Photoplay- The philosophy of Film
… “The photoplay tells us the human story by overcoming the forms of the outer world, namely space-time and causality and by adjusting the events to the forms of the inner world, namely attention, memory, imagination, and emotion.” …. (Defining the Photoplay, p. 44)
The quote is from Munsterberg Hugo’s work on Film Formalism. The quote alludes that through a photoplay the human mind can perform several activities as it interacts with the photoplay. Through observation of a photoplay, it displays the inner activity of the human mind. The photoplay means pictures that are in motion. When the real-time pictures are moving, the audience’s mind feels that the pictures are not a representation of the world and the mind categorizes them as plastic things. When the photoplay is in continuous movement, the mind does not see the objective reality but pictures that the mind has put together. However, when we are attentive we notice a difference. The difference can only be noticed with imaginations, emotions, and suggestions of the mind. The mind then turns its attention to the important details ignoring everything else. This is achievable if the pictures are enlarged. The mind starts to imagine and bring back pictures from the past inserting them into the current photoplay. The mind starts dreaming through the division of interest. Through the photoplay, the human mind has the likelihood of bringing past emotions and events that took place in different places together. The woven scenes can then dictate emotions and feelings.
The nosferatu is an ancient film produced in 1921. I will discuss this image http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/nosferatu/nosferatu1922-02.jpg. The image is a vampire attacking a man who takes cover on some metal grills. The man is very scared, to even look at the shadow of the vampire attacking him. Looking at the man, there is fear written all over his face. The shadow of the vampire to him means that death is coming his way. As discussed by Munsterberg the photoplay tells the human story through imagination and emotion. The man in the image has seen people being attacked by vampires and he is imagining that happening to him. All the images of the previous victims come to his mind and generate the emotion of fear.
.. “But the instant the criterion of authenticity ceases to apply to artistic production; the total function of art is reversed. Instead of being based on ritual, it begins to be based on another practice – politics”…
Walter Benjamin was referring to the Aboriginal art contributing to a long debate about the authenticity of the art in the mechanical production period. Aboriginal art has from time memorial considered not to be art for the basic reason that most of the art pieces are for commercial reasons. The arts are usually not authentic because they are a fabrication of the original pieces of art. This fate of Aboriginal art can be corrected so that the art serves the purpose for which they were created. He says producing artwork for commercial reasons leads to loss of aura of the art. When the artwork is reproduced it loses its purpose with several replicas the art loses its authoritative nature.
The Rome Open City is an ancient film whose video was produced by Roberto Rosselin in 1945. The film is based on the Nazi occupation of Rome City and the few people who were in the resistance in World War II. The image link is http://www.criterion.com/films/975-rome-open-city. The picture shows a woman who is probably escaping being seized by guards. During World War II the Nazis were occupying the city. The resistant army consisted of mostly women. Those who were caught were arrested and punished.
.. “And for the first time, an image of the world is formed automatically. (Cinematic Realism.”….
Photography has undergone numerous changes over the years. In the 21st century, several photo editing applications can be accessed just a click away. It was during the 19th Century that digital photography practices were invented. Photography is not distinguishable from painting. The lens is now the reflection of the world; capturing real-time images is now the norm, which is later put into paintings. The images are created automatically without the invention of man. Photography is, therefore, presented to the world in its truthful and objective manner. Photography is satisfaction for realism in the 19th century.
The film Breathless has adopted its own kind of photography. The link to the image I shall discuss is http://thecinemaniacs15.com/2012/11/07/a-breath-of-fresh-air-godards-breathless/ Jean Godard first shot the film introducing a new era of photography for films. His production was envisioned with creativity and personal expression that no other filmmaker had attempted. This shot particularly is very clear, in the background there are cars. The shot is a very clear version of the black-white shots that existed in those ancient days. The content of the film style reflects existing objects and anarchy. The film is best known for its radical editing techniques through the editing of a different scene. It is through this production that the current digital photography of the film was developed.