BU Film School

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

FT 551 Lecture: Wednesday, February 4

Homework notes
For 2/18, come up with name of short film (or other work) that will be subject of analysis. Should also have idea of what central focus will be. Analysis must relate to aspect of short film (space, time, etc.)

On 3/3, presentation schedule will be set.

20 min. presentation includes whatever will be shown in class (within reason).

The concept of time
Film, like theater, music and literature, is a time-based medium.

Feature film based on causality -- beginning, middle, end, with each stage leading logically to the next. Can't be arbitrarily ended. Temporal structure. Time frame can't be infinite. Story-related sequence of events that reaches some conclusion. Also external pressures (TV limits, time constraints during the week, competing activities on weekends, etc.)

Short film uses a different structure of time that still results in completion. Concept can manifest itself in idea of time. Familiar interval of time ("24", a day). Time condensed, but interval still evident.

Different notion of time -- can take a point of time (an instant) and expand it.

Other notions of time:
-- idea of real time. "Six Point Nine" takes place during earthquake. Slice of a moment in time.

-- idea of an event. Used a lot in documentaries.

-- idea of an experience. Waiting, boredom.

-- can be used in relation to rhythm, like music or dance. Time expression of space and movement.

-- cinematic time.

Videos pioneered real time. Performance art dependent on reality of time. No evidence of editing.

Film notes (defined by time)
Two William Wegman videos. Extreme close-up of tongue lapping up milk from glass, around glass. Only at end are sure that it's a dog, when it pushes the glass over to mike, then licks mike. Other video has two dogs sitting side by side, focused on something offscreen, attentive to its least movement. At end, revealed to be tennis ball.

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, Robert Enrico. Based on the short story by Ambrose Bierce. One moment, stretched out. Camera perspective tied to his perception (underwater, bug on leaf, etc.). Soldier takes protagonist's watch away.

Six Point Nine, Dan Bootzin. One slice of time. Uptight white guy in bathroom, hot-blooded Latin lovers next door. Earthquake (foreshadowed by newspaper headline). Morning routine. "Lo mismo". Parallel editing. Going back and forth between simultaneous events.

Regen (Rain), Joris Ivens. One day of rain (actually made up of footage shot over many days). Visual tour of Amsterdam. Movement (cars, trams, pedestrians). Adding time to photography. Explore theme over time.

"Thursday", Leighton Pierce. Home with baby on Thursday -- film composed of whatever he shot that day (coffee mug, trashcan outside, etc.).

Two Men and a Wardrobe, Roman Polanski. Returns to point of origin. Fish out of water. Poland then a socialist state. Rejection everywhere, growing more and more violent. Also instants of other antisocial behavior (pickpocket, drunk, murderer). Polanski cast himself, but definitely advocating for two men.

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