BU Film School

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

FT 551 Lecture: Wednesday, February 11

Homework notes
Check e-mail for comments on revision.

From now on, grades will be dependent on how well assignment addresses short film characteristics (space, time, etc.)

Remember short film virtues:
-- economy of means
-- less is more

Analysis will be outline of presentation, bibliography.

The concept of character/identity
In a short film, character is not a fleshed-out individual, but a manifestation of a human tendency (bordering on stereotype). Character, situation dovetail together. Lot of condensation. Eisenstein's goal: represent classes. Limit goal to urgency, rather than trajectory.

Character's consciousness.

Expand idea of character to identity. Investigate and interrogate idea of self. Identity constructed. Often mirrored by investigation of media.

Portraiture. Convey image in single moment. Visual analysis of how person looks, acts, etc. Painterly. May say more about "painter" than about subject.

Question of authorship. Film tends towards 3rd person. How to convey 1st person view?

Film notes (defined by character/identity)
Un Jour, Marie Paccou. Woman with man who entered her stomach one day. When he leaves, hole left unfilled. Very simple situation.

A New Year, Living Inside, Sadie Benning. Videos. Points Pixel-Vision camera at herself. No editing. Process (first video has text, second has voice-over). Sense of spontaneity.

"Breakfast Messages," Susan Emshwiller. Cook's subjectivity -- imagines woman in diner receiving his "messages". Fantasy funny, but takes a dark turn.

Frank Film, Frank Mouris. Freewheeling narrative story of author, film itself. Another audio track of free associations. Story, associations interact with, diverge from images -- collage of cutouts.

Your Face, Bill Plympton. Guy singing. Concept of face -- how many animation techniques.

Gently Down the Stream, Su Friedrich. Dream sequences. Water imagery, bird references. No connecting narrative. Narrative patriarchal structure (?).

Coffee, Robert Arnold. Based on short story by Richard Brautigan. Guy looking to reconnect with two ex-girlfriends. Seeks real coffee, but given instant (and left alone to make it himself).

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