Mar 02

On the film that we watched in class- it made absolutely no sense. I was thinking about maybe watching it stoned off my face and analyzing all the mis-en-scene, and trying to make something of it, but watching it in class, I was just completely baffled. I think that film art should serve a purpose, and it think the best way of that is to tell some sort of story, with at least a minimal plot, so I can’t say that I was a fan of the film.

In the reading “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (FTC, 665-685) Walter Benjamin writes about how film art as opposed to other forms can be manipulated by the camera. He starts off by talking about “the politics of art” and can be used as a tool. Then he goes on a 18 page rant about how film and photography can be manipulated from shot to shot. A good example he brings up is the difference between a stage actor and a film actor. A stage actor cannot be manipulated, he is on the stage and that is all. With a film actor, a filmmaker can use editing and photography to manipulate the situation. I thought he brought up some good points, but those good points were very rare, and he could have said them in 5 pages, not 20. I’m trying to bring up a good example of a film and a stage play that I can compare, but I have not seen both a play and film of the same piece.

Andre Bazin talks about the evolution of film, how much he loves deep focus, and Citizen Kane. He also loves mis-en-scene. Apparently he started some magazines and influenced a number of quality filmmakers, but didn’t have the balls to make his own films. I didn’t understand most of what he said, other then what I mentioned, but I didn’t think he got at anything really important. All of these points are brought up in basic film history classes, so I don’t get the importance of his writing.

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