Thursday, July 5, 2007


i'm having a moment. converging concepts from several projects. now, silence.

in an earlier post, i shared my sense of the intertextual relationships between Godard's Le Mepris (Contempt) and David Lynch's Mulholland Drive. the connections coalesced for me (many of which i had been sort of nonconsciously vibing on throughout my viewing of LM) in LM's final line, delivered by Godard playing a film director who says (in French and translated by the on-set translator portrayed in the film w/in the film) "silenzio." when we find traces like these, moving from one film or expression-event to another we recall or manage in our consciousness, it's beyond description, the experience of it, the high (i wish i had a better word. better not to speak of it?). it's like this other experience i keep having.

so now, thinking about the expression-event i'll be presenting at Penn State next week, a project that wants to be "merely" a film absent contextualizing discourse or Deleuzian "order-words" (but can't; i'm not an idiot . . . i'm about the desire for it), i'm thinking about silence . . . been thinking about it all along. and i'm reading Cheryl Glenn's Unspoken: A Rhetoric of Silence and blissing out on Walter Murch's explication (in Chion's book) of European contempt for the development of sound in film and thinking about the (frequently) disambiguating functions of sound (in film and far beyond) . . . and something is coming together, something that is bringing me back to - or for the first time - my sense that the book i want to write much more than the historical-review-type book i've been "working" on (not that much) is a possibility and a desire and a space that i want to inhabit.

so it's been a pretty good morning.

and i'm thinking that there is something to consider, especially in light of the digital filmmaking going on in some composition and/or rhetoric courses, and i'm looking at the
Final Cut Pro timeline and the ease w/ which i can manipulate sound and silence, and i wonder if we (those of us who teach rhetoric and composition studies and writing and whatnot) realize the potential to do important and pleasurable and powerful rhetorical work via image and especially, i'm thinking, sound, silence, and just how easy the multi-track nature of working in fcp can be toward enhancing the intensities of our expression-events.

below is an image of a basic fcp timeline. the top (above the dark middle line) is for video tracks (you can import video, stills, etc, and you can layer or superimpose image and/or text and video and do pretty much everything). the bottom tracks are for audio. the line breaks you see in the horizontal color fields indicate where an image or video or sound file begins and ends (or where you've cut one in editing with the razor tool, pretty much my favorite thing; this is also where you would insert whatever sort of dissolve or transitional move you want to make; i have learned that overuse of the cross dissolve is embarrassing, btw). working with the video and audio tracks, we create what Michel Chion refers to as an "audio-vision" . . . retrieving sound, or revaluing it compared to the primacy of image in film (as does Murch in his famously poetic proclamations, esp prgphs 8-13) emphasizing the ways in which film meaning/experience is contingent upon the relationships between image and sound/text (or silence, . . . which is/can be so powerful and moving in film).

this is all so basic. and not.

. . . and then, it's probably been written (anne, cindy, gail, jeff, johndan, geoff, . . . ??)

image 1

1 comment:

bonnie lenore kyburz said...
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