fantastic Cinema : Discourses of artificial 3/3

In the previous folder Escape Impossible, we observed that some of the characters could be aware of their character fictional. Are expanding the fields of study and review the different manifestations and uses of the artificial to the film.

We will treat it in three parts :





A way that is both conscious and unconscious, we learn to negotiate with the part of the artificiality of fiction to appreciate all the aspects that it offers to us. The examples cited in the previous two parts tend to prove that a film can be tempted to operate as a closed system, defining himself by the rules of the artificial – as the real, according to its values in terms of aesthetic or narrative interest. However, the film often needs to cope with certain contingencies that no longer depend on this simple logic, systemic, but more rooted in the work of fiction in the rules of our reality.

Stand for a moment of the cinema in its history, reflecting on its place in american culture. From 1934, hollywood studios was assigned the code Hayscode of censorship which the multi-point frame as much nudity on screen, the violence, the vulgarity, the representation of religious cults. Therefore, the production of films becomes a job of balancing, requiring to measure skillfully every element of story and visual in order to meet each of these obligations; while the project becomes a work of a contortionist for filmmakers seeking to place smuggled out of ideas a little bit sulphurous.

In this area, Alfred Hitchcock has built a reputation as a master of the allusion, sexual, using various figures of styles, of the ellipse to the metaphor, to achieve his purposes. That would be the thriller hitchcock without his dose of sexual connotation ? Yet the charm of this film is paradoxically generated by the game of tension between the sexual connotations and conventions that are installed on the screen during the thirty-two years of application of the code Hays. The hypocrisy of the puritan settlement is pushing the paradox to its height in The Death to the kits, is typically the kind of entertainment from the golden age of hollywood where the audience sits comfortably in a universe policed. And yet the public leaves his stay in this universe policed by the final scene where a young couple is preparing to eat his wedding night in the same bunk of a train. So yes, Code Hays forces, the scene cuts off before the antics began, but the film moves with a plan of the train rushing into a tunnel. You grasp the metaphor ?

Other times, other manners. The Hays code being surrounded Hollywood, the fortress of the glamour and grandiose of the ramparts of the politically correct, but he had to sooner or later reality catches up to fiction and asked him brutally to pay tribute visual. And, to break the defence of a realm made of images, what could be more relevant and more dramatic than other images, a stream-of-real-of just twenty-six seconds. The film in question is named Film Zapruder by the american authorities, the name of the videographer, amateur, Abraham Zapruder , a merchant of Dallas, who has never had any ambition for the cinema. The Film Zapruder shows the assassination of John F. Kennedy, 22 November 1963; where stood the merchant, he was able to frame the arrival of the convertible of the president on Dealey Plaza, and therefore the death of the latter, at a time when image sources, official or several european countries, for an event, was much lower than today. This exhibit is exceptional will not be broadcast on american television in 1975, but in the meantime, copies are made and circulated everywhere in the United States.

Striking images of the impact of bullets and their damage is visible on a body, and not just any body more, then come back to haunt a country already torn by violent emotions, of the struggles against racial segregation and the Vietnam war. In 1966, the Hays code being is repealed and the cinema must now fill in the distorted graphic that separates it from the simple, short, mute and edifying document. A new era is born at the same time as the emergence of a generation of filmmakers who will soon be named “The New Hollywood”, thinking of the great stories and the painting of America in the light of truth that broke out a few years earlier : the public is willing to see violence, blood, the flesh, mauled on screen, there is no longer a question of sanitizing routinely films in the development of the universe unrealistic where these settings would be proscris (add to it the sex that it also saw its revolution at the same time in american society).

This irruption of the real into the nice little world of the seventh art in part explains the existence of images, subversive and radical in the late sixties to the seventies : The zombies of Night of the living dead, the grain rough, the film the texas chainsaw Massacre, the hijacking of gimmicks hitchcockiens by the heir Of Brian de Palma, etc…I would not extend any longer on the subject, and advises those who would like to learn more about the Film, Zapruder and his influence on the collective unconscious, of rushing upon the excellent work of Jean-Baptiste Thoret, 26 seconds : America splashed.

After the case Zapruder, the real will continue to come back to haunt regularly fiction, overlaying the ghost of his images to those of the big screen (the attacks of September 11, 2001). The hand of violence, or the sordidité from the real was able to find his place in the narratives offered by the cinema over the decades, however the real in its spectrum of action as a whole has not supplanted the bias-fiction to the cinema. One observes in this vein that the need of likelihood appears in the eyes of some filmmakers as a concept tired. Aware that the film portion at a disadvantage in a game of resemblance with the real; these directors emancipate themselves of this comparison to be sterile and prefer to use their works to remember that the purpose of cinema is not to perfectly imitate the real, but rather to discuss with him.

