"Cinema is the only art that is both an art of Space and Time."The filmic image not only "shows" : it "signifies", either because it adopts new values through its arrangement with other images (symbol), or because it initiates a process of generalisation and abstraction through its presence on screen (analogon).
There is an intrinsic duplicity in each image :
- A : To show. "Représenté" (represented).
The perceived image is like a real space, a portion of the world, seen through a window. Un "trompe l'œil" (optical illusion)
- B : To signify. "Représentation".
The projected image on a two-dimensional surface, organised within a frame, is another space, enclosed in a frame that separates it from the represented world. Which is the nature of the filmic image.
Mitry differentiates 4 types of filmic images on screen :
- Descriptive image
The camera only records a portion of an ordinary reality.
- Personal image
The camera makes choices, emphasises certain objects in relation to others, builds symbolic relations between various objects, in other words expresses the "vision of the world" of the auteur.
- Semi-subjective image
The camera embraces the point of view of one of the screen character who is given a privileged position within the frame.
- Subjective image
The camera effectively becomes the viewpoint of one character (offscreen), seeing exactly what this character is supposed to see, identified and substituted to this character.
- Narrative montage (continuity of actions)
- Lyrical montage (sentiments transcend drama with continuity)
- Montage of ideas (total elaboration of a film a posteriori)
- Intellectual montage (defines ideas dialectically)
my notes from Francesco Cassetti's book "Teorie del cinema (1945-1990)" (1993)