Affichage des articles dont le libellé est criticism. Afficher tous les articles
Affichage des articles dont le libellé est criticism. Afficher tous les articles

14 janvier 2013

Bordwell vs Deleuze (Narration)

Narration historiography according to David Bordwell's book : Narration in the Fiction Film, 1985
[Chart adaptated to my Cinema Aesthetic Matrix]


* * *


Mapping of narrative structure according to Deleuze 2 tomes book : 
Cinéma 1. Image-mouvement (1983) / Cinéma 2 : Image-temps (1985)


Related : 

11 septembre 2012

Serge Daney (Cinémathèque Française)


Serge Daney : 20 ans après 
(La Cinémathèque française; 20 juin - 5 août 2012)
Vingt ans déjà. Cela fait tout juste vingt ans que Serge Daney est mort. Il n'avait que 48 ans, laissant une véritable œuvre critique, un ensemble touffu de textes sur le cinéma, la télévision, la pub, le tennis, la vie politique. Textes critiques, textes théoriques, textes de journaliste et de voyageur. Il a marqué des penseurs contemporains comme de jeunes critiques en pleine activité aujourd'hui, mais aussi des cinéastes désireux de montrer leur film à un critique « voyant ». Sa pensée a été utile en son temps et à beaucoup de spectateurs. Vingt ans après sa disparition, il faut dire aussi comment et en quoi cette pensée peut servir aujourd'hui. 

Journée de conférences (22 Juin 2012)

Serge Toubiana : « Persévérance, in extremis »  32'
Serge Toubiana est directeur de La Cinémathèque française

Dialogue avec Patrice Rollet : « Éditer Daney » 35'
Patrice Rollet est membre du comité de rédaction de la revue Trafic depuis sa création, en 1991. Il mène l'édition la plus complète de l'œuvre de Serge Daney sous le titre La Maison cinéma et le monde, aux éditions P.O.L, dont le troisième volume paraît en juin

Charles Tesson : « La carte et l'écran : voyager et écrire » 36'
Charles Tesson est critique et ancien rédacteur en chef des Cahiers du cinéma. Il est actuellement délégué général de la Semaine de la critique.

Table ronde 1 : « Serge Daney, ici et ailleurs » 71'
Avec : Hervé Gauville (journaliste, Libération), Jean Hatzfeld (journaliste, Libération), Françoise Huguier (photographe, Libération), Olivier Séguret (critique, Libération)

Lecture de textes de Serge Daney, par Melvil Poupaud 22'
Dès l'enfance, Melvil Poupaud joue dans La Ville des pirates de Raoul Ruiz. Par la suite, il a tourné avec Jacques Doillon, Éric Rohmer, Arnaud Desplechin... En 2011, il a publié Quel est Mon noM ? (Stock) où il évoque son amitié avec Serge Daney.

Alain Bergala : « Penser "à mains nues" » 26'
Cinéaste, critique aux Cahiers du cinéma, enseignant à La fémis, commissaire d'expositions, Alain Bergala est l'auteur de nombreux ouvrages sur Roberto Rossellini, Abbas Kiarostami et Jean-Luc Godard.

Stéphane Delorme (critique, Cahiers), Jean-Marc Lalanne (critique, Les Inrockuptibles), Jean-François Rauger (critique, programmateur), Axelle Ropert (critique, scénariste, réalisatrice), Olivier Séguret (critique)

Dork Zabunyan : « Daney-Deleuze : lectures croisées, écritures sous influence » 40'
Dork Zabunyan est l'auteur des Cinémas de Gilles Deleuze et co-auteur de Foucault va au cinéma. Il enseigne à l'université de Lille 3 et dirige, aux éditions Bayard, la collection « Logique des images ».

Pierre Eugène : « Daney à l'image, images de Daney » 31'
Pierre Eugène écrit pour Critikat et Art press. Il publie un texte : « Apparitions de Serge Daney » dans le numéro 82 de la revue Trafic (juin 2012).

Avec : Olivier Assayas (réalisateur), Claire Denis (réalisatrice), Jean Douchet (critique), Pascal Kané (réalisateur), Serge Le Péron (critique et réalisateur), Serge Toubiana (Cinémathèque)


* * *

Serge Daney, 20 ans après. Présentation par Serge Toubiana (14/06/2012) 8'
Serge Daney, 20 ans après. Présentation par Eva Markovits (12/06/2012) 9'


* * *

Films projetés lors de la rétrospective :

  • Amère Victoire - Nicholas Ray
  • Ana - Antonio Reis, Margarida Cordeiro
  • Au bord de la mer bleue - Boris Barnet
  • Autopsie d'un meurtre - Otto Preminger
  • Boat People/Passeport pour l'enfer - Ann Hui
  • Boy Meets Girl - Leos Carax
  • Cinéastes de notre temps - Jacques Rivette, le veilleur : le jour / la nuit - Claire Denis
  • Le Cinéphile et le Village / Conversation Nord-Sud : Daney Sanbar
  • Contes de la lune vague après la pluie - Kenji Mizoguchi
  • Damned Daney - 1 et 2 (1988) - Bernard Mantelli (vidéo 1-2-3
  • De l'autre côté du racisme - Pascal Kané
  • Di Cavalcanti / L'Âge de la terre - Glauber Rocha
  • Dodes'Ka-Den - Akira Kurosawa
  • La Dolce Vita - Federico Fellini
  • Du cinéma à la télévision, propos d'un passeur Serge Daney - Philippe Roger
  • El / Tourments - Luis Bunuel
  • En rachâchant / Trop tôt, trop tard - Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub
  • L'Enfance nue - Maurice Pialat
  • L'Enfant secret - Philippe Garrel
  • L'Etat des choses - Wim Wenders
  • La Femme d'à côté - François Truffaut
  • La Femme de l'aviateur - Eric Rohmer
  • Francisca - Manoel de Oliveira
  • Frontière chinoise - John Ford
  • Gertrud - Carl Theodor Dreyer
  • Ici et ailleurs - Anne-Marie Mieville, Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin
  • Karkalou - Stavros Tornes
  • La Loi du marcheur - Nicolas Bouchaud
  • Mr Arkadin / Dossier secret - Orson Welles
  • Nuit et brouillard / Hiroshima mon amour - Alain Resnais
  • Pickpocket - Robert Bresson
  • La Prise de pouvoir par Louis XIV - Roberto Rossellini
  • Programme Artavazd Pelechian
  • La règle du jeu - Jean Renoir
  • Rio Bravo - Howard Hawks
  • Un roi à New York - Charlie Chaplin
  • Sayat Nova - couleur de la grenade - Sergueï Paradjanov
  • Serge Daney : le cinéma et le monde - Serge Le Péron
  • Serge Daney, itinéraire d'un ciné-fils, le regard du zappeur / le temps des cahiers / des cahiers à Libé  - Dominique Rabourdin, Pierre-André Boutang (prologuevidéo 1-2-3)
  • Vertigo - Alfred Hitchcock
  • Toute une nuit - Chantal Akerman
  • Trafic - Jacques Tati
  • Travail au noir - Jerzy Skolimowski
  • Le Trou - Jacques Becker
  • Vers le sud - Johan van der Keuken





Voir aussi :

02 septembre 2012

The Decline of the Hollywood Studios (France Culture)

LA SITUATION DU CINEMA AMERICAIN (Projection Privée; France Culture; 1er Sept 2012) [MP3] 1h

Roundtable on the state of American Cinema today

Avec : 
  • Jean-Baptiste Thoret (historien et critique cinématographique) 
  • Jacky Goldberg (critique cinématographique)
  • Philippe Rouyer (critique à Positif et Psychologies Magazine)
  • Stéphane Delorme (rédacteur en chef des Cahiers du Cinéma)
  • Michel Ciment (rédacteur en chef de Positif)

