Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Soundscape 1

Soundscape 1 from Jennifer Ball on Vimeo.

Life Drawing - Lesson 17

5/6 minute poses - Sharpie Pens And Pencil
20/30 Minutes - Sharpie Pens and Collage  
20/30 Minutes - Sharpie Pens 
10 minutes - Hand and Feet Study (using just pencil)

La Jetee (1962) - Film Review

La Jetee (1962)

Fig 1. La Jetee (poster art)

La Jetee is a 28 minute science fiction film that is completed using still frames.  It tells the story of an unnamed man who is used in an experiment of time travel.  During these travels into the past, he falls in love with a woman he has seen somewhere before.

This film is an example of the art of illusion.  Michael Hanke calls the 24 frames each cinema second, 24 lies because it gives a false impression of movement.  The illusion of movement is actually created by slowing down the pace of the still image. Time lapse and movement are used to trick the audience and create illusion. "The human brain forgets the cuts,” Michel Gondry said about film. And just like Michael Haneke calls the 24 frames in each cinema second “24 lies,” Chris Marker emphasizes the false perception of film movement  by simply slowing down the pace of the still images."  (Ignoramous L, date unknown) 

At the very beginning of the film, the still shot of an airport is used.  The quick 'camera zoom out' however gives the illusion that the scene is moving.  The realistic sounds of the airport that are added to the visual image further enhance the realism of the image.

Fig 2. La Jetee (film still)

A further sequence of destroyed buildings also appear to contain movement.  Yet, it is the camera moving and not what is actually happening in the image.

La Jetee uses fade ins and fade outs, dissolves, cut ins in order to convey time lapse.

There is little speaking in the film and in fact the only voices that are heard are German-speaking.  The main characters do not speak and this adds to the illusion that they are not in the present.

There is a live action sequence in the film which consists of a woman blinking.  Previous to this moment there are a series of dissolves which give the impression that the woman is alive and moving - yet she is lifeless.

The scene which is set in the museum of stuffed animals is used to portray stillness.  At one point the characters are leaning over examining the animals and stood in a posture similar to the 4 legged stuffed animals themselves. "Like these animals, the human characters in La Jetée remain completely stationary in each still photograph; Marker only implies their motion by showing subsequent frames juxtaposed in montage. Through image association (and, to some extent, through narration), the audience is expected to understand that each image follows the other in chronological order." (Hough S,   

Fig 3. La Jetee (film still)

Roland Bathes in his book, 'Camera Lucinda', examines photography and concludes that "a photograph carries with itself a label 'time-has-been', signifying that whatever the photograph depicts happened in the past.  While live-action films can provide the necessary qualities to suspend the audiences belief and make the action appear to be taking place in the present, photographs are inevitably bound in the past.  Their diegesis is not here and now." (Roland Barthes) 

La Jetee uses this idea to convey a story of time travel and ultimately the story of a man who witnesses his own death without realizing it.

Illustration List:
Figure 1. La Jetee (poster art) https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BYTBmYjIxYjQtNzNhMS00MmRlLWJjNTMtZmI5YmJiMTIxMGFjXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTQxNzMzNDI@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_.jpg (accessed on 07/03/17)

Figure 2. La Jetee (film still) https://chrismarker.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/high-quality-jetee.jpg (accessed on 07/03/17)

Figure 3.  La Jetee (film still) http://40.media.tumblr.com/dd3bb47d031e3155ba6ee9673c16406d/tumblr_nm70ojbVtm1tus777o1_1280.png (accessed on 07/03/17)

Hough S,   The Freedom of Movement in Chris Markers La Jetee [online] In: Movie Fail At URLhttp://moviefail.com/freedom-of-movement-la-jetee/  (accessed on 07/03/17)

Ignoramous L, date unknown Chris Marker’s La Jetee Analysis: Mortality and the Illusion of Time
[online] In: Films Lie At:URL: http://filmslie.com/chris-marker-la-jetee-analysis-temporality/
(accessed on 07/03/17)

Roland Barthes (1980) Camera Lucida (book)

Duel (1971) - Film Review Can't seem to get rid off this re-occurring line?? Sorry!

