manifesto . . .

thinking about revisions some of us have been asked to make to our films for an upcoming publication, revisions that want more "obvious" meanings on display, here's this, via Synoptique:

first, Mario Falsetto, in his Synoptique piece, "There is No Band at Club Silencio," articulating a sentiment i dare imagine Lynch confirming: "Cinema is an art of resonance" . . . . voilĂ  . . .

so but then . . .


"I think it would be wrong to reduce Mulholland Drive to some kind of parlour game where the viewer tries to knit together the various clues, only to decipher the film’s narrative structure and offer up a grand interpretive scheme for what things might mean. The film’s narrative structure is but one element in a complex aesthetic strategy. Its power and mystery depend on many factors. Ultimately, mulholland drive is much more than the sum of its parts. Whatever meaning we might propose for such things as the blue key and the mysterious box that it opens, or the homeless man behind the restaurant, can only serve as partial explanation for the feelings the film generates. These narrative details don’t necessarily get at what is powerful about the film or why it resonates deep within us long after we’ve experienced it. mulholland drive privileges a particular approach to the unconscious and the process of making art. Lynch’s film argues that interpreting a work of art is of necessity a limited operation. Some things are best left ambiguous and mysterious like the world we live in. Take away that mystery and all we’re left with is some crazy notion that the world makes sense and that we actually know who we are and what we’re doing here. What makes David Lynch such an important artist is the way his work forces us to confront the certainties of our lives and contemplate the mysteriousness of being in the world. Added to this is his remarkable control of the medium. He seems to bring out the best in all his collaborators, and because of his attention to the precise details of making movies, a David Lynch film is as elegant in its construction as it is mysterious and profound in meaning."

i get it, the desire for "clear" meanings, especially in New Media publications that want to be scene and heard and discovered and taken seriously. obviously; we continue to work in a print-based economy . . . blah, blah . . . and so i get it. really. and, in fact, despite my deepest inclinations, some of the revision suggestions -- those that seem so clearly to want clarity from the perspective of print-rhetoric -- may help me to shape my film in ways that i'd originally desired -- simple. minimalist. this is really both interesting and troubling to me, that suggestions i'm associating with print-rhetoric want to and are able to inform my filmwriting revisions in ways that align with my "original" vision. yipes.

so. clarity. yes, i tend to overcrowd in early drafts, thinking that the screen simply must be filled despite my love of expansive negative space* and what it can do to create a contemplative relationship to the "subject," a sense of additional presence, as in a dream or in the case of a subject (the image or the problem under consideration via the narrative) suffering from some sort of lack or paranoia or amnesia.

Cinema is an art of resonance . . .



* via R. Berdan: "Positive space is where shapes and forms exist; negative space is the empty space around shapes and forms. In the photo below the black area is negative space and it serves to balance the area in which the marmot and rock occupy. Areas of a picture that contain "nothing" are important visual elements that provide balance in an image."

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