Worksheet 9 - Worksheet nine PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS SAME...

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Worksheet nine PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS SAME WORKSHEET HAS ALSO BEEN DOWNLOADED TO THE WEBSITE FOR FILM HISTORY BECAUSE THERE IS A SLIGHT OVERLAP IN CONTENT BETWEEN BOTH COURSES Every film image is a moving one whether or not its subject is moving (someone walking, eating, riding a horse) or not moving (a building, a plate of food, a landscape). That is, the film image is in time and has duration. In Dziga Vertov’s The Man with a Movie Camera (1929), the film begins with various still or empty images that begin to move or fill up, that is, become animated. The film, like others of its kind in the 1920s, has as its subject life in the city, that is, ‘modern’ life: movement, clashes, machinery, transport, encounters, surprises and at each confrontation and encounter (of images), the birth of something, new and unheralded. The opening section of the film is of the city awakening (it moves) and the cameraman awakening (he moves) and the camera awakening (it begins to turn) and the projector awakening (it begins to project) and the orchestra awakening (it begins to play) and the audience awakening (it gathers in the theatre and begins to watch the film that already has been completed though we - as opposed to the audience in the film - are not only watching it begin, but watching it being constructed, its true beginning) and women awakening (they begin to dress: some of the most erotic images in the cinema) and trams awakening (they leave the station for the city) and shops awakening (shutters are taken down, shutters like eyes and like a lens of the camera). Each of these moments, durations, openings, awakenings associations, join and loop back and form thereby a constellation-knot: ‘awakening’, a knot composed by montage. The film is ‘visibly’ a construction and its method and means is montage, not a window on the world, but a purely filmic world of combinations, additions, superimpositions, frames. These opening images are at the verge and border of movement - the film is at the border, always about to become a film - and at the border between the real (life) and the document (life caught unawares), units of the ‘true’, and images of these, a boundary traversed by the film. The film is precisely that passing from one state to another, from still images to moving images, still life to the movement of life, life made into a construction, that is, into a film (another world). No matter how still these images (a frame, a held shot) and no matter how still the subjects of the images (poised to move) they are all images in and of time, a passing beyond from one world to the next, where both instances, both universes (more accurately multiple universes and times) are visible. Many of the images in Godard’s films insofar as they are citations and whether depicting movement or not, are, by the fact of being citations, second-hand images, images that have previously been, that have existed and are in his films refound and repositioned.
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