The Viewer_s Dialectic

The Viewer_s Dialectic - The Viewer's Dialectic part 1 by...

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The Viewer's Dialectic, part 1 by Tomás Gutierrez Aleatranslated by Julia Lesage from Jump Cut , no. 29, February 1984, pp. 18-21copyright Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media , 1984, 2005 We are pleased to be able to offer our readers a major work of film theory from a socialist country, written by a major filmmaker. The Viewer's Dialectic by Cuban filmmaker Tomás Gutierrez Alea will appear in its entirety in JUMP CUT, the first half in this issue and the rest over the next several issues. The work's Cuban publication is in Series “Cuadernos,” No. 13 (Havana: Union de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba, 1982). This translation is available online in Jump Cut and in print form from the Center for Cuban Studies, New York. — The Editors DEDICATION "The work of art, and similarly any other product, creates a public that's sensitive to art and able to enjoy beauty. Thus producing it doesn't just create an object for a subject, rather it also creates a subject for that object." — Karl Marx, “Introduction,” Critique of Political Economy INTRODUCTION Twenty years after taking power, the revolution has left behind its most spectacular moments. Our shaken land offered then unique, one-time only images, such as that incredible caravan which accompanied Fidel in his entrance to Havana, the bearded men, the palm fronds, and the vertigo of all the transformations that were happening. We saw the traitors and timorous ones leave, the jailors judged, and the enemy's immediate response. On our part, we saw nationalizations and a more radicalized process day after day. Later came the armed confrontations, sabotages, counterrevolution in Escambray, the Bay of Pigs, and the [Missile] Crisis of October. Those deeds — by themselves and on their very surface — revealed profound changes occurring at a rhythm that could not have been foreseen. For cinema, it was almost sufficient just to record deeds, seize some fragment directly from reality, and give witness to what was going on in the streets. This image projected on the screen turned out to be interesting, revealing and spectacular. (1) In that conjuncture and stimulated, or rather pressured by, ever changing reality, Cuban cinema emerged as one more facet of reality within the revolution. Directors learned to make films on the march and played their instruments by ear, like old-time musicians. They interested viewers more by what they showed than through how they showed it. In those first years our filmmaking emphasized documentary. Little by little, through constant practice, it acquired its own physiognomy and dynamism, which has let it stand
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with renewed force next to older film styles that are more developed but also tired. All that shapes our history. Our subsequent revolutionary development carries us
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This note was uploaded on 11/10/2011 for the course CMCL-C 401 taught by Professor Simons during the Fall '10 term at Indiana.

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The Viewer_s Dialectic - The Viewer's Dialectic part 1 by...

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