Filmographie citée :

Positif / Success  Négatif / Failures 
Newer :
  • J. Edgar (Eastwood)
  • Terri (Azazel Jacobs)
  • Keep The Lights On (Sachs)
  • Twixt (Coppola)
  • Dark Horse (Todd Solondz)
  • The Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Take Shelter (Nichols)
  • Mission Impossible IV
  • 4:44 Last Day on Earth (Ferrara) 
  • Damsels in Distress (Stillman)
  • Inception (Nolan)
  • Bug (Friedkins)
  • Magic Mike (Soderbergh)
  • Black Swan (Aronofsky)
  • Avatar 3D
  • Alice in wonderland 3D
  • Hugo 3D 
  • Wall-E
Older : 
  • Sex, Lies and Videotapes
Newer :
  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • Spiderman
  • John Carter
  • Battleship
  • Cars 2
  • Rebel
  • MIB3
Older :
  • Tarzan franchise
  • Steven Segal franchise
  • Heaven's Gate (Cimino)
  • The Sorcerer (Friedkins)


Key points :
  • Hollywood is in denial about the creative/financial crisis ($100 billion loss in the last 10 years)
  • Saturation of prequels, sequels, reboots, franchises...
  • Hollywood afraid to take risks, sterilized by Wall St.
  • Projects built on bank-ability, BO predictions, whatever the public wants
  • Failure of 3D 

* * *

Festival de Deauville (Mauvais Genres; France Culture; 1 Sept 2012) [MP3] 2h
avec : William Friedkin et Florent Emilio Siri
En ouverture de sa 15e saison, Mauvais Genres dressera ce soir son antenne à Deauville, riante cité normande où se tient la 38e édition du Festival du film américain (son directeur, Bruno Barde, ouvrira l'émission). Une édition à haute teneur en mauvais genres : ouverte par le "Mud" de Jeff Nichols, close par "Savages" d'Oliver Stone, elle recevra, outre Harvey Keitel et Melvin van Peebles, WILLIAM FRIEDKIN dont le dernier film, "Killer Joe", polar "white trash", sort le 5 septembre dans les salles. Friedkin ! Et les images d'affluer : la partie de bras de fer surnaturel avec geyser de bile, spiderwalk et sommier volant, entre la fillette possédée (Lynda Blair) et Father Merryn (Max von Sydow) ; Gene Hackman mettant fin, d'une balle dans le dos, à l'issue d'une poursuite automobile mythique, à la cavale new-yorkaise de Marcel Bozzufi ; la camion hanté de "Sorcerer" progressant dans la nuit glauque d'une jungle détrempée ; William Dafoe, le dandy faussaire, l'ange pervers de "Police Federal Los Angeles".




Voir aussi:

22 mai 2012

Editorial for dummies


Cahiers editorial by Stéphane Delorme (Mai 2012) :
Faire une revue de cinéma n’est pas très éloigné du travail de programmateur. [..]
Défendre cinq ou six films par semaine, comme le font les quotidiens et les hebdomadaires, revient à annuler ce travail de programmation. Les films sont tous dans le même tas, tout se vaut. On se demande bien comment un lecteur peut s’y retrouver ! La mission de la critique est au contraire de choisir, de trancher, de conseiller ce qu’il faut voir en premier, ce qu’il ne faut pas rater. On vit un étrange moment, où à la peur de perdre de l’espace dans la presse (il faut bien justifier le nombre de pages pour sauver les pages cinéma) s’ajoute la peur de perdre le large public (il faut donc aimer les gros films) et la peur de « tuer » les petits films (qu’il faut forcément défendre…). La situation depuis le début de l’année devient dramatique : on a le sentiment que, sauf navet, tous les films sont défendus. Les Cahiers, par contraste, paraissent bien sévères. Cinq ou six films aimés par mois ! [..]
Le privilège du mensuel est d’arriver en premier sur les films et de proposer donc la première programmation. [..] Trop de films sortent, la situation devient absurde. À l’heure où les films restent deux semaines à l’affiche, il faut que la critique frappe fort et juste et assume son rôle de guide. Sinon les films importants ne seront pas vus. [..]
Cette politique, puisque c’en est une, va de pair, aux Cahiers, depuis trois ans, avec le refus de suivre la loi perverse de « faire écrire celui qui aime le plus le film ». La générosité excessive de cet axiome fait que, sauf navet, on trouve toujours quelqu’un ! Aujourd’hui, le rédacteur en chef décide, après discussion de la rédaction sur les films, comment ceux-ci seront « traités » et programmés dans la revue. Lorsqu’un film divise (comme le Hong Sang-soo d’ailleurs ce mois-ci), il faut trancher. Et s’il n’y a pas de film, il n’y en a pas. [..]
Editors at Film Comment ("We will put every films in a random top10, one way or another") and Sight and Sound ("EVERY film of month reviewed") should read this and learn what is the role of the editor of a niche film magazine! (Maybe that's why Cahiers publishes online its editorial every month, and these other two English-languages magazines don't, because they aren't proud of them)
And Cahiers is a niche magazine in a country where the market is NOT dominated by Hollywood products at a level of 80 to 95%... 

Now,  I don't necessarily agree with Delorme's position for the month of may, but the principle he highlights is undeniable when you want to generate high standards in film culture and higher aspirations for your readers.
I even welcome his discarding of the old "Cahiers tradition" to let the one who likes the film the most write up the blissfully blind positive review. Because this isn't criticism, it's more like turning film reviewing into a subservient branch of film marketing.

The cliché is that the weeks before Cannes, the distribution is lackluster because all the critics are in Cannes. Is it always true?
I agree with singling out Hong Sang-soo's The Day He Arrives, which is of course one of the best film of the year (or last year in première timeline). But there are others, enough to fill up the highlight pages of a monthly magazine.

Notable titles for May 2012 distribution in France (from a total of 58 films) :
  • The Day He Arrives (Hong Sang-soo)
  • Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson)
  • Barbara (Christian Petzold)
  • Miss Bala (Gerardo Naranjo)
  • 11 flowers (Wang Xiaoshuai)
  • Walk away Renée (Jonathan Caouette)
  • La Rizière (Xiaoling Zhu)

Lire aussi :




19 mai 2012

Jean Douchet fait son cinéma

Laure Adler présente Jean Douchet fait son cinéma 
(Hors champs; France Culture)
Jean Douchet, l’un des plus grands passeurs de l’Histoire du cinéma a accepté de nous livrer ses manières de voir un film et d’expliquer les raisons pour lesquelles le cinéma est un art qui met en branle l’imaginaire du spectateur en faisant appel à son esprit de rêverie et à son sens de la beauté.
Co-fondateur des Cahiers du cinéma,  Jean Douchet, ami de Rivette, Godard, Rohmer, est aussi réalisateur et acteur dans de nombreux films de jeunes cinéastes dont il a éveillé la vocation. Socrate de la Cinémathèque de Langlois puis de la rue d' Ulm, il est aussi en ce moment même professeur à la Cinémathèque où il vaut mieux arriver très en avance pour pouvoir l’écouter tant son esprit critique, sa profondeur d'argumentation et son éloge du désir et du plaisir font des émules auprès des jeunes de vingt ans, nos futurs cinéastes.