Painter and visual artist by training, David Lynch did his film a strange universe where the sensory experience premium on the conduct of a narrative intelligible. The aesthetic environment created by Lynch can seem just as disturbing, haunting, and thus be perceived by the spectators as a dream or a delusion, confusing dream and phase of awakening. Apart from an exceptional case in his filmography aptly titled A true Story, the film-maker has never designed his films in order of likelihood, and if the universe can be sometimes permeated by a feeling of the real, this is only to better cover the sensory cues of the viewer, between dream and reality.

The intention is most apparent in Mulholland Drive, where a police officer tells his team-mate, the dream he had the night before; this dream proved prescient as he was in the diner which is precisely the conversation between the two men. The dreamer knows in advance that it will come out of the restaurant with his friend, and that the corner of the street, he will be confronted with a terrifying vision. On the advice of his colleague who tries to help him to overcome his fear, the police will get to the place where his dream turned into a nightmare. The apprehension of the police was justified, the moment of terror was taking place, and makes him lose consciousness or even die of fear. In the universe of Mulholland Drive , where the artificiality of the medium of cinema is pervasive and is even the overall texture of the film, the concept of the dreaming and the phase of arousal in which people perceive reality, exist both but end up quickly by being confused with the one in the other.

In the case of Martin, a film by George Romero , where a young man disrupted is taken to a vampire, the real and the imaginary can also be found. But this time, the two concepts are not going to be confused, they will instead collide like two opposing forces. The imagination of Martin persuades him that he is a vampire, a mythological creature responsible for a folklore gothic. This view of the spirit is still plagued by the daily reality of the young man, whose banality and the mediocrity taints the will iconic surrounding usually the figure of the vampire. In this case, Martin is only a marginal Pittsburgh, devoid of fangs, and forced to bleed his victims with razor blades; all filmed with film 16mm craspec. The Romero film is a strange experience for film fans of the fantastic and of terror, used to visit the universe dark and mystified used to the iconisation of a supernatural creature; and here they discover the myth that is the vampire comes to the real world, stripped by his reality aesthetic as social.

You cannot close a folder on the artificial, reminiscent of a truth that clarifies for the most part the report of the viewers to the images : the cinema love the cinema. The media is self-fueling of the phenomena of perception that he himself has created; he loves to be intrinsically oppose or simply complete our impressions of the real, and this is fundamentally the source of our pleasure of the spectator before the work of a director. The framing, the cutting, the music, the editing, all its effects are the essence of the artificiality of cinema, and it is precisely this staging, this illusion granted that stirs up our appetite for the film buff.

Let’s take the example of The Game from David Fincher, is a thriller which deals with our ability to accept will be the topic of an illusion, a gigantic stage. At the end of the film, Nicholas, the protagonist is persuaded to be in a dead-end existential, throws herself into the void from the top of a building and through the glass roof of a hotel. In “reality”, it turns out that the journey of the character has been guided to this point to drop by an organization mandated by his brother. A gigantic cousin of the air comes to cushion the fall of Nicholas, revealing the entire manipulation of which he was the victim, in order to radically change his life philosophy.

Seriously, who can believe in a end also unlikely. The deception was so prepared that the organizers had predicted that Nicholas would be thrown to the top of the canopy ? And if it was thrown in another direction, that this would have happened ? The organizers had provided another cousin of fresh air on the sidewalk in front of the entrance to the building ? And if he had simply not chosen to commit suicide at that time, the organization would have-it harassed up to the suicide, whatever the cost ? David Fincher is a film-maker deemed to be meticulous, it is not an easy story to put on the account of laziness. He chose this ending because it reveals a dramatic trickery; it is clearly cinégénique and it reminds the viewer that he’s just attending a movie, a fiction, a visual spectacle. The spectator has himself been the victim of an illusion during the two hours, receives this outcome to be unrealistic with a smirk, and places it in a narrative that spoke precisely to the trajectory of an individual in a system that he doesn’t want to leave, which he does not want to put the rules in question, namely the financial system.

Let’s not forget that the artificial can be a pleasure before any aesthetic. There is a pan of the lovers who exhumes the forgotten films to reconsider with new eyes at their special effects. Costumes kaiju (monster movie destructive japanese), models of vessels of special of the fifties, passing by creatures animated in stop motion, these visual elements to the realism questionable parent today to a poetic dimension in the eyes of older children, among whom were Joe Dante, William Malone, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, Tim Burton…

If you have in mind examples of scenes or stories on the subject, please do not hesitate to let us know in the comments.



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