He believed that the interpretation of a film or scene should be left to the spectator. Mini history lesson: In the s when this essay was published the Korean War was the hot topic—France sent military volunteers to help with the war. In cinema between and , he sees two trends: Directors who put their faith in the image. Directors who put their faith in reality.
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He claims that the introduction of sound, far from destroying film as an art form, actually enhanced it as an essential element of reality. The atmosphere and plot of the film are revealed entirely through visual means, using wildly abstract sets and dramatically exaggerated makeup.
The film unfolds in an enthralling, completely artificial environment where even the movements of the actors echo the distorted angular shapes of their setting. Bazin is right in stating that such films are an entirely separate art form.
The story is conveyed through the intricate interactions between images, lighting, composition, and movement. If The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari was suddenly flooded with sound, its delicate visual poetry would have been destroyed by the harsh invasion of reality. Reality has no place in this hallucinatory world of illusion, its beauty is in its dreamy detachment from the grounded, solid world outside the screen.
Naturally he is strongly inclined against the montage techniques displayed in the films of Eisenstein. The scene definitely conveys a message and manipulates the audience in a very obvious way.
He singles out F. The scene at the beginning of the film where the monumental figure of the Devil spreads his menacing black wings over an unsuspecting town, sending down clouds of contagion, is dramatically intercut with images of suffering and destruction in the streets below. This scene makes no pretense of realistic space and gains much of its intensity from the art of suggestive montage. Bazin himself admits that it is hardly possible to make a film without montage at all.
Some compression of time and shifts in camera position are inevitable. But it is equally as impossible to make a film without making some sort of statement and imposing some type of perspective on the viewer. A film, however it is shot, is and always will be a work of art.
It cannot help but express in some way the views and feelings of its creator. It can be more or less relatable, it can push its message forward in an obvious, metaphorical, or subtle way, but the message is still always there.
The very act of making a film is already tampering with reality by capturing it in an artificial form. The film does an admirable job of not over-sentimentalizing the figure of Umberto himself. Produced by Erich Pommer and directed by F. UFA, The Battleship Potemkin. Produced by Jacob Bliokh and directed by Sergei Eisenstein. Goskino, Umberto D.
Citizen Kane. Produced and directed by Orson Welles. RKO Pictures, More By This Author:.
Summary of “The Evolution of the Language of Cinema”
What is Cinema? Many of the best directors were understandably, though not justifiably, sorry to witness the disappearance of this perfect world of images. The realism of sound was bound to upset matters. Erich von Stroheim on set In fact, now that the use of sound has satisfactorily proved that far from annihilating the Old Testament of the cinema it has brought it to fulfilment, one might well ask oneself if the technical revolution that resulted from the introduction of sound could really be called an aesthetic revolution. In other words, did the years really witness the birth of a new cinema? As far as the way a film is put together is concerned, the history of the cinema does not in fact reveal as marked a difference as one might expect between the silent and sound cinema.
The Evolution of the Language of Cinema