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May 14, 2005

Foreword

I've been meaning to create a feature on the site that would serve as a more informal venue for some scattered ideas and information for a while, something like a cross between the original intent of the journal (which was more of a repository of some rough ideas that I had hoped to develop further into a more "formal" essay), my screening list itinerary, as well as other films that I've seen and have started to formulate some expository themes, but don't feel as though I'm ready to write anything decent on the film yet. This year's screenings of Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Tropical Malady, Hirokazu Kore-eda's Nobody Knows (both of which I thought had some merit but didn't complete cohere in one screening and decided against writing about), and Claire Denis' L'Intrus (which I did write about to marginal effect) for the most part convinced me that this sort of stream-of-consciousness (and dynamic) "notes preservation" would be a good way to collect these fragmentary germs of ideas that haven't quite materialized into any sort of cerebral organization that could be useful for an article. In the spirit of Robert Bresson's Notes on the Cinematographer, the organic documentation of these working notes is a writing experiment to capture the essential distillation of ideas, minute observations, abstract moments of epiphany, and other "notes to self". Hence the title, Notes on the Cinema Stylographer.

Posted by acquarello on May 14, 2005 | | Filed under 2005, Quick Notes

Comments

Hey, I just discovered this section of your site. This is where I might leave you comments, because my scattered, scattershot ideas feel like they might kinda belong in this informal blog-like "room" of your large and fantastic museum of a site. (It's like the "playroom" in Cukor's "Holiday").

Denis's L'Intrus appeals to me because it literalizes in a very matter-of-fact manner the prescription of the surrealists that the dream life or "dream reality" is no less real or important in one's life than daily, waking reality. Thus, the transitions in her film from "real" to "imagined" scenes or episodes occur matter-of-factly with the use of that most utilitarian of montage devices, the straight cut. This instantly recalls Bunuel. e.g. All the transitions in Discreet Charm from dream to reality and back again are straight cuts. In fact, I've seen it (the Bunuel) three times and I still have my doubts (dream or not?) about a couple of the scenes. I suspect that wouldn't bother Bunuel.

By the way, I dig your neologism, "stylographer"!

Posted by: girish on Jun 27, 2005 3:57 PM | Permalink

Heheh, yeah, I was thinking of this as a playroom. :) Originally, I was going to call it "Odds and Sods" but after accidentally overwriting my site while trying to set it up, I figured the name was doomed.

I definitely wasn't ready to write about L'Intrus when I saw it (and I've only seen it once), but there was a lot there to intrigue and frustrate me, which I why I was thinking that it needed this kind of "hashing out" phase. I half-regret staying for the Denis Q&A because it almost forces you to resolve the film in that one evening, and really, not a lot of worthwhile films really fit that mold. The first screening for me was more of the shock of subverted expectation (even Friday Night had a sliver of a "story", I wasn't prepared for this kind of organic flow between states of consciousness) and knowing that, I think it's easier to just go with it. I don't know what to completely make of it, but I am haunted by it, so that is already telling me that it hit a sympathetic nerve somewhere, particularly the shots towards the end of the film. The film just seemed to keep "swelling" from its mundane start until it became something rather epic.

Posted by: acquarello on Jun 27, 2005 5:23 PM | Permalink


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