Audiovisual Analysis: Expressive Techniques of Cinema

September 26, 2017 | Autor: Varpu Rantala | Categoria: Media Studies, Film Studies, Visual Culture
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Audiovisual  Analysis:   The  Expressive  Techniques  of   Cinema    

  Lecture  5,  Popular  Culture  Studies:  Theories  and  Methods     Varpu  Rantala   Media  Studies   University  of  Turku    

Outline   1.  Audiovisual  analysis:  cinemaGc  expression  as   object  of  study   2.  On  film’s  texture  and  affecGve  interpretaGon   3.  How  cinemaGc  techniques  work?  Three   examples  of  different  types  of  films    


Studying  cinema   •  highly  refined  form  of  expression  (nothing  is   there  by  chance)     •  understanding  basic  convenGons  helps  to   analyze  many  different  types  of  audiovisual   media    

Studying  affect   •  How  to  jusGfy  claims  about  certain  affecGve   charge  produced  through  a  cultural  work,   text,  video…?   •  -­‐>  How  the  texture  of  the  work  produces  the   affecGve  charge?   •  Cinema  is  a  technology  of  affect  par  excellence  

Audiovisual  analysis:  focus  on  image   and  sound   •  Audiovisual  moving  images:  persuading   through  image  and  sound  -­‐  not  only  plot,   actors,  and  verbal  discourse       •  Expressive  techniques  of  cinema:  Not  only   what  is  shown  (=  mise-­‐en-­‐scene),  but  how   –  Cinematography   –  EdiGng   –  Sound  

•  Remain  unnoGced  in  an  ordinary  viewing    

  Basic  cinemaGc  techniques    

•  Cinematography    

–  Scale  (image  sizes),  framing,  angle  (e.g.  high/low),  camera   movement  (e.g.  tracking,  panning,  GlGng)  

•  EdiGng  

–  CreaGon  of  logical  Gme-­‐spaces,  conGnuity  of  acGon   (graphic  and  rhythmic  relaGons,  e.g.  shot-­‐countershot-­‐ structure)   –  Montage  as  associaGon  of  two  or  more  images  to   produce  something  new     –  h^ps://  

•  Sound    

–  Music,  sound  effects  (e.g.  conGnuity  through  music)  

“The  cinemaGc”   •  MulGsensory  effect  that  results  from  several   visual  and  auditory  elements  related  to  each   other  in  Gme  (=movement)    

“The  cinemaGc”     •  Principles  of  structuring  the  elements  are   –  Techniques  for  construcGng  logical  Gme-­‐space   conGnuums  (intelligibility)   –  Techniques  for  shaping  percepGon  and  emoGonal   response  (affecGvity)  


EmoGonal  effects  of  cinemaGc   techniques     •  AffecGve  charge  is  shaped  through  design  of   visual  and  auditory  elements;  image  is  always   mediated  in  certain  form,  that  is  never  neutral   but  enables  affecGve  responses       •  The  analyst  should  state  how  certain  affecGve   charge  they  argue  for,  is  brought  about  by   audiovisual  techniques     •  Context-­‐bound,  not  fixed:  it  would  not  be   possible  to  form  list  of  affecGve  charges  of   certain  cinemaGc  techniques    

Two  film  studies  perspecGves  on   cinemaGc  expression   •  “Formalist”,  cogniGvist  approach.  E.g.  David   Bordwell  and  KrisGn  Thompson:  Film  Art  (2010)   –  SystemaGc  focus  on  the  film  form;  no  discussion   about  affecGve/emoGonal  aspects  of  cinema  

•  Phenomenology  of  the  body:  mulGsensory,  affect   study  approach,  e.g.  Vivian  Sobchack:  Carnal   Thoughts  (2004),  Jennifer  Barker  (2009):  Tac8le   Eye   –  The  emoGonal  and  affecGve  aspects  highlighted;   usually  no  systemaGc  focus  on  the  film  form  

Focus  on  film  medium   “All  we  can  say  for  certain  is  that  the  emoGon  felt   by  the  spectator  will  emerge  from  the  totality  of   formal  relaGonships  she  or  he  perceives  in  the  work   …  we  should  try  to  noGce  as  many  formal  relaGons   as  possible  in  a  film;  the  richer  our  percepGon,  the   deeper  and  more  complex  our  response  may   become.”     David  Bordwell  &  KrisGn  Thompson  (2010):     Film  Art,  p.  62.    

Focus  on  affecGve  response     •  Experience  is  always  mediated  by  our  own   lived  bodies     •  Encounters  with  “film’s  body”  (film’s  medium)   (Barker  2009)   •  “Direct”  experience  of  what  we  see  in  the  film   can  be  unpacked  to  make  explicit  the   condiGons  that  structure  and  qualify  the   experience  (e.g.  Sobchack  2004:  What  my   fingers  knew?)    

“Film’s  body”   •  Experience  of  film  is  not  equivalent  to  direct   percepGon   •  We  are  aware  that  we  are  watching  a  film;  it   (film’s  mediality,  film’s  body)  becomes  part  of   the  affecGve  response  


•  His  Girl  Friday  (Howard  Hawks  1940)  (classical   conGnuity  style)   •  Sabotage  (Alfred  Hitchcock  1936)  (subversions   of  classical  conGnuity)   •  Mirror  (Andrei  Tarkovsky  1974)  (art  cinema)  


Seminar  assignment:  analyze       beginning  of  film     •  How  the  beginning  (circa  10  min)  aims  at   “grabbing”  the  spectator?  What  informaGon  it   gives  about  the  film’s  world?   •  How  and  when  the  main  characters  are   presented?   •  Cinematography  (e.g.  image  sizes,  framing,   camera  use)   •  EdiGng  (e.g.  much  ediGng  or  li^le?  DuraGons  of   shots?  Where  is  the  cut?)   •  Sound  (e.g.  what  kind  of  soundscape  there  is?   Music?  Special  effects?)  

Further  reading:     •  Barker,  Jennifer  (2009):  The  Tac8le  Eye.  Touch   and  the  Cinema8c  Experience.     •  Bordwell,  David  &  Thompson,  KrisGn  (2010).   Filma  Art.  An  Introduc8on.   •  Sobchack,  Vivian  (2004):  Carnal  Thoughts.   Embodiment  and  the  Moving  Image  Culture.     •  Marks,  Laura  (2000):  The  Skin  of  the  Film.   Intercultural  Cinema,  Embodiment,  and  the   Senses.    

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