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Unformatted text preview: Worksheet 2 - Film History Professor Rohdie (UCF) 30 August 2009 ...an object in itself In most instances lms are less autonomous objects than instruments for representing something - a story, a narrative, characters, performances, objects, settings. That is to say, a lm is like a stage (in France, a lm director is often referred to as a metteur en sc ne , a theatrical term for staging, with all that implies for putting into scene some pre- existing often written text). On that stage a play is organised to take place and lm as no more than a medium, a delivery system for other things, in this case, for a drama and the theatrical. Or, lm can be thought of as a window through which you regard if not a world, a dream, a world desired. It is signi cant, for example, that it was a rule (essen- tially an industrial, commercial, studio rule) for a lm and its processes and structures to be e aced by what it represented so that the lm became invisible in order to make visible the story, narrative, characters that it was meant to display, as if the central role of the cinema was to make itself disappear in order for something else to appear in its place (a make-believe world, characters, masquerade). The best lms were considered to be lms with little or no apparent presence, as if the lm was at odds with what it rep- resented, since, if the lm declared its presence and made itself felt and its processes evident, such presence would risk not only the coherence but the believability of its nar- rative ctions and fantasies; it would be an interruption and intrusion into the ction thus compromising it, derailing it; the lm would become real and thereby the world it had made to seem real (a verisimilitude) might falter or collapse by being intruded upon by something exterior to itself. Some of the earliest signs of modernism in the cinema, that is of a break with the continuities of linearity and the falsities of make-believe, is the appearance of the mirror, the duplicate, either in fact in the lm within its story, or more formally by the lm in its structure, by which an action or an event or an image is doubled, re ected and the lm by that fact declares the ubiquity of falseness, of mere appearance and the uncertainty of representation, of any and every so-called reality lms might produce insofar as lm is the transformation of reality into an image of it, already a double, not a window. All images are necessarily duplicitous, simula- crums and their sequencing as mirrors and re ections create a labyrinth where direction and centre are di cult to establish or perceive because you are openly within a hall of mirrors. In Histoire(s) du cinma , the presence of the lm overwhelms any representation and in doing so what stands out is the lm as an object rather than any of the objects or scenes within it that it represents. Because every representation in the lm (perhaps all representations in any lm) is a citation, everything is in a mirrored, doubled relation, necessarily, of image to reality.lm) is a citation, everything is in a mirrored, doubled relation, necessarily, of image to reality....
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