Duel - 1971
The thriller film Duel was made in 1971 and directed by Steven Spielberg. This was only the second full feature film that Spielberg had made. Richard Matheson
originally wrote a shorter version of the film "Duel" for
Playboy Magazine. The story follows a man called David
Mann who leaves the city and then drives through the
Californian Desert, however a truck tanker
with an unknown driver decides to chase Mann through out
the film.

Duel (poster art) 
The film is completely suspense driven. Spielberg does this by using low angle shot of the truck itself. Making the audience feel really small compared to the size of the truck.  
"Spielberg slowly builds up the suspense, seemingly from thin air: the first time the truck appears, Spielberg's low angles and uncomfortable closeups of the truck's rusty grille and thick, rotted fenders already suggest something sinister." (Unknown, 23/02/11)

Not only that but when the camera gets close to the front of the truck we can almost picture a monstrous face, looking ready to chase its victim. Giving the ruck human like features.  

Some would say that the film reflected the masculinity of David Mann. For example he drove a car, which is much smaller compared to the huge tanker truck. David's car symbolizes the small amount of masculinity that he had. "A cherry red 1970 Plymouth Valiant which finds itself out its depth against the truck from hell." (Cowen N  and Patience H, 08/03/08)

Fig 2. Duel (film sill)

This dilemma of masculinity is also seen when David and his wife have a conversation on the phone"They'd had an argument the night before because they'd been at a party where a friend or business associate had obviously been all over Mann's wife — "he practically raped me," she says, as the couple's two kids play innocently nearby — and Mann had done nothing to stop the harassment."Also the clue is in his name David "Mann", sounds like the word "Man".  (Unknown, 23/02/11)

Interestingly most of this scene is filmed through a door of washing Machine. Maybe it was showing us the "females perspective" from that time. "As for the nameless mother/hausfrau seen briefly in Duel, Nigel Morris notes how “Mann [in the Laundromat/phone call scene] is literally viewed through a female lens, this film repeatedly associating women, at the height of second-wave feminism, with household labour. His wife, her side of the conversation intercut, dusts the living room in a polka-dot frock and apron that parody 1950s commercials, with two children playing on the floor." (Schober A, December 2015) 

Fig 3. Duel (film still)

If not immediately we notice very quickly that the desert is not a safe place for David Mann compared to the city. However both places still challenged his masculinity, first of all from his wife and then the mysterious truck driver.

By the end of the film David Mann manages to redeem his masculinity when he manages to blow up the truck and watch it plunge off the cliff.

Illustration list:
Figure. 1 Duel (poster art) http://www.gstatic.com/tv/thumb/movieposters/543/p543_p_v8_aa.jpg
(accessed on 06/03/16)

Figure 2. Duel (film stillhttps://mossfilm.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/duel-train-crossing.jpg
(accessed on 06/03/16)

Figure 2. Duel (film stillhttp://sensesofcinema.com/2015/book-reviews/steven-spielbergs-duel/
(accessed on 06/03/16)

Cowen N  and Patience H, 08/03/08 Wheels on Film: Duel [online] In: The Telegraph At: URL

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/wheelsonfilm/2751051/Wheels-On-Film-Duel.html (accessed on 06/03/16)

(Schober A, December 2015) Steven Spielberg’s Duel (1971) and the Road to Interpretation: Steven Spielberg and Duel: The Making of a Film Career by Steven Awalt [online] In: Senses Of Cinema At: URL: 
http://sensesofcinema.com/2015/book-reviews/steven-spielbergs-duel/ (accessed on 06/03/16)

Unknown, 23/02/11 Duel [online] In: Only The Cinema At: URL: http://seul-le-cinema.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/duel.html (accessed on 06/03/16)