Archive for December, 2011
So often in cinematic mise-en-scene the director and cinematographer collaborate to create an emotional “feel” for the film in question. Often, especially in today’s cinematography, filters and colors are applied to specific mise-en-scene to heighten and aid their productions. However, since Kane and champions of Realism like Andre Bazin; much thought of Formalism, the importance in which the edit also applies much of cinema’s meaning and depth, seems to be almost lost in our contemporary world. Recall for a moment the early days of cinema, the Lumieres Brothers were quoted to have said, “The cinema is an invention without future.” This statement came at a time when cinema’s novelty of one-take shots had all but worn off. They refused at this point to sell their cameras. The good times, seemed over. What however saved this invention? The edit. It was the edit itself between time and space that made cinema an art, and it took almost twenty years for this fact to be truly established, (I’m speaking of course of the Soviets and their montage experiments). Realism is fine, it has proven itself effective in creating emotional impact through long takes and deep focus photography. However, it is ill-advised I would think to disregard our more psychological interpretations based on the tensions, the ebbs and flows, of montage. How can we provide middle ground between the schools of Realism and Formalism? Here may be one possible answer, and this has led me to question more:
(Montage through the Color Spectrum)
Each visible color in the color spectrum has a certain register value placed upon the eye. Reds have a slower wavelength than say violet, which has a more rapid wavelength. Would it be wise, and is it indeed possible, to montage cinematography? If we film in red, montage length expands, in violet, contracts. Visual meaning and balance therefore comes from the colors we use on our palate? Can we then find some balance between schools and effectively experiment to find middle ground? This is something to be tried and tested, if it works we’ll have aided to the cause of cinema, and if it doesn’t, we need to find new ways of perfecting this so called, “invention without future.”
Since the very earliest days in America, film has been subject to censorship groups. From the Board of Censorship, to the Motion Picture Association of America, America has always utilized self-censorship. There are many who oppose the MPAA in today’s climate, to name one is Roger Ebert who is an outspoken critic of the board. Making such critiques that the board weavers on what is acceptable and what is not. Even though I agree with his critique, I do not feel this warrants the abolishing of our self-censorship. In fact, I believe this would indeed open another can of worms. The consequence of which we are robbing Peter to pay Paul. What exactly do I mean by this? America, even in it’s earliest days has subjected itself to self-censorship. In a way this is very unique as a system of censorship. Whereas much of the world over has subjected itself to a form of government censorship. Even Canada, seen as a free society, has subjected itself to government censorship by the Ontario Film Review Board. Such films which have been censored are The Tin Drum, which was deemed pornographic. David Cronenberg would admit of Canada’s censorship board in the special features of Videodrome that his films would be cut apart, not by him, but of the board, if they deemed something inappropriate. Much of what I’m alluding to is that by robbing ourselves of Peter, self-censorship, we would inevitably be paying Paul, government censorship, which is the last thing we would want to wish upon ourselves in a free society. If we shoot ourselves in the foot, we may end up living, but if we aim for the head, we will surely die.