  1. Ma vie mes films et Jean Luc Godard (14 mai 2012) 44'  [MP3]
  2. Que signifie être acteur ? (15 mai 2012) 44'  [MP3]
    Conversation avec Bulle Ogier 
  3. Comment on devient cinéaste et comment le demeurer ? (16 mai 2012) 44'  [MP3]
    Avec Benoit Jacquot
  4. Réel et imaginaire, le hors-champ, la 3D, une catastrophe pour le cinéma (17 mai 2012) 44' [MP3]
    avec Jean-Louis Comolli 
  5. Voir un film c’est vivre sa vie et imaginer celles des autres (18 mai 2012) 44' [MP3]


Filmographie citée :
  • La salamandre (1971/Alain Tanner)
  • Les adieux à la reine (2012/Benoît Jacquot)
  • Les faux-monnayeurs (Benoît Jacquot)
  • Au fond des bois (Benoît Jacquot)
  • Werther (Benoît Jacquot)
  • Le Cinéma Comolli (2011/Jean-Louis Comolli) DOC


Bibliographie :
  • La DVDéothèque de Jean Douchet (Jean Douchet; 2006)
  • Nouvelle vague (Jean Douchet; 2004)
  • L'art d'aimer (Jean Douchet; 2003)
  • Corps et cadre : cinéma, éthique, politique (Jean-Louis Comolli; 2012)
  • Cinéma contre spectacle (Jean-Louis Comolli; 2009)
  • Voir et pouvoir - L'innocence perdue : cinéma, télévision, fiction, documentaire (Jean-Louis Comolli; 2004)


* * *

Ciné club de Jean Douchet :


Voir aussi :




10 mai 2012

Kant et la faculté de juger


1. Vitalisme, mécanisme... organisme ? (7 mai 2012) 50' [MP3]
Adèle Van Reeth reçoit Philippe Huneman (chargé de recherches à l'Institut d'histoire et de philosophie des sciences et des techniques, CNRS / Université Paris I Sorbonne) à propos de la notion d'organisme dans la Critique de la faculté de juger de Kant

2. Qu'est-ce qu'un jugement de goût ? (8 mai 2012) 50' [MP3]
Adèle Van Reeth reçoit Luc Ferry pour interroger le concept de jugement de goût chez Kant.

3. Les Idées esthétiques (9 mai 2012) 50' [MP3]
Adèle Van Reeth reçoit Jacques Darriulat ( professeur de philosophie de l'art à la Sorbonne) pour évoquer les Idées esthétiques chez Kant.

4. De l'esthétique à la morale (10 mai 2012) 50' [MP3]
Adèle Van Reeth reçoit Michael Foessel (maître de conférences en philosophie à l'Université de Bourgogne à Dijon) pour décrypter le passage de l'esthétique à la morale dans la Critique de la faculté de juger


Bibliographie:
  • Kant, Critique de la faculté de juger, traduction d'Alain Renaut, Partie II "Critique de la faculté de juger téléologique"
  • Métaphysique et biologie : Kant et la constitution du concept d'organisme (Philippe Huneman; 2008)
  • Hume, Essais esthétiques, "De la norme du goût", traduction de Philippe Folliot
  • Art (pièce de Yasmina Reza, 1994) avec Fabrice Luchini, Pierre Vaneck et Pierre Arditi
  • Homo aestheticus : l'invention du goût à l'âge démocratique (Luc Ferry; 2006)
  • Le Sens du beau : Aux origines de la culture contemporaine (Luc Ferry; 2000)
  • Humain trop humain, I, chap.4; Nietzsche
  • La privation de l'intime : mises en scène politiques des sentiments (Michaël Foessel; 2008) 



Lire aussi :

09 février 2012

Critical Fallacy #14 : Equivalence / Short-sightedness


"« Qui es-tu pour juger ? » est donc une manière de laisser savoir qu’il n’y a plus de hiérarchie des valeurs ; attitude par excellence de l’abdication et de l’indifférenciation qui permet d’éviter toute confrontation, tout débat réel, tout choc culturel ou idéologique, et qui permet de s’enfermer dans ses certitudes individuelles. [..]
Cette attitude est liée à un phénomène historique bien concret et très complexe de remise en question, de relativisation, voire de rejet de l’autorité dans plusieurs sphères de la société. [..]
La critique des autorités et d’une hiérarchie rigide des valeurs n’est pas une mauvaise chose en soi, mais n’avons-nous pas tout faux quand nous pensons nous « faire notre propre idée » sur tous les sujets ?
Si un tel et un tel autre s’enferment volontiers dans « le mien vaut le tien », c’est que nous vivons dans une époque où règne l’opinion. Une opinion en vaut une autre, mais l’erreur consiste à penser qu’une opinion vaut bien une idée. Il n’y a rien de mal ou de « faux » dans une première impression, une intuition, une opinion face à un individu, une idée ou un phénomène, mais j’insiste, l’erreur consiste à ne pas voir la différence de valeur entre l’opinion et l’idée, entre l’impression et la connaissance. [..]
Défendre ou donner sa position, c’est bien là le fardeau du cadeau de la liberté. On l’a vu, l’individu ne peut pas tout vérifier et se prononcer sur tout. Mais on lui donne aujourd’hui l’illusion d’avoir besoin de lui dans tout et sur tout. Notre société « démocratique » - mais surtout médiatique - invite l’individu à se prononcer sur tout et cette liberté le fait crouler sous les sollicitations tous azimuts. [..]
Devant cette saturation, devant tant de sollicitations, d’images, d’opinions, d’enjeux qui bourdonnent chaque jour, l’individu nauséeux n’a d’autre choix que de développer une insensibilité. [..]
Devant cette saturation, cette insensibilité, cet irrationnel, quel est le rôle du critique ? Le défi – qu’aucun commentateur de la presse ou de la télévision n’atteint et même pas toujours dans les magazines spécialisés - est d’amener les gens sur le plan de l’Art et de la critique. [..]
Un critique de cinéma est un amateur de films qui cherche à saisir le Beau dans son mouvement perpétuel, parce que tant que les hommes seront là pour créer et faire de l’Art, la définition sera ouverte. Parce que tout ne se vaut pas, qu’il y aura toujours des imitations, des copies, des faux et des œuvres sans intérêt qui à défaut d’être « dénoncés » doivent être différenciés des films qui apportent quelque chose de nouveau et qui comptent. C’est d’ailleurs ces films que le critique devrait d’abord et avant tout défendre. [..]"
Toi le critique, qui es-tu pour juger? (Antoine Godin; Hors-champ; 4 janvier 2012)


Lire aussi :

