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October 1997, Week 3


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Glen Norton <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 15 Oct 1997 15:49:58 -0400
Glen Norton <[log in to unmask]>
TEXT/PLAIN (69 lines)
A classic text on the formal aspects of Transcendence in film is:
Schrader, Paul.  (1972)  Transcendental Style in Film: Ozu, Bresson,
Dreyer.  Los Angeles: University of California Press.
Glen Norton <[log in to unmask]>
Graduate Programme in Film and Video
York University, Toronto, Canada
"When you see your own photo, do you say you're a fiction?"
                                              -- Jean-Luc Godard
On Tue, 14 Oct 1997, Mike Frank wrote:
>  an undergraduate friend -- who has done very little work in cinema studies
> but finds film fascinating -- is planning an honors thesis based on film and
> has sent me the following e-mail message . . . i made some suggestions but i'm
> not sure how good they are and i am sure that they just skim the surface of
> what he might watch or think about . . . so both of us would appreciate any
> feedback from those of you who have thought about these matters more than i
> have
> with his permission i append the main part of his query below and i will
> forward any responses, either on list or off, to him
> thanks
> mike frank
>         I find that many American movies of the last twenty years or so,
> which depict an encounter with supernatural phenomena (e.g., Close Encounters,
> E.T., Contact, maybe 2001) tend to suggest the possibility of the supernatural
> offering an experience of transcendent redemption:  In each of these movies
> something fantastic arrives from far away, from the future, or from another
> dimension, equipped with superior intelligence, technology,  and --more
> important--sensitivity, and releases the characters in the film, and thereby
> the audience in the theater as well, from the intolerable or meaningless
> or repressive existence they have known. By contrast, encounters
> with the supernatural in American films of the 1930s and 40s like It's
> a Wonderful Life and The Wizard of Oz seem to convey the message that in
> fact American life as we know it is just fine, and that when it comes
> down to it there really is no place like home.
>         Can you suggest any additional films that would serve as good
> examples of this contrast, or, if necessary, films that tend to undermine it
> and show that a desire for transcendence was as common fifty years ago as it
> seems to be today?   In addition, do you know of any secondary texts
> that explore this topic, or related topics?
>         Michael Sugarman
> ----
> Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite
Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite