Critical Cinema: Beyond the Theory of Practice
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Critical Cinema: Beyond the Theory of Practice purges the obstructive line between the making of and the theorising on film, uniting theory and practice in order to move beyond the commercial confines of Hollywood. Opening with an introduction by Bill Nichols, one of the world's leading writers on nonfiction film, this volume features contributions by such prominent authors as Noel Burch, Laura Mulvey, Peter Wollen, Brian Winston and Patrick Fuery. Seminal filmmakers such as Peter Greenaway and Mike Figgis also contribute to the debate, making this book a critical text for students, academics, and independent filmmakers as well as for any reader interested in new perspectives on culture and film.
offscreen space as the place of the diegesis as it relates to the Platonic truth of the narrative. Offscreen space is referred to often in Burch’s writings. This is not so-called nondiegetic space, but is exactly what it says on the label – the space of the world not framed. It is not the nondiegetic space that 16 Critical_Cinema_pages.indb 16 09/08/2011 23:18 THEORETICAL PRACTICE: DIEGESIS IS NOT A CODE OF CINEMA Chion separates from onscreen and offscreen, but it most certainly plays a
unusual. For example, early in the narrative there is a scene of Tony and Margot Wendice, two of the central characters, having a discussion. In a number of shots we see a row of bottles and glasses in the background. That same row reappears a little later on, only this time the camera position is behind them, that is shooting across and through the objects into the apartment. For this to take place the camera has to be positioned in an impossible location (either ‘behind’ the wall, which needs
a Rancière symposium at Roehampton University in London in May 2008 at which Rancière was present. In the chapter ‘Behind the Mask of the Screenplay: the Screen Idea’ Ian Macdonald interrogates the screenplay as a transitional, partial and allusive document. Like Burch he makes reference to Roland Barthes notion of the ’readerly’ text and like Fuery calls upon resistance as a creative act as described by filmmaker and theorist Pier Paolo Pasolini who in 1966 described the screenplay as a
‘outline’ is a term used especially in US television, and may be from 28–60 pages in length. McKee (1999: 415) and Parker (1998: 42–3) refer to inconsistent use. The term ‘treatment’ is also used to mean a collection of several documents. There appears to be consensus over style and purpose generally, in several components of the basic treatment: it is written in prose, in the present tense, has minimal dialogue (using quotation marks), covers all the points of the story as it will appear on
In the theory-practice debate within film education, this intervenes by stressing that while dominant conventions necessitate critique and deconstruction, that project cannot be conducted in abstraction and isolation from the filmmaking encounter and process. In this process the filmmaker’s subjectivity is a crucial player and merits equal unpacking as the subject’s socio-historical and cultural context. These aspects cannot be isolated, and are intimately tied to and visible in the formal