09 janvier 2012

20 ans de Trafic


Trafic, 20 ans 20 films
Centre Georges Pompidou, 11-30 Jan 2012 [catalogue PDF]
  • 11 Janvier 2012 : Saltimbank, 2002, Jean-Claude Biette + "Sierra de Teruel, 1939" de Victor Erice  [intro video]
    En présence de Víctor Erice (sous réserve), Raymond Bellour, Jean-Christophe Bouvet, Pierre Léon, Paul Otchakovsky-Laurens, Sylvie Pierre et Patrice Rollet
  • 12 Janvier 2012 : A.I. Intelligence artificielle, 2001, Steven Spielberg
    présenté par Jonathan Rosenbaum  [intro video
  • 13 Janvier 2012 : Le Bassin de J.W., 1997, João César Monteiro
    présenté par Marcos Uzal  [intro video
  • 14 Janvier 2012 : Serge Daney présente "Trafic" au Jeu de Paume, Captation de conférence, 5 mai 1992 (vidéo 29'35")
    présentée par Raymond Bellour, Sylvie Pierre et Patrice Rollet 
  • 14 Janvier 2012 : La Belle journée, 2010, Ginette lavigne
    présenté par Jean-Louis Comolli  [intro video
  • 14 Janvier 2012 : Café Lumière, 2003, Hou Hsiao-hsien
    présenté par Frédéric Sabouraud  [intro video
  • 15 Janvier 2012 : Craneway event, 2009, Tacita Dean
    présenté par Hervé Gauville  [intro video
  • 15 Janvier 2012 : Crash, 1996, David Cronenberg
    présenté par Mark Rappaport  [intro video
  • 16 Janvier 2012 : Encontros, 2006, Pierre-Marie Goulet
    présenté par Bernard Eisenschitz  [intro video
  • 19 Janvier 2012 : Film socialisme, 2010, Jean-Luc Godard
    présenté par Jean Narboni  [intro video
  • 20 Janvier 2012 : L'Homme sans passé, 2002, Aki Kaurismäki
    présenté par Leslie Kaplan  [intro video
  • 21 Janvier 2012 : Inland, 2008, Tariq Teguia
    présenté par Jacques Rancière   [intro video
  • 21 Janvier 2012 : Loin, 2001, André Téchiné
    présenté par Jacques Bontemps  [intro video
  • 22 Janvier 2012 : Mystères de Lisbonne, 2010, Raoul Ruiz
    présenté par Jean Louis Schefer  [intro video
  • 22 Janvier 2012 : Palombella rossa, 1989, Nanni Moretti
    présenté par Fabrice Revault  [intro video
  • 23 Janvier 2012 : Le Rêve de Cassandre, 2007, Woody Allen
    présenté par Marie Anne Guerin  [intro video
  • 26 Janvier 2012 : Saraband, 2003, Ingmar Bergman
    présenté par Raymond Bellour [intro video
  • 28 Janvier 2012 : Soy Cuba, 1964, Mikhail Kalatozov + Soy Cuba, le mammouth sibérien, 2005, Vicente Ferraz [intro video]
    présenté par Sylvie Pierre
  • 28 Janvier 2012 : 36 vues du pic Saint-Loup, 2008, Jacques Rivette
    présenté par Pierre Léon
  • 29 Janvier 2012 : Val Abraham, 1993, Manoel de Oliveira
    présenté par Youssef Ishaghpour  [intro video
  • 29 Janvier 2012 : Wolff von Amerongen a-t-il commis une faillite frauduleuse ?, 2004, Gerhard Benedikt Friedl [intro video]  + Knittelfeld
    présentés par Christa Blümlinger
  • 30 Janvier 2012 : Zefiro Torna or Scenes of the Life of George Maciunas, 1992, Jonas Mekas
    présentés par Patrice Rollet

Serge Daney présente "Trafic" au Jeu de Paume 5 mai 1992 (pour la conférence, partielle)
et 14 jan 2012 (pour l'intro) (centrepompidou) 29'36"
L’idée de Trafic est venue de la prise de conscience que le paysage intellectuel dans lequel se trouvait le cinéma avait beaucoup changé. Changé au point que les façons traditionnelles d’écrire sur le cinéma ne « mordaient » plus guère sur la réalité de la consommation cinéphilique littéraire classique.
Par revue, nous entendons un lieu où l’on prendrait le temps de « revoir » et où on ne confondrait pas ce temps de la réflexion avec celui, emballé et souvent artificiel, d’une « actualité » qui est davantage celle des médias que celle du cinéma lui-même. « Il n’y a pas le feu ! » pourrait être notre mot d’ordre. Il faut revenir à une temporalité plus simple, plus sûre et plus ludique.
Chacun sent bien que le cinéma est pris depuis longtemps dans une évolution en forme de virage interminable. Cette histoire du « cinéma moderne » dont beaucoup d’entre nous ont subi le choc est néanmoins derrière nous et il nous appartient au moins de décrire ce qui vient, fût-ce l’effacement relatif du cinéma.
Serge Daney : "Trafic, revue de cinéma."; hiver 1991 [PDF]

Ecouter aussi :
  • Trafic anniversaire (France Culture; 9-01-2012) webcast [MP3] 30'
    Marie Richeux, Raymond Bellour, Judith Revault d’Allonnes

Lire aussi : 



14 décembre 2011

Doc filmmakers vs. Doc critics (CIFF)



Shamans · Animals

A response to the Film Symposium "Ethics and Documentary Cinema" (31st October 2011) held at the China Independent Film Festival Documentary (Nanjin)
Signed by several documentary filmmakers who participated and also who did not participate in the festival
  1. Demand that film critics buy their own DVDs (Xue Jianqiang)
    Reject how film critics have become the definers and arbiters of the morals and ethics of documentary film. Rather than simply passing judgement on documentary ethics, film critics should foster a film critique based on artistic intuition that, rooted in intrinsic film language itself, inquires into ethics.
    Reject a film critical perspective that is remote from common people, one that abuses a concept like “the lower strata of society.” Do you like this concept because you feel that you are in a position of superiority?
    Can an intellectual-style round table discussion have any possible constructive nature?
  2. Reject the way intellectuals use conventional concepts and actions to turn fresh and lively documentary experience into something uninteresting. (Cong Feng)
  3. If we see cinema as a private garden, is the critic the owner of the garden or only the gardener? (Zhang Chacha)
  4. The rigid theorizing of intellectuals turns the flow of discussion into something oppressive and boring. (Gui Shuzhong)
  5. For the past few years, it seems that we’ve abandoned discussing film language. It’s more fun discussing the ethics of social differentiation. (Jin Jie)
  6. Shoot films like an animal.
    Criticize (films) like an animal.
    Animals of a different species. (Qiu Jiongjiong)
  7. Critics cannot dictate history.
    Critics should learn from filmmakers, and not pretend to be their mentors.
    Artists teach themselves in the course of shooting their films; they establish their own ethical principles.(Cong Feng)
  8. Making documentary cinema reproduces the feeling of making love. The climaxes can’t be judged by the critics.(Song Chuan)
  9. Respect the diversity of and multiple approaches to creative artistic research.
  10. We’re not trying to start a revolution. We’re trying to shake people awake (while we get drunk).(Ji Dan)
  11. Revolutions are caused by arrogance, nothing more.(Ji Dan)
  12. Fortunately documentary filmmakers pay no heed to unreliable theory.(Gui Shuzhong)
  13. Theory is inflexible.
    Documentary
    Jealousy
    Excitement
    Are fresh and lively. (Gui Shuzhong)
  14. Filmmakers speak through their works
    Viewers ponder what’s on the screen
    Here come the critics, squawking and quacking a language of their own. (Jin Jie, Zhang Chacha)
  15. If theorists are the ones who can speak, and critics are the ones who can write, then the real thinkers are precisely those who neither speak nor write. (Bai Budan)
  16. When ethics are at issue, law is the criterion. (Feng Yu)
  17. Where is the moral introspection of certain critics and scholars? Enough with leaders’ speeches, already. (Cong Feng)
  18. Theory is related to reality. Theory also must keep up with the times. If critics stray from the works of art themselves while discussing theory, then their discussion will become like fog in the wind, vapid and uninteresting. (Gui Shuzhong)
  19. [missing]
  20. Talk too much about theory, and you sound pretentious. Overemphasize theory and you sound authoritarian. Life is not a two-sided coin: you have no right to force it to be either one way or the other. Of course, you can use theory to impress the kids. The motivation for documentary comes from a shame of one’s own ignorance. There’s no place for any talk of an avant garde or of theory. (Hu Xinyu)
  21. At present, the critics tend to a kind of literary writing style. Documentary films are treated as literature, as works of art. The critics seem to think they alone have the right to define a rational discursive interpretation of society. But this is in fact an act of cultural despotism, an act that is neither rational with respect to social reality nor with respect to art. Because of this, the rational discourse of the critics is a kind of observation at one remove. (Mao Chenyu)
  22. So-called theory is all for self-gratification. Independent film should not be restricted to the society’s lowest classes telling stories about each other. It should be diverse and multiple.
    Uninteresting, boring, useless.
    When you say you’re aligned with the lowest levels of society, you are in fact looking with disdain and contempt at the low from on high.
    Please use the word “intellectual” correctly and carefully. And please don’t use that word at this kind of independent film festival. It is not a term of praise, but rather a pretext to occupy a position high above the ordinary people. Is it really so hard to be modest and put yourself in someone else’s position? (Wang Shu)
  23. If possible, watch more movies. If you ever have the opportunity, then try to shoot a film. If you’ve never shot a gun yourself, how can you teach someone else to shoot? (Gui Shuzhong, Cong Feng)
  24. Yesterday’s forum took place at the Nanjing University’s News and Media Institute. Is it the job of our professors and scholars to teach students how make false statements sound like true ones? If those who teach students to lie boast that they are intellectuals, can there still be any filmmakers willing to label themselves “intellectuals?” (Beifang Lao =web alias)
Translated by Shelly Kraicer. Co-translator: Isabella Ho. With thanks to Yang Yishu, J.P. Sniadecki, Zhang Xianmin, and Cong Feng (cinemascope; 25 Nov 2011)

