Worksheet - Welles - Worksheet Welles please note Most of the best material on Welles and his films is in French and that is true of almost all writings

Worksheet - Welles - Worksheet Welles please note Most of...

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Worksheet - Wellesplease note:Most of the best material on Welles and his films is in French and that is true of almost all writings on the cinema. Writings in English and especially American writings are poor compared to writing in Freench which is almost always intelligent, well informed and original. Most of the French material have not been translated. What you will have here are a few words in English regarding Welles. Usually, I translate much of the French writing for students but this semester has proved difficult for me for various reasons. I will neverthess try to translate some of the French writing on Welles for you this week but it is an intention rather than a promiseDavid Bordwell...Citizen Kane straddles great opposites. It is at once a triumph of social comment and a landmark in cinematic surrealism. It treats subjects like lover, power, class, money, friendship, and honesty with the seriousness of a European film; yet it never topples into pretentiousness, is at every instant as zestful, intelligent, and entertaining as the finest Hollywood pictures...To unify such opposites, Kane draws together the two main strands of cinematic tradition. As both a mechanical recorder of events and a biased interpreter of the same events, cinema oscillates between the poles of objective realism and subjective vision. This tension, implicit in every film (and, as Pasolini points out, in every image), is at the heart of Citizen Kane. Faithful to the integrity of the external world, the film is simultaneously expressive of the processes of the imagination. As the ancestor of the works of Godard, Bergman, Fellini, Bresson, and Antonioni, Kane is a monument in the modern cinema, the cinema of consciousness.Since Lumière, motion pictures have been attracted to the detailed reproduction of external reality. Still photography, the literary school of Naturalism, and the elaborate theatrical apparatus of the nineteenth century gave impetus to this documentary side of film...most films made before 1940 reflect this sort of objective realism in their mise-en-scène. But running parallel to this documentary trend is a subjectivity that uses film to transform reality to suit the creator’s imagination... ...Eisenstein...demonstrated that montage could assemble the raw data of the Lumière method in patterns which expressed the poetic imagination. Dialectical montage was an admission of the presence of artistic consciousness in a way that Griffith’s “invisible’ cutting was not. The audience was made aware of a creator’s sensibility juxtaposing
images to make a specific emotional or intellectual point. Eisenstein claimed to control montage of attractions “scientifically”..., but after Eisenstein, a less didactic, more associational montage became a dominant poetic style of the avant-garde.

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