MTD1Notes10 31 06

esse quam videri
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Discussion of Run Lola Run:

-When analyzing the movie one can look at it in multiple ways. There are many ways to interpret things that can lead to multiple conclusions.

Some things to reflect on about the movie:

-What were some of the devices that stand out in your memory that were used to move the story forward or to make a point? (devices that depart from traditional filmmaking practice). Why were they used?

For eg., Manni’s memory of events is in B&W; the image quality on the scenes with the “bum” are more like TV than film; Manni’s imagined version of where the bum could go is in stills, as are the minor character sequences.

Why is this film like the band shell designed by Frank Gehry?

-stylistic inconsistency

-lots of sub plots (mother, father, minor characters)

-different versions of the same event (not seamless, fractured, repeated)

The comparison of the band shell and the movie show how the terms modernism and postmodernism can take on different meanings depending on the medium but there are some common characteristics. In the case of the movie and band shell we are discussing the idea of postmodernism. Some of the concepts that are similar are the ideas of randomness, an unusual approach to construction, and multiple levels of things.

Were there things about the film that reminded you of a game?

-Minor characters not fully fleshed out – like Non Player Characters?

-Lola’s interactions with: guard at bank, women in bank, etc.


-What effect do the different kinds of music have?

-One takes you completely out of the moment (“What a difference a day makes – no FX, only lounge music)

-sometimes reinforces tension, speed

Time to Space: Visual narratives and the representation of time passing

-We use stories as a form of communication of ideas and these stories can be written in words, pictures, or both

-Stories/narratives are seen all throughout history

Examples of narratives: -The Altamira caves Northern Spain - painted by the Magdalenian people between 16,000-9,000 BC. The groups of animals portrayed, particularly those on the walls, are of bison, deer, wild boar, and other combinations, which do not normally aggregate in nature. These pictures are of the animals only and contain no landscape or horizontal base. Human forms are rare and often quite unsophisticated. Art thus created by gifted individuals was also an intellectual instrument, which encouraged discussion or storytelling, accounts of exploits and the history of the community. It played a creative role not merely in general education but more specifically in the development of sophisticated language. The most likely reason why these societies devoted so much attention and resources to cave art, over so long a period, is that they found satisfaction in it. It gave them entertainment, fun, excitement, sensual and spiritual relief, and added to their knowledge. In addition the location of the paintings in the caves forced the viewer to go on a ‘journey’ in order to view the artwork.

-Stories are spatial. They unfold in a way that is just not the concept of one image replacing another image but instead each image is just as important as the previous in telling a story. This can be seen in the example of Egyptian papyrus scrolls and bas reliefs.

-Egyptian papyrus scrolls and bas reliefs. They are a combination of words and images that tell a story. There are different ways to read the hieroglyphics. The direction of read is determined by the direction images are facing. There is also speculation that they may be read from the middle out to represent the flooding Nile.

- Scenes from the life of Buddha, temple of Borobodur, Java, 9th C. To read this story circumnavigation is required. This pyramid-like structure is built on and around a natural hill. Construction was started sometime around the beginning of the 8th century. In plan, it resembles a tantric mandala with six square terraces supporting three circular ones. Its been called a three dimensional rendering of the Buddhist conception of the cosmos. The square terraces are covered with carved reliefs that can be read as an "instruction manual" for attaining enlightenment. You must walk up and around the temple in order to read the story. Could this imply the circularity of time?

-Images from the life of St. Francis of Assisi, 1444 Like Stations of the Cross, images which force you to move to see them. Participation creates greater sense of involvement if you must move to discover them. SASSETTA1392? - 1450 These seven panels come from the back of a large two-sided polyptych made for the high altar of San Francesco, Borgo Sansepolcro and depict the life of Saint Francis, founder of the Franciscan Order, who died in 1226. The altarpiece was commissioned in 1437 and was installed in 1444. The front, showing the Virgin and Child with saints, would have been seen by the congregation, while the back, with Saint Francis in Glory, would have been seen by the friars in the choir. The friars would only have seen the eight panels of the Life of Saint Francis that accompanied this image.

-Emakimono: Japanese hand scrolls. The Pictorial Life of St. Nichiren. Scrolls themselves move - unroll with the left hand and roll up with right hand. The Scrolls depict battles, romance, religion, folktales, and even stories of the supernatural world. The scenes on the scrolls illustrate narrative tales.

- Duccio,1310 : Jesus opens the eyes of a man born blind. In the painting the man on the right is the same as the man behind him and this represents the man at two different times. The blind man is shown twice: first having his eyes touched, and then at the moment his sight is miraculously restored. The two episodes are linked visually by the blind man's stick.