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Some comments :

This is very sad actually to see that the new generation of Chinese indie filmmakers could not MEET eye-to-eye with the Chinese film scholars... it's like if an important rendez-vous of History was missed. I don't know which side was the most self-indulgent, which one was wrong... but surely, given the difficult state of cinema in China, being dominated by Hollywood blockbusters on one side, and by State-approved conformity on the other side, there must have been a strategic move to support the independent scene (critically acclaimed around the world), regardless for any shortcomings, in a country where artistic freedom has been repressed for so long! If filmmakers come to your table to discuss their artistic creation, the basic curtsy would be to LISTEN to them, and to walk half-way through to a neutral middle ground. For the sake of cinema!

I would usually take the defense of the Film Criticism profession, against the anti-intellectual sentiment that denies critics the right to scrutinize, with complete independence and no pressure, the production of art. Because it is easy to blame critics when they don't like your film, and reject film criticism altogether just because you're in denial about the shortcomings of your own work... That's not how it works. We have to accept and protect the existence of Criticism, no matter what, in times of praise like in times of harsh judgement. This said, critics ought to be held to the highest standards of evaluation as well! Too many reviewers pass judgements they aren't qualified to emit in the first place. This is why individual reviewers should be held accountable for the sustainability of the whole profession. And in this case, even though I'm not very familiar with the Chinese indie scene, I tend to agree with the plaintifs (for the most part). But some details need to be clarified...

  1. I agree. But this is a thorny subject.
    Free access to ALL production for critics is the only guarantee for an independent opinion. Charging critics to watch films put them in a position to reconsider whether certain film is WORTH paying BEFORE they even got to see it, thus establishing an a priori rating based on assumptions (not to mention segregating the number of possible reviews a critic can publish based on how many DVDs they can afford). One way to circumvent this issue, is to charge the media company employing the critics (they surely can afford to buy the DVDs).
    The reason I agree, even though it is against the fundamental liberty of criticism, is because the situation has changed with the digital age, especially for the smallest niches of art cinema. There are more people than ever reviewing films in the world, while the gap between the hegemony of blockbusters and the slim niche of artfilms widens. And, considering that the main demographic interested in artfilms today are active cinephiles who happen to be also festival-goers and film reviewers... not charging the critics community amputates a sizeable chunk of expected revenue from their potential audience! This is one reason why the artfilm niche shrunks... most people who would watch these films, have already seen advance screenings, festival screenings or DVD screeners.
  2. I've seen a couple of Chinese indie documentaries, and they haven't been as masterful as Wang Bing's West of Track or Jia Zhangke's Dong. They pride themselves in being amateurs and don't care about formalist correctness or political correctness. So it is very hard to compare them to "academic documentaries". But this is where the critic should use fairness and understand where this particular production comes from. Sometimes a new film form emerges from the destruction of certain established standards and conventions (1920's Avant Garde, Surrealism, German Expressionism, Film Noir, Soviet Montage, Cinéma Vérité, Direct Cinema, New American Cinema (1970's NYC experimental scene), New Hollywood...) When they arose they were dismissed for looking "rough", "failed", "imperfect", "unfinished", "amateurish"... but the test of time proved otherwise. So critics need a long term perspective and bet on the future potentials. Maybe they shouldn't be judged on the form, but on the content, the slice of life (and the era) they are witness of, the experience. It's hard to convince the critical establishment that celebrates the photo-realist formalism of the XIXth century to welcome the arrival of a new "unprofessional" style such as Impressionism... but in this case, the establishment was wrong.
  3. Good image to keep critics in their place and remind them to be humble in front of ART. Too often critics believe they have a say in deciding what the future of art should look like, while they are merely there to attest the current production, and make sure to not miss anything. The future of the art form itself is for artists to give it a go (and sometimes fail too).
  4. Here I cannot support the use of polarizing, anti-intellectual and subjective clashes such as "rigid", "oppressive" and "boring". You already lost the argument there. That's what criticism appears to people being criticized unfavorably... but criticism is judgmental, conceptual, intellectual, theoretician and "arrogant", by definition, because it implies the authority to value the work of someone else. Criticism is not evil, there are only faulty film writers. Demand highest rigor from people who practice criticism, yes. But don't direct your anger and frustration toward the critical institution itself. Film Criticism is there to help artists, not to battle against them.
  5. I don't know the background of this controversy around the question of "social ethics" that seems to be the main issue against this group of documentarists. 
  6. Probably the language barrier doesn't translate the full innuendo of this analogy. There is animality in the artist indeed. But critics should never think of themselves as equal to the artist in this domain. I get the point that critics are asked to put themselves in the artist's shoes to understand the condition of an "animal-creator", and produce a more organic, tolerant, adaptable, empathetic judgement. Yes, definitely. But the critic doesn't have the privilege, prerogative, excuse to resort to animality. 
  7. Exactly. See my comment #2 and 3. 
  8. Agreed. Funny way to put it, but that's the spirit, as far as passing moral judgement on how other people make love, or I would rather say how other people choose their significant other. Being in love is an inter-personal affair, with idiosyncratic taste and expectations. Nobody can judge what is somebody else's object of election, desire, life partner. But that doesn't mean the critic is forbidden to judge at all. The critic has no say in WHAT the artist wants to do, but it's the critics job to investigate where the artist is coming from and what (s)he is trying to achieve, and judge the results given the process.
  9. Definitely.
Then there are unfair comments against criticism and against the liberty for critics to do their job, which I cannot condone. Call the "critical establishment" incompetent, antiquated, outdated, out of touch with reality, tell them they are missing the point, that they focus on the wrong aspects if you think that the NEW Chinese cinema needs a NEW generation of critics updated to the new paradigm. But don't reject criticism altogether, or the right for a scholar to judge your work. It's not the critical principles that are faulty, but the individual persons who misuse them. It is possible, even for scholars, to be wrong. It happens regularly throughout Art History. In this, I agree with the point #18, 21, 22, 24 of their manifesto.

I feel bad that the current vital scene of Chinese digital cinema cannot walk hand-in-hand with the current generation of critics and scholars... their (respective) loss, but so be it. The art scene may strive in the margin of the establishment, no worries. The Academe will catch up later (hopefully sooner than later), because what matters above all is the artist community producing art TODAY! Every art lover would agree. We are glad that artists in the past stubbornly pursued their researches and experiments all the while being mocked, caricatured, dismissed and repressed by scholars, critics and society of their times, often to the point of never profiting of the value their art reached in today's market, dying poor and neglected. Art survives all hardship, and that's the beauty of the selfless faith of artists in their persistent inspiration. That's why we should admire and respect the dedication of artists.

