In fact, chemistry with a cast can literally make or break a movie – and has certainly done so in the past. Despite its particularity, however, the motion-picture image may also be ambiguous in that it shows but does not explain. Does the audience walk away from the film feeling they understood what the director wanted to say in a full and deep way? When working on a similar terrain as other artists, a filmmaker is extending that dialogue. This may end up creating discussions and debates – but after all, that’s a true sign of success. David Lynch is certainly the leader among contemporary filmmakers whom attempts to tell a different sort of story. In themselves, words such as man or house do not suggest a particular man or a particular house but men and houses in general, and more abstract terms such as love or dishonesty have even less-precise associations with specific things. I want to experience something because the creative team had something they felt it was urgent to express, that they were passionate to get out and communicate. Sometimes the frame or sequences are over packed and the audience has too much to process. Another essential element of the motion-picture image is that it gives an impression of reality. An ambitious filmmaker will place the film and it’s integrity above the simple pleasures – and this in turn may very well deliver a greater pleasure, albeit a more complex one. Does it feel like it came during a specific point in time? Courts of law, for example, are more likely to accept film as evidence of an occurrence such as a bank robbery than they are to accept an artist’s sketch or a journalist’s report of the same incident. 27. When a filmmaker is able to get this attitude up on the screen, it is as if the filmmaker is inviting the audience to a party. A filmmaker who is truly confident is also willing to fail; they don’t just prove what they know but are also willing to go out on a limb and try new things. Discipline might well be a measure of the extent to which a film sticks to the rules it has established. There are so many films that have already been made, and made again, and then made yet again. If someone else had directed it, would it have suffered? A well-done communication of themes leaves audiences with a clarity at the film’s conclusion. Depth Of Character / Depth of Characters. One of the true joys of cinema is that it speaks to the expansiveness of the human spirit. It’s an artistic formula. A great director can also make a film successful. This quality is there in my favorite films. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Although reproduced sound can be manipulated with regard to distance, timbre, clarity, and duration, in combination with photographed moving images, it forcefully brings alive its subject as present in a way unavailable to the other arts of representation. If, in just a short period of time, an audience can relate to the characters in the story and really start to care about what happens, then the story – and the film – has made its point. You could feel this in Richard Lester’s work for sure. The ambitious filmmaker will never be content to walk in others ‘first steps. Does the filmmaker avoid pandering to popular tastes? Shadows are essential to noir. A plumber fixing pipes in a museum may not see the masterpieces around him or her, while an angry person may hear an insult where none was intended. Awareness & Appreciation Of The World, 18. 31. The alignment of form and content is a form of poetry unto itself. Equally of importance is whether the story itself is what one might call a good story. Audiences know that an overt close-up at the end of a shot sequence means that the subject is important or will be important in an unexpected way. Time to leave that practice behind. 10. Get people talking – and they will begin to flock to the theater to see what all of the commotion is about. While the term expressionism is most commonly associated with German art and cinema, characteristics of expressionism have appeared in all kinds of film. Ambitious film will do more than just give the audience what it wants. Making movies is a huge responsibility and there is a definitive pleasure in witnessing a team that has embraced that responsibility to the fullest. Pacing and composition also helps to establish what we think may happen or not. To project your feelings, your attitude, your hopes and your horrors up on a large screen to a big audience is very brave. A consideration of the depth of each life in a film is nothing short of respect for life in general. These movies live at a peak emotional level and there is no ebb and flow to them. The luminosity of the motion-picture image also results in a considerable range of tone, between the brightest highlight and the deepest black. Black Friday Sale! Has the film taken us to a place that we enjoy? Do we drift out of the story unintentionally? Are such techniques breaking new ground? 13. Providing pleasure does not require compromise of principal, yet this compromise is found in many works lacking true ambition. Film can help us understand a situation that we might otherwise only witness superficially. We experience emotions and sensations in a way we do nowhere else. Are we fascinated but what is portrayed on the screen? 23. Today’s audiences ask the filmmaker to prove it to them that the director is a worthy leader; they sit in suspicion waiting for failure until the director does something that inspires confidence and erases doubt. As much as some try to do too much, others don’t try to do enough. In this way a film image may be less ambiguous than the language of words but also less evocative, less likely to be enriched by imagination, association, or recollection. Audiences appreciate walking away from a film having understood or recognized something about their lives and world better than before. Is the application of them aligned with the film’s other aspects? Director. The current trend of overt “naturalism” in independent cinema carries with it a form of pretension delivered by the filmmakers’ disavowal of any pretentious devises – its lack thereof becomes the very thing it runs from, but at least it is directly on the surface and acknowledged by the filmmakers from the start. Double Indemnity 1. It is a harder question to answer although people have tried for centuries. When a film appears to be charged with emotion, it is usually because the director has carefully manipulated the images to give this illusion. On a strictly formal level, that distortion distances an audience from the content because we recognize that what looks like a complete world is in fact something else. The particular insistence of given photographed objects also explains why the juxtapositions of montage are so effective—the spectator compulsively searches for the reason behind a particular sequence of images. AWARENESS & APPRECIATION OF THE WORLD: Reality is a nice thing. As certainly does camera movement. No less important to this illusion of ubiquity is the effect achieved by editing, which allows countless images representing a long, elaborate action to be presented in a comparatively short film or sequence, such as that exemplified by the opening of The Battle of Algiers. Sound and vision. We need to use the tools we have to do this. PLEASURE (INCLUDING HUMOR, THRILLS & BEAUTY): What is the delight that we get to experience due to what the film presents to us? Does it need to have singular protagonist? All Rights Reserved. Expressionism refers to art that emphasizes the interior states of individuals and therefore often distorts the actual physical appearance or speech of characters to better express an internal state. A confident filmmaker knows that he or she does not need to show things in the same way that other filmmakers do; they treat the audience to new angles and sequences but are able to do it in a manner that does not feel like a show-off or pretentious. 30. One could argue that perhaps this is the greater truth as it acknowledges that all we can ever film is someone being filmed, and generally aware of being filmed, but regardless it demonstrates the elusive quality of truth on film. The early Godard films certainly have this, as do the films and videos of Michel Gondry – you know that both artists really like the ideas they are putting forth and that enthusiasm is contagious. This association is well documented among many primitive peoples, and it is even reflected in the term magic lantern as a synonym for the film projector. Both in filmmaking and in film appreciation, movement must constantly be borne in mind: composition in the motion picture is kinetic rather than static. LEAVING SOMETHINGS UNEXPLAINED: When did American movies start trying to clarify absolutely everything? Tarrantino’s films overflow with enthusiasm for every aspect he is putting on screen, from the actors to the music; every second feels like a kid in a candy shop. Movies have to do more than just get made or made with high technical standards; they have to aspire to taking us somewhere not just new, but something that will provoke us beyond the commonplace conclusions of the concept.
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