I have just had a very unlikely experience. I watched a film, restored by Criterion, on Blu-Ray, played through a 4K player (with a built-in up-scale), and projected onto a screen that is taller than my seven-year old daughter and wider than the length of my own body. In terms of big screen televisions, it’s about the equivalent of a 105″ screen.
The look of the film was pristine. And the visuals blew-my-mind. Are they due to a great DOP or the director? More later. .
Despite the fact that the story is slim – which I don’t mind anymore – I see that there is something about the recording of what the characters do and how they interact that goes beyond what the characters actually do and how they interact.
This is an astonishing film for its visuals. Every shot, almost every frame, is exquisite. I don’t mind the fact that it isn’t about reaching the end of a line of thought. It’s about what we see and observe about the characters, that they reveal about themselves, to us. I think I get it now. It’s about telling a story to people who have been brought up with rigid thinking.
Rigid thinking is A B C D E F G H I J etc.
It’s 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 etc.
It’s C major, A minor, F major, G major, E minor, etc.
It’s F major, Bb major, EB major, Ab major, Db major, Gb major.
Godard’s thinking, for example, would be A 1 2 3 4, B 3 4, C 5 6, D 4 5 4 5, E 7, F 8.
Antonioni is C major, A minor, F major, G major, F# minor, E minor, B minor, E major, Ab major and then finally C# major.
Jour de fete 1949
Coming out of Chaplin Week (which took two mystifying weeks) I thought I’d jump into a week with his own kind – Tati. I’m accepting of all directors, and how they want to represent who they are, and I’m willing to watch their films, despite bad first impressions.
This is not great Tati but it is an incredible insight into how he developed the material that was used better, later.
It has great gags and gags that lag. More later. .
Directors who work without scripts
That would make me nervous if I didn’t come from a background in music where people improvise. What I read about Godard doing after he got someone to finance one of his projects was close to insane. What I read about Kubrick and Antonioni told me that other directors had considered moving forward without a finished screenplay.
What Godard did is like hiring an orchestra, a little band, and then keeping them waiting every day while he worked out the notes he wanted to record that day.