Sunday, January 16, 2011

Deconstructing RTS Prelude blog

Continuing the conversation, Mike kindly left a short message on the last post about The RTS - best of the best prelude blog.

MikE: Really struggling to understand any of this. Perhaps I'm thick. 

I have wrote this below in response.

Hi Mike

Sorry bout that; I'm forever struggling through Lacan, Husserl and the rest and though you're using ( my assumption) the term "thick" self-referentially, I'm guessing there are subjects you're passionate about that no doubt I could easily struggle to follow.

If I hear another deconstruction of Inception as psychoanalyss, I'll lose it.

But I hope this below helps

Cinema is said to be built on how you're affected by what you see, feel, hear. News is about delivering information ( a talking head would do).

Cinema is about fiction. News is about fact, or the expression factvity.

Cinema needs drama (dramaturgical), fictional drama; News needs drama ( factual) to interest us.

Cinema craves something being real for you to suspend belief, even though its isn't; news/docs need their subject to be real, even though frankly in constructing the events, its the author who's producing for you their events as real.

e.g. When broadcasters tell us a helicopter straffed insurgents, we see the video and believe it to be real. Then Wikileaks reveals tape with onboard dialogue and says this is real Chopper staffing journos .... (this is just one of many examples)

What's happening is we're building firmer bridges between fact and fiction modes. BBC Radio 4 Presenter Ed Stourton said of the Gulf war, the danger was cameramen/producers looking to shoot scenes such as the chopper against the sun, like Apocalypse Now made the film look like cinema.

I think he meant the journalism was being trivalised. What's really happening today is the cine-mode has come full force. Question is can we the audience distinguish the two. Certainly, photography has achieved this distinction.

As a journalist first before becoming an academic, I used to rile against words such as "Verisimilitude" or say "Hacceity", but I have come round to seeing how specific arguments around content require a use of word or construct that is highly appropriate.

Oddly enough I now find myself using Ashanti words ( my parents' mother tongue) to express something. Nothing new there, we Brits have done that with the french language or German: "Ouvre" or "Zeitgeist".

The thing I guess is to write for the audience, or is it. I'll go through days when its free-form, then as someone put it Pseud-corner.

If you've got some time on your hands grab
Rethinking Documentary: New Perspectives and Practices
Thomas Austin. Includes an interesting chapter from Bill Niichols on realism.

It's a fab book for making film makers re-think that we've taken taken for granted. Then something on Realism e.g. Art- the definitive visual guide.