That Part Of Power | Short Film

That Part Of Power | Short Film

That Part Of Power
In writing about “That Part Of Power”, I do not seek to explain the film; art cannot be explained. Rather, I wish to shed light upon the decisions made which served as the basis on which the film was built. The need for art arises, amongst other things, from an inability to communicate. Upon modernising, the Catholic church changed its definition of hell from the traditional, violent pit envisaged by Dante to a more metaphorical separation from God. Whilst, at first, this may appear too abstract and indirect to conjure any fear, especially when considering the suffering and torture of its previous description, this depiction of hell may be more profoundly worrying amidst the Christian assertion that God is love. Even non-Catholics, myself included, will be able to recognize the state of detachment from others which occupies a large part of our lives and would surely fear such a condition amplified in perpetuity. This manifests most prominently in solipsism – which appears to be the default shape human nature. Is art then, supposed to merely gratify these self-centered compulsions for quick and easy gratification. I believe not. This would not fulfill the deep capacities art mediums have to connect with people on a concurrently personal and entirely universal level. Instead, art should strive to induce a state of deep satisfaction which can only be created through the love of others. Cinematography is a new art form. Historically, it has been viewed as either a synthesis or derivative of other art forms. For example, films were initially viewed as a more cost efficient theater experience or as filmed novels. This position has not altered greatly in the films of today. In order for cinema to establish itself as a unique art form, it must strip itself of relying on other established art forms. Rather than leaching off music and other mediums of historical importance and, hence, emotional strength, cinema must discover it’s own distinctive traits. This involves getting rid of so called ‘actors’ in films; the actor is a product of the theatre whose individual performance drives the emotional resonance of the play; they must have an understanding of their character and project this to an audience – with whom a personal and fleeting relationship is created. Such a relationship is destroyed when filmed as the atmosphere of being present with a theatrical actor is lost. Instead the characters in film should not PROJECT, they should BE. No director has had a greater understating of this than Bresson. The ‘actors’ in his films, although he preferred the terms ‘models’, do not outwardly express feelings in a theatrical way; in contrast, as films are able to achieve unparalleled intimacy through the close up and shifting perspectives, complete neutrality is allowed without any artificial, and ultimately false, projection. However, when put in front of a camera, the naturalism and automation on everyday life is lost; the ‘actor’ naturally attempts to CONVEY. In order to loose this natural inclination, actions should be repeated by the actor until all thought is lost and all elements of ‘performance’ are eliminated. As opposed to the actor, who thinks “I will walk as this character”, the model simply walks as his character. This allows for new levels of realism and is truly reflective of the cinematic medium. Another consequence of cinema historically being viewed as ‘filmed theatre’ is the belief that the main emotional component of a film is the same as in theatre, that is, the treatment of the plot, that being, any sequence of events which unfolds to the characters. However, a story is not an essential factor of a film. Movies, in theory can be done without any plot – in fact, they can be done without character, without music, without mise en scéne, without anything. The one essential characteristic of film is the capturing of reality over a duration of time in an audio-visual manor. The early Soviet pioneers most notably Eisenstein, Pudovkin, Kulesov, Kaufman (Vertov) and Dovzhenkho should be commended fortheir theories and acknowledgement of the role time plays in cinema. However, they bore a fundamental misunderstanding of its relation to cinema as art and forced upon it intellectual juxtaposition as a means of communicating INFORMATION. They believed the editing process is what separates cinema from other art forms and the ability for montage, that being, the capacity to combine separate elements to create new meaning, was unique to the form. However, all art forms have methods of editing and montage is not exclusive to cinema. For example, the essence of Japanese Haiku poetry is this ability in respect to the conventional three line system. Amongst all directors, none have understood time in its relation to film as Tarkovsky has. He argued, given the nature of time as contingent in the emotional impact of a film, that rhythm, internal to each shot, was what provided the emotional core of film.


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