(23) I understand the frustration of filmmakers being misjudged by "critics" who never tried to make a film in their life, and don't understand the amount of efforts and commitments it involves, while they click a number of stars on their computer to evaluate a film after sitting on their ass for 90 minutes. The fact is there are lazy reviewers out there, who think of their job as a factory job, rating the most films per day as possible to show off to their peers, to publish-or-perish...
However, Cinema cannot be judged only by people who make films... it would be a self-serving, corporatist enclosure patting itself on the back, or rivaling with eachothers for personal interests. The purpose of art criticism is to offer an independent point of view. The point I agree with is that critics are REQUIRED to know about the filmmaking technique, almost as well as a filmmaker, to be able to evaluate and maybe to be more understanding of the efforts put into a given shot before dismissing it.


Related:

21 novembre 2011

Désir Mimétique (René Girard)

René Girard, philosophe français, né en 1923


StudioPhilo, n° 19, par Ollivier Pourriol, 2009

Ciné Philo 2 : Vertiges du désir, comprendre le désir par le cinéma; Ollivier Pourriol; 21 mai 2011; 252pp
Fidèle à sa méthode consistant à faire dialoguer philosophie et cinéma, Ollivier Pourriol dévoile les grandes théories du désir à l'oeuvre dans des films aussi variés que Le Mépris, Kingdom of Heaven, Heat, Beau Travail, Casino, Eyes wide shut, Eros, THX 1138, Blow Up ou Toy Story.
Fruit des conférences Studiophilo - où la philosophie est expliquée par le cinéma, et le cinéma par la philosophie (voir extrait sur le désir mimétique)- ce livre nous fait comprendre ce qu'est le désir, tout en nous ouvrant les yeux sur certaines scènes célèbres du cinéma : Sartre nous éclaire sur les fesses de Brigitte Bardot dans Le Mépris, Hegel sur la lutte à mort entre Al Pacino et Robert de Niro dans Heat, Girard sur le désir mimétique dont sont victimes les jouets de Toy Story, Deleuze sur l'électricité sexuelle de Sharon Stone dans Casino, Platon sur les vertiges de l'amour dans Les ailes du désir.
Olivier Pourriol consacre un chapitre au désir mimétique à travers les films Casino (Le désir des autres), Blow Up (L'illusion du moi), Charlie et la chocolaterie (Le désir de distinction), Toy Story (Les jouets du désir), Le Grand Saut (Le désir à la chaîne) et Zoolander (Les modèles du désir).
* * *

René Girard et le Désir Mimétique
(Les nouveaux chemins de la connaissance; France Culture; Nov 2011)
  1. Mensonge romantique et vérité romanesque (14 nov 2011) [MP3] 50'
  2. Des choses cachées depuis la fondation du monde et Achever Clausewitz (15 nov 2011) [MP3] 50'
  3. La violence et le sacré (16 nov 2011) [MP3] 50'
  4. Shakespeare : les feux de l'envie (17 nov 2011) [MP3] 50'


Bibliographie selective de René Girard :
Bibliographie complémentaire :
  • Oedipe Roi; Sophocle; 415 B.C.
  • l'Evangile selon Saint-Marc / Caïn et Abel
  • Don Quichotte; Cervantès; 1615
  • De la démocratie en Amérique; Alexis de Tocqueville; 1840
  • Totem et Tabou; Sigmund Freud; 1913
  • Les deux sources de la morale et de la religion; Henri Bergson; 1932
  • Les structures élémentaires de la parenté; Claude Lévi-Strauss; 1948
  • Un Mime nommé désir; Jean-Michel Oughourlian; 1982
  • La marque du sacré; Jean-Pierre Dupuy; 2009
  • La connaissance objective : une approche évolutionniste; Karl Raimund Popper; 2009



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Entretiens en 5 parties avec Raphaël Enthoven (A Voix Nue; France Culture, 2005) [MP3] 25'

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René Girard, le penseur du désir et de la violence
Philosophy Magazine, Hors-série Novembre 2011
Sommes nous libres de désirer ? Non, affirme le penseur René Girard, auquel nous avons consacré ce numéro exceptionnel. Nous désirons un objet parce que celui-ci nous est désigné par un tiers. Voilà une idée dont tout parent de deux enfants, ou plus, a pu tester la solidité.. Seulement voilà indique René Girard, la rivalité mimétique qui en découle peut entraîner une société entière dans une spirale de violence. D'où, pour enrayer ce mécanisme, la désignation d'un bouc émissaire dont le sacrifice permettra le transfert des tensions. Retour à l'harmonie et à la paix, sauf pour la victime… innocente. Voilà la trame d'un phénomène qui se répète à travers les âges, depuis Œdipe jusqu'à l'affaire d'Outreau.
Démonstration à travers quelques chefs d'oeuvre de la littérature et mise à l'épreuve, dans les champs politique, financier, militaire et publicitaire, d'une théorie qui fait de son auteur un grand nom de la pensée française. 
Articles dans ce numéro :
  1. « Il y a une correspondance entre les thèses anthropologiques de Girard et mes observations d'éthologue » Boris Cyrulnick, neuropsychiatre, psychanalyste et psychologue
  2. « Je pense que la guerre a sa vie propre, hors de contrôle du politique, mais cela ne veut pas dire que la politique est impuissante » Colonel Durieux, officier d'active et spécialiste de Clausewitz 
  3. « Nous vivons dans un monde de sagesse au detail et de folie en gros » Peter Thiel, inventeur de Paypal et actionnaire de Facebook
  4. « Le marketing peut parfaitement être interprété à l'aune de la théorie du désir mimétique » Marie Claude Sicart, experte en stratégie de marques
  5. « Girard est un génie solitaire qui doit tout à toute l'histoire de la culture occidentale » Jean Pierre Dupuy, philosophe, ingénieur et épistémologue

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Conférences et colloques proposés par l'Association Recherches Mimétiques 2011-12 [PDF] :
  • 10 décembre 2011 : "Mensonge romantique et vérité romanesque à travers le cinéma", par Ollivier Pourriol (Espace Bernanos)
  • 16 mars 2012 : « Théorie mimétique et théologie »( avec James Alison, Benoît Chantre, Jean-Pierre Dupuy, François Euwe, Dominique Pécoud, Olivier Rey et Lucien Scubla) à la Bibliothèque nationale de France
  • mai 2012 : « René Girard lecteur de Shakespeare » (avec Sandor Goodhart, Joël Hillion, Jean Duchesne…) 

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Entretiens / Conférences de René Girard en vidéo :


Voir aussi :