-Altarpiece – triptych Frames not sequential but co-existing. The ability to open and close the artwork gives it a temporal dimension - it can be on or off, playing or not, it has a beginning and an end Also, people from the present (esp. donors, patrons) were frequently included, mixing times in each frame and between frames

-1440 illuminated manuscript in which image plays as large a part as text, comes in a sequence of pages 1452-5 printing of the Gutenberg bible assumed broadly literate audience, made it possible to create images and text for individuals, not masses

-Nurnberg, 17th C.- a well-tested and hallowed recipe for the evil disease of disobedient wives. From 1460’s onward - religious broadsheets (took on compartmentalization of altarpieces). A cautionary tale, serves as a method of reinforcing the social order through wide distribution of instruction manuals. These stories about the place of women were especially popular in Germany in 17th C. Also lots of material on politics, religion (many critiques of the Catholic church’s attempts to subvert Protestant governments) were also popular. [From The Comic Strip by David Kunzle, in Narrative Art, ed. Hess, Ashbery]

-James Gillray, 1793, John Bull’s Progress : early political cartoon - social commentary. Invention of etching - creating lines on a copper plate with acid - allowed much greater detail than the previous woodcuts, and political satire flourished, esp. in England. These cartoons used political satire, ironic juxtaposition of words and pictures, exaggeration, which is still part of the vocabulary of comics today. [From Comics, Comix & Graphic Novels, A history of Comic Art, Roger Sabin]

-William Blake 1757 - 1827 He wrote, illustrated, printed and distributed his own work, which he wanted to make widely accessible. This is like the goal of IAM program which is to make people self-sufficient artist/technologists. The real importance of relief etching (working directly on the plate) for Blake, however, was not economic but aesthetic: unlike other methods of printing texts and designs available at the end of the eighteenth century, it did not separate invention from production. The need to keep these two activities united became one of Blake’s central tenets as an artist. In relief etching, the design is painted directly onto the copperplate using an acid-resistant varnish. When acid is applied to the plate, the unpainted surface, rather than the design itself, is eaten away, while the design is left standing in relief to be inked and printed. Because the design is above rather than below the surface of the plate, a relief etching also requires less pressure to print than a conventional intaglio etching or engraving.

-Now we move from the idea of broad distribution to the study and depiction of motion in still images. Physician who studied the body inside and out, first to understand circulation of blood, then muscles; invented electromyography. Chronophotographs Etienne-Jules Marey 1830 - 1904

-Chronophotograph of dog running, Marey, 1893, 100 photos per sec.

-Little Nemo in Slumberland by Winsor McCay 1907/8. Each important moment in time gets a different frame. Size/shape of frame changes to accommodate bed and keep its approximate size the same in each “shot”. McCloud would call these action-to-action transitions, more separation in time than moment-to-moment but same basic idea - next thing in the sequence. Winsor McCay set the standard for hand drawn animation with “Gertie the Dinosaur” and the “Sinking of the Lusitania”. He had a vaudeville act and projected Gertie onto his sketchpad on stage, and interacted with her.

  • The following examples represent a shift to the concept of film to represent space and time.

-Christophe, “Histoire sans paroles - Un Arroseur Public”, Le Petit Francais Illustre, 8/3/89 Show Lumiere film - Arroseur et arrose, 1895 -one of the earlier films and posiibly one of the first comidies. Also action to action From the Columbia College Library:

The Sprinkler Sprinkled is included on Landmarks of early film, 791.43 L257 DVD147

21 Edwin S. Porter

A day in the life of an American Fireman 1903: Like Griffith in the post-1908 period, Porter was interested in exploring ways of depicting simultaneous actions in different shots, in different locations and/or from different perspectives. But their solutions were radically different. Edwin Porter film called Life of an American Fireman included on Edison, the invention of the movies, From the Columbia College Library: 791.43 E23 DVD1756

-An etching of a c.1895 vaudeville house converted into a make-shift "movie" theatre. Within about an eight-month window during the year 1895, anyone and everyone who had tinkered in the business of producing motion pictures, was now showing them. Even before the Lumiere, Edison and Acres, Muybridge had presented his movement of the human form and animal. Where were they going to show these news pictures of real life? The only buildings large enough and capable of holding the numbers of people wanting to see them, were the stage and opera houses, music halls and vaudeville theatres. People flocked to the new 'cinema' in droves, wanting to see just about anything available. Patrons were not fussy in these days. Whether a train robber aiming his gun at the audience and pulling the trigger with a blast, or a train coming right for the theatre as if to come through the wall of the building, it did not matter. The world was just now beginning to experience what would soon become one of the most exciting and lucrative new industries known of.

- Lorna Simpson, 31, 2002. 31 short films transferred to 31 DVDs played simultaneously on 31 15 inch flat screen televisions, Courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery, New York. This used already clearly understood and accepted representation for the passage of time as a way to talk about the rhythms of daily life. Simpson's unknown woman is not always where we expect her to be. In undermining the viewer's expectations, Simpson exposes the regulated structures and controlled parameters of social space by which all our lives are governed.

-Andrea Polli- Fly’s Eye Position of image not dependent on sequence in time, but rather spatial distribution reflects formal properties of the constituent images such as contrast, color, and composition. This is another kind of logic for arranging images. From Andrea Polli: 'The Fly's Eye' was actually a series of projects, analyzing the video in different ways. The main ones were:

1] Tracking the position of the lightest point in the frame and placing a copy of the frame in a relative position in a larger field.

2] Tracking the position of a particular color and placing a copy of the frame in a relative position in a larger field. For example, tracking the color 'red' in the film 'Moulin Rouge'

3] Detecting movement in an area of the frame and copying only the area of movement in that position on the frame. Since this was taking only a portion of the video rather than the whole frame, the size of the image field was kept the same as the video.

In conclusion: -A lot of these examples represent an idea of non-linearity in time. This concept is not new and is seen in the examples above which represents a long documented history of the idea. There are lots of tolls and approaches to telling stories and representing time and space as can be seen in the concept of the comic strip. Early on people depicted time and space using a sequence of images on different mediums such as cave walls, scrolls, painting. This was then transferred to the concept of film.