Last week’s Reading the Screen class notes

MIDTERM – next week 12:30 – 2:00 – then 30 minute break – followed by term paper discussion – covers chapters 1, 2, 3, 10 (lectures and film screenings)

– portrait documentary
– repetition of loud screaming girls
– direct cinema / cinema verite

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SHADOW OF A DOUBT – recap scenes
– rhyming/ pattern scenes back at the dinner table – talking about death, money and music
– Little Charlie is care free in the first scene / Uncle Charlie is a bit hesitant and tips over the wine glass
– Merry Widow Serial Killer vs. Merry Widow Waltz
– 2nd scene, Little Charlie is now upset and doesn’t want to hear anything about death
– Uncle Charlie knows that his niece knows about him – he is now menacing and predatory

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CITIZEN KANE – pattern scenes
– scene with reporter and Jedidiah in the hospital
– flashback to the wedding scenes

– montage of scenes at the breakfast table – signifies passage of time and degradation of the relationship between Charles and Emily
– “people will think what I tell them to think”
– characters are the same and they are eating breakfast at the same time
– swish pan to move from time to time
– distance between the two is slowly getting further apart
– body language changes from loving to confrontational
– she ends up reading the rival newspaper
– less and less dialog happening and also gaining in argument levels to them not even speaking
– shows aging, makeup, clothing (she starts as elegant to more conservative)
– behind him, the background doesn’t change, yet her background changes (signifying that he has never changed)

– 2nd wife Susan is doing jigsaw puzzles
– in comes Charles lumbering into the grand hall which is completely empty
– Please Charlie…Charlie please!
– jigsaw puzzle slowly gets filled in with her hands having different rings and bracelets
– fire lit, fire not lit
– distance between the two is much larger – they are now yelling just to hear one another (HUH?)
– the scene starts with a massive fire in the hearth yet in the latter scene the massive hearth is cold and empty, like their marriage
– jigsaw puzzles were beautiful sceneries and far away places

– multiple people talking about Charles Foster Kane
– had the effect of multiple eulogies by the multiple narrators

– – – – – – – – – –

Narrative is a chain of events in cause – effect relationship that occur in time and space (causality and time are essential)

Story = all the events in a narrative both explicit and those inferred or presumed by the audience
Plot = whatever is on the screen that you see
Diagetic = whatever happens to the main characters
Non-Diagetic = what is added that the characters don’t know about (Jaws DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM to build tension in the viewing audience)

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“This documentary is a lyrical rumination on a violence and disaster centering on the director_s attempts to get her father to talk about his experiances as a Polish Jew during World War II.”

– hand held camera shot documentary
– earthquake footage from the San Francisco earthquake
– only 2 photos remain from her father’s youth during WWII
– scenes of destruction from news footage and CCTV
– meant to resemble Warsaw during the Nazi invasion?
– see you in the morning…I hope so
– now we see b/w footage from WWII showing Warsaw burning
– voice-over narration was very personal
– mystery that she is trying to figure out above her father’s past
– final scene is at the amusement park – and no one is in the park either (non-diagetic)

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VAGABOND (sans toit ni loi)

– rolling French farm hills with wheat growing on them
– mysterious and off-putting violins soundtrack overture playing
– interspersed clips of the dead woman and cleaning wine marks from the floor and walls
– multiple people in the town have flashbacks about the young girl
– they all envy her – they want to be free like her
– why did the camera pan over to show the young girl coming out of the store in one scene and then the combine in the farm field scene?
– “are you looking at me or my sandwich?”
– aha she’s hiding from the police
– the car repair shop owner got some somethin somethin and we see him crawl out of the tent
– she only became interesting once she died
– female drifters are not unusual in France

– – – – – – – – – –

CHARACTERS are the agents of cause and effect – have a physical body/presence on screen (animation or real life) – have a voice – sometimes its just the voice
– have attitudes, skills (crafty / funny / warm), habits, tastes and psychological drives

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THE OLD GREY HARE – Robert Hammond

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3 MISSES – Dir. Paul Dreissen (Netherlands 2000)

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