17 septembre 2011

French critics legacy 6


V.F. Perkins interview on Film as Film [1972]
(at Kino 8½, Saarbrücken, Germany; Media Art and Design Studiengang; 2011?)
V.F. Perkins: "I wrote Film As Film when I was a lot younger, quite a long time ago, and in a rather special context, that is difficult for people now to grasp. It came about from my writing in a magazine called Movie, which I've benn on of the co-founder of, which have taken a very oppositional stance in relation to prevailing notions of what constitutes cinema, good movies and so on. I was quite a lot under the influence of Cahiers du cinéma in France. [..] The book [my editors] initially wanted from me was a book about how to appreciate a film, what is the medium of film, what makes film an art. And, partly under the influence of André Bazin, a number of us came to think quite differently and to relate somewhat different ideas about film to a different range of texts. Nobody in the older tradition would have thought it was worthwhile discussing a film by Otto Preminger. [..] A range of films that came out in the mid-fifties, which were very dissmissively, at best, received by the generality of film reviewers. Key instances: Orson Welles's Touch of Evil, Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, Douglas Sirk's Written on the Wind, Nicolas Ray's Part Girl. These all stroke me at the time, and strike me today as major products of aesthetic and dramatic intelligence in the medium of movie. And it made us very angry that these films were dismissively received, that on the other hand we could see a contrast over in France, Orson Welles was being interviewed in a way he could respond about the depth of his intentions with Touch of Evil. No such questions were being asked in America or in England. Particularly from the interviews in Cahiers du cinéma, one got this sense that filmmakers were highly articulate to themselves (not necessarily in words) about what they were doing at every moment with the film they were making, and they were capable of responding intelligently to an intelligent approach from critics. So that anger on behalf of the artist, we wanted Vertigo to be recognized as a major achievement, of an artistic soul. And felt it to be disgraceful that Hitchcock was demeaned as a merely very effective commercial filmmaker, who as it happened with Vertigo, had made a commercial flop. So the kind of anger that provoked obviously means that, not only you have to argue for the quality of Vertigo, you have to argue for the kind of cinema that Vertigo represents, that the old aesthetics is somehow incapable of comprehending. [..] So that relationship between taste, critical understanding and a development of generalised notions of aesthetics is very important. And it's kind of easier to achieve under the pressure of anger, enthusiasm of some kind, than it is simply as an abstract theoretical engagement of some kind. [..]"     
Apparently you need to be 75 years old to remember the legacy of French critics... Youngsters at "New Cinephilia" have too short an attention span for such a long and respectful memory. They believe they made themselves out of thin air, and their ego is so big that they have the nerves to bad mouth and reject to original cinéphilie, cause they are so much better than French cinéphiles, totally oblivious of the fact nobody watches artfilms or foreign films in their country (see reality check here), and that their individualist practice of home-cinephilia doesn't do anything to expand film culture outside of the hardcore cinéphile niche to the general population... That's the difference between the combative generation of old film culture scarcity, and the complacent generation of new film culture over-abundance. 


 Related:

31 août 2011

Gorilla attention deficit 2 (Dargis)


Manohla Dargis picks up this book written by cognitive psychologists (The Invisible Gorilla) and emails David Bordwell about pattern recognition... all swell, and even a step up from Dan Kois' navel gazing journalism indeed. I can only praise a journalist background research and backing up evidences. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that inattentional blindness and retina tracking, alone, do not excuse why an audience rejects a certain film form, and calls it "boring". Sorry.


"Not everyone is open to abstract painting or Mr. Tarr’s long, beautiful films, but perhaps some of this resistance is fueled by cognitive habit rather than so-called taste."
Manohla Dargis (NYT, 8 July 2011)
The cultural barrier that alienates a certain mainstream audience from off-the-edge aesthetics (abstract painting) or paced cinematography (i.e. Tarr) is NOT due to any dysfunctional brains or eye-sight capabilities! (by the way, abstract art is 100 years old, and CCC is 40 years old... so it's about time that the mainstream zeitgeist feels more familiar with these aesthetics "ahead of there time"!!!) If you meant to give an intellectual counterpoint to Dan Kois' self-indulgence... I'm not sure that introducing the masses to the obscure science of "pattern recognition" will make this type of cinema any more appealing... Tarr Béla produces a minimalist and evident cinema, why unnecessarily complicate it with lab experiments that have nothing to do with it? You just make it sound MORE ELITIST than it actually is and contribute to reinforce the deceiving cliché of an "intellectual art". Dan Kois freed the lazy anti-intellectuals from guilt, and Manohla Dargis made art cinema sound like rocket science... The New York Times couldn't do a better teamwork effort to further put off its readers!
The fact that a formalist scholar like David Bordwell delves into cognitive science fits the level of discourse we expect from academic studies, and it's always possible to run over-complicated experiments on films (even if their primordial apprehension doesn't really require it), that's what film theory is about. But the public discourse we find in the mainstream press (which sole short term purpose is to indicate the weekly releases schedule) shouldn't scare away readers and spectators with superfluous jargon that kills the natural suspension of disbelief. Making a non-professional audience self-conscious about onscreen patterns is really the last thing we need to get immersed in a film that speaks for itself very well.
Educate the masses about film, stylistic evolution, geo-political culture that contribute to nurture the virgin viewing of a film. This will help yes.

Manhola Dargis: "Perhaps it's a lack of pattern recognition, not taste, that makes some people frustrated with Bela Tarr movies like “Turin Horse.” [..] Recognizing patterns is part of the film critic’s tool kit along with a good pen to take notes in the dark. You have to take in a lot of information when you watch a movie just once. [..] The tricky part, when I get to scribbling, is everything else [..] Was the lighting soft or hard, the editing fast or slow, the camera shaky or smooth, the acting broad or not? [..]" 
First, if you write notes during the film, you are doing a bad job! You cannot be present to the film, if you constantly re-verbalize what you see and think of the puns for your next review. Just watch the film once from end to end, like everyone else in the regular audience. Then you can do whatever you want during subsequent viewings. Do filmmakers really have to put up with the distracted judgement of critics who are scribbling throughout the screening??? 

BASIC OPTICAL LITERACY

Critics and the regular audience do no watch, perceive, register, understand and verbalize their experience of a screening in a comparable way. Critics are professional (not necessarily paid) viewers, (ideally) educated and trained in many areas of film analysis that the average spectator are oblivious of. So when you talk about "pattern recognition" for the audience, it means the general "optical pattern" recognition common in all human beings, the basic built-in stuff that comes in with all our innate abilities (visual, auditory, memorial, cognitive). Everything that makes humans able to interpret visual signals.
The regular audience doesn't need to know how to decipher all surrealist symbols in Le Chien Andalou, to watch and enjoy the film, just like a critic-level training is not necessary to watch a Tarr film. Films are made to be absorbed at a very sensory level, most symbols effect the perception below consciousness (inducing a certain idea/impression to the viewer without leaving a definite message that can be verbalized on a conscious level). If symbols are too arcane and beg for an extra-diegetic culture to understand in-jokes and subtle references (and it often happens without compromising the general understanding of the film for the neophytes), then it plays out to a very specific niche audience, which is not the case of Tarr films. If his audience is small, it's not because the images themselves are harder to COMPREHEND, but because it requires the viewer to be patient and NOT LAZY.

There are the real-life "patterns" that allow us to go about our everyday life without spending inordinate amount of time on every details we encounter; we ignore things that are identified as unimportant and/or invariable. The "narrative patterns" are something else, derived from the first set (optical patterns), but specific to the narrative medium and arranged in a superior degree of complexity (association of several/successive optical patterns). Some overlap, and the mirror neurons show that we react as if we did an action ourselves when we witness a fake reenactment on screen (through empathy, though it's another domain altogether...). But the editing tricks, the staging, the ellipsis, the subtitles, the split screen... are not innate instinct; we actively learnt to give sense to these abstract artifices. This second set of patterns are mostly processed unconsciously during the film, the average spectator doesn't stop to acknowledge every cuts, every space continuity, every time jump; and most importantly they would not be able to recall them or name them during or after the film, because it's become an intuitive language. We are conditioned to ignore it all. Just like we don't parse words into individual letters when we read a word, or dissociate words from their role in a complete sentence. We just read the content and forget we just deciphered a complex system of signs with painstaking grammatical rules.

