me, and don't remember
the name of the author.
Marta Braun
Marta Braun                                     c/o Franceschetti
Film and Photography                            via Pandolfini 16
Ryerson Polytechnic University                  50122 Firenze
350 Victoria Street                             Italy
Toronto, Ontario
M5B 2K3
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