Reframing Reality: The Aesthetics of the Surrealist Object in French and Czech Cinema

By Alison Frank

The surrealist item is a daily merchandise that takes on a number of institutions by means of scary the viewer’s mind's eye. It additionally poses a selected problem for a few filmmakers who search to use surrealist rules and techniques whilst making feature-length narrative movies. In Reframing Reality, Alison Frank seems in particular at French and Czech movies, together with works via Luis Buñuel, Jan Švankmajer, in addition to the modern hit Amélie through Jean-Pierre Jeunet, so one can provide a brand new tackle surrealist film.

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By Alison Frank

The surrealist item is a daily merchandise that takes on a number of institutions by means of scary the viewer’s mind's eye. It additionally poses a selected problem for a few filmmakers who search to use surrealist rules and techniques whilst making feature-length narrative movies. In Reframing Reality, Alison Frank seems in particular at French and Czech movies, together with works via Luis Buñuel, Jan Švankmajer, in addition to the modern hit Amélie through Jean-Pierre Jeunet, so one can provide a brand new tackle surrealist film.

Show description

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Besides the fact that, a part of Clair’s kind and masses of the film’s total hybridity have been attribute of a ancient second which used to be, cinematically talking, really privileged by way of the jobs it made to be had to things. movies have been turning into extra narrative, they now had the recent expressive check in opened to them through sound, and as cinema started to circulate in a brand new path, items might proceed to play a well-liked position within the small time that remained ahead of new conventions got here into impression. in fact, now not all movies of the early Nineteen Thirties provided such fashionable and various roles to the item as À Nous los angeles liberté; still, the time at which the surrealists gave up on film-making may possibly in reality, with no their realising it, have coincided with a quick golden age for items in cinema. Notes 1 Georges Sadoul, Le cinéma français (1890–1962) (Paris: Flammarion, 1962) 37. 2 Kuenzli five. three Steven Kovács, From appeal to Rage: the tale of Surrealist Cinema (Cranbury, NJ: linked college Presses, 1980) eighty five. four Kuenzli 4–5. five Kuenzli five. 6 Kuenzli 5–6. 7 Dudley Andrew, Mists of remorse: tradition and Sensibility in vintage French movie (Princeton: Princeton collage Press, 1995) sixty two. eight Michael Richardson, Surrealism and Cinema (Oxford: Berg, 2006) one hundred seventy five. nine Pierre Billard, Le Mystère René Clair (Paris: Plon, 1998) 188. 10 The Pervert’s consultant to Cinema, dir. Sophie Fiennes, 2006. eleven Qtd. in Andrew, Mists of remorse fifty nine. 12 Mists of remorse 60. thirteen Mists of remorse fifty nine. 14 Mists of remorse 60–61. 15 Key to abbreviations, in alphabetical order: AS=American shot; CU=close-up; FS=full shot; HA=high perspective; LA=low perspective; LS=long shot; MCU=medium close-up; MS=medium shot; POV=point of view. sixteen Michael Atkinson, ‘À Nous l. a. liberté’, Criterion assortment website (http://www. criterion. com), 19 August 2002, seen 7 November 2007. bankruptcy three the standard and the Hybrid item within the Czech New Wave and Jan Švankmajer advent the previous Czechoslovakia has a robust background of surrealism; in contrast to French surrealism, the legit Prague surrealist workforce has endured in its actions to this present day. the rustic additionally has a powerful historical past of film-making, together with its personal New Wave, which got here into being within the Nineteen Sixties yet has usually been ignored in favour of the French New Wave and different western ecu cinematic events of an analogous interval. As this chapter’s ancient contextualisation will clarify, either tradition and heritage decided that gadgets might play an incredible position in Czech New Wave cinema. The Sixties used to be cinema’s modernist interval; the movies that would be tested during this bankruptcy will consequently fluctuate in exact methods from À Nous los angeles liberté, by way of the improvement of the cinematic medium in addition to for his or her cultural distinction. the former bankruptcy defined that gadgets in Clair’s movie owed whatever in their position to silent movie perform; sooner than the arrival of sound, movie needed to make large use of gadgets’ expressive and narrative capacities. despite the fact that, the exact function that items play in À Nous los angeles liberté is additionally encouraged by means of Clair’s personal expressive goals; by way of exaggerating silent film’s tendency to privilege gadgets, he highlighted what he observed as sleek society’s over the top materialism.

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