ANALYTICAL LITERACY

Then there are critics. Critics have all that, are able to tell if that scene was cut up or shot in one plan-sequence, and their education also allows them to notice other patterns (secret patterns, technical patterns,  aesthetic patterns, structural patterns, overarching patterns, inter-textual patterns...) that are not necessary for the understanding of the immediate film experience, but will inform a more in-depth analysis of the film for critical appreciation purpose. Patterns that the average audience doesn't need, or wouldn't know what to do with, or don't care for. 
So you have to be very careful when you put pattern recognition for the public reception of a film on the same level as pattern recognition with a professional eye. Critics see more, it doesn't mean they will communicate everything they noticed in their review, but it informs the judgments they do write in for the readers (better than writing these summary judgments without being able to explain why, because they didn't seek for evidences to their claims!)
Anyway, the critical patterns necessary to evaluate the achievements of a film on various levels, are not the ones required to follow the story and the narrative cues. These, on the contrary, make themselves understood in the most evident and unnoticeable way, to the point of becoming an intuitive language. Not knowing the technical jargon and being unable to point at continuity errors is not an excuse to dislike challenging films. What is challenging is not the direct reading of the narrative, it's the apprehension of a radical artistic vision, after all the film has been successfully ingested. Detractors are not left behind because the film grammar was gibberish  but because the final content itself was perplexing.


Maybe we should distinguish the many forms of "understanding a film". From micro patterns to macro patterns:

  • Optical patterns allow people to SEE images
  • Narrative patterns allow spectators to MAKE SENSE of a narration
  • Critical patterns allow critics to ANALYSE film form


If an audience watches a film where the succession of images are incoherent (like some parts of experimental  cinema playing with non-narrative flicker effects), then we have a major language barrier, at the most basic optical level. If the point of the clip cited in the previous post was to incorporate a gorilla to the story, but most people miss it, then it would be a failure of the film narrative, a failure of basic perception of the raw content. That's the understanding of a film on a cognitive level (receiving images and sequences in the conscience). But like in mainstream fiction, our scientists call for an instant replay of the clip, to double-check about that infamous gorilla, and re-read the same scene with a newly acquired knowledge, and possibly alter our perception of the images and their meaning. This is the point of recalling an earlier part of the film, by self-quoting images of the film itself, further down the narrative line, to show overlooked characters and suspicious behaviours in a new light. 
Then, there is the perception of the organised content. The images and sequences are successfully perceived for one (by the eye), and also ordered meaningfully (by consciousness), a meaning intended by the filmmaker.
These constitute the immediate apprehension of a film, on an intuitive level. The audience doesn't need scientific education to go this far, because the art of dramatic art is to make itself understood, or else fail miserably. Again this is not the case with Tarr Béla films, their immediate understanding is in no way jeopardized by misunderstanding unknown narrative pattern that the everyday man could not figure out intuitively. If anything, intensified continuity poses bigger cognitive challenges if you were to blink during a fast edit sequence, you would MISS critical information that would, at least, confuse your reading of the following images for a while until you can fill the blanks again. 

"Moviegoers fed a strict Hollywood diet may find themselves squirming through, say, a film by the Hungarian director Bela Tarr less because of the subtitles than because of the long takes during which little is explained.  [..] Other moviegoers may just go with the flow. They, like critics — who ideally are open to different types of narratives, having watched nonmainstream, sometimes difficult cinema in school, at festivals, for pleasure and for work — may have developed specific cognitive habits.
People walk and talk in movies like Mr. Tarr’s “Werckmeister Harmonies” (2000) but not necessarily in ways that many moviegoers may immediately understand; the films don’t conform to familiar type. [..]
Maybe some moviegoers who reject difficult films don’t [..] have the necessary expertise and database patterns to understand (or stick with) these movies. When they watch them, they’re effectively (frustrated) beginners and don’t like that feeling." 

Nice of you to try and find a reason why people don't like to watch challenging films (and find them boring)... but it's a bit of a cop out to blame it on a hypothetical "pattern recognition"! 
I know the only difference you can see between Hollywood obviousness and Tarr Béla is excessive slowness and long takes... but even if this was the case (which is far too superficial to count as an argument),  the heavy editing of Hollywood is still the MOST ARTIFICIAL narrative rendering of reality (compared to scarce edits and factual representation of CCC such as Tarr Béla), and I'm talking strictly about the narrative structure. Despite the fact that the "Hollywood norm" has been conditioned and digested to the point of becoming universally comprehensible, it will always be more artificial than real life, by design. However intuitive, the Hollywood narrative conventions are still conventions themselves. And when a film cuts less, there are less conventions and more raw content within the frame. Tarr makes use of conventional editing too, sometimes, but compared to a Hollywood movie, what detractors have a problem with is not the excess of complicated narrative twists, new unknown conventions, or misunderstood editing patterns... on the contrary, what baffles them is the lack of signposts, railtracks, by-the-number formula, walkthrough, cues, which bring them closer to a naked reality outside of the fiction world, where there are no contrived narration pre-arranged by a demiurge. A reality that we live in everyday. A reality that we are all perfectly capable to perceive, apprehend, interpret and make sense of, without resorting to complicated pattern recognition bullshit. A "slow film" is de facto LESS ARTIFICIALLY CONSTRUCTED, LESS COMPLICATED to perceive. Making sense of a long take, even if there is not much going on, DOES NOT REQUIRE ANY SUPERPOWERS. Don't make a rejection of the aesthetic and content, an issue about the grammar of cinema, its cognitive perception. If anything, you need to un-learn your bad habits, to de-condition yourself from formulaic narration, standard formats, signposted tracks, and Pavlovian responses... to lose your automatic reflexes to stereotypical patterns.

What bored spectators cannot make sense of is not the form, which is rather simple, and in fact, intentionally simplified, minimalist (by definition!). Don't blame it on pattern recognition deficiency if patterns plays a much smaller role!

We could discuss whether CCC develops unique narrative patterns that a mainstream audience would be incapable to make sense of (purely on an editing level), which I doubt. But even if we discover some exceptions, this would be a very technical distinction, one for professionals to notice. We're talking about technical issues such as pauses timing, sequences alternation, rhythmic patterns, macro structures, soundscape, composition... abstract stuff from the very fabric of the work, nothing an average spectator would be conscious of during a normal viewing. Such hypothetical off-the-chart pattern would not constitute, if it existed in CCC, a language barrier that would make it impossible to get into the film without prior training.
Sorry, this hypothesis is bullshit. Especially when it is a clever cover up to excuse bad taste, narrow-mindedness, laziness, boredom and fatalism in self-indulgent spectators and reviewers alike!!!

Dargis: "The stronger the pull a narrative has on us, the more we’re hooked. [..]"
...if what you're looking for in a film is STORY. Which is, if the most widespread, one of many possible usage for cinema. The mainstream audience might believe it is the ONLY way to make movies... but a film critic ought to know better (scientific footage, raw documentation, structural films, surrealism, experimental cinema, and in this case... minimalism). You gotta stop expecting every film made on the festival circuit to offer a self-contained walkthrough for puerile spectators who need their hand held till the end of the tunnel. Come on, grow up! Be open minded and welcome films that not only do not "pull you into" through cunning tricks, and count on your genuine curiosity to remain seated till the end, without constantly comforting your need for distraction, begging you to stay and alleviating your fear of being bored for more than a minute...

Dargis: "We're hard-wired to respond to faces"
I believe men are hard-wired to respond to boobies, ask the publicists.



Source: The Invisible Gorilla (Chabris/Simons)
 What You See Is What You Get (Manohla Dargis; NYT; 8 July 2011)
Good and good for you (David Bordwell; 10 July 2011) 


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