Worksheet 2 - Worksheet two The so-called neo-realist films...

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Worksheet two The so-called neo-realist films of Roberto Rossellini made toward the end of the Second World War and just after in the 1940s and 1950s, are his best and arguably most ‘modern’, films. Rossellini’s work was celebrated particularly in France by writers and film-makers of the French Nouvelle Vague (Chabrol, Godard, Rivette, Rohmer) writing for Cahiers du cinéma . His films were also cited in their films, if not directly, by method. His Viaggio in Italia of 1954, for example, is in evidence in Godard’s Le Mépris , Nouvelle Vague and Tout va bien , all of these love stories, like the Rossellini love story, and like it marked by memories, doubles, forgetting, misunderstandings and returns. What ‘revolutionary’ changes in the cinema had Rossellini initiated? Essentially, he broke the traditional conventions in narrative film with its stress on internal continuities and motivation; smooth transitions and a close, transparent clear relation between images of events and their significance. Rossellini’s film, though contrived, appeared close to reportage, a document, indeed documentary of daily and banal events, without a drama or real-seeming actions. Instead, he created gaps between shots and scenes, words and gestures, actions and objects in such a way as to make their relation real rather than natural, direct and at times inexplicable, as if an action was sufficient in itself but went nowhere, at least nowhere in particular, unlinked and without a definite resolution or, much the same thing, an explanation. Before Rossellini, it could be argued, fictional relations in films such as these were self- explanatory belonging to a logic of events or motivations, of succession and consequence, whose fictional world cohered, each image certain and every relation accounted for and certified. Rossellini’s reluctance to explain, interpret, in short, to join events, actions, shots into a seamless continuity, left openings in films that heretofore had been closed in order to secure a sense, that is, an illusion of reality. His editing was not geared to creating familiar resolutions. It was instead an editing of irresolution of juxtapositions between the fictional and real founded on their division and realised in the ellipse and the interval. The frame in this situation was not a constraint for ordering but a
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This note was uploaded on 09/23/2011 for the course FIL 3363C taught by Professor Samrohdie during the Fall '09 term at University of Central Florida.

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Worksheet 2 - Worksheet two The so-called neo-realist films...

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