cutting on the action

photography and film – facts, ideas, values

FILM POLANSKI ♦ A 4-part series of essays in Press Play ♦




[1]


LIFE’S WORK: THE FILMS OF ROMAN POLANSKI – Chapter 1: Polanski’s God


By Serena Bramble and Simon Abrams


[2]


LIFE’S WORK: THE FILMS OF ROMAN POLANSKI – Chapter 2: Spaces


By Steven Santos


[3]


LIFE’S WORK: THE FILMS OF ROMAN POLANSKI – Chapter 3: Uniting the Fragments: Cul-de-Sac


By Jose Gallegos


[4]


LIFE’S WORK: THE FILMS OF ROMAN POLANSKI – Chapter 4: Chinatown: Frames and Lenses


By Jim Emerson


[5]


LIFE’S WORK: THE FILMS OF ROMAN POLANSKI – Chapter 5: REPULSION: The Dark Side of Desire

written Matt Zoller Seitz and Kim Morgam

If you came to these essays from Jim Emerson’s post:


Polanski’s Chinatown: A dream analysis

You might be a bit confused as to why the set wasn’t all laid out somewhere for easy access. I’ve put them all together with full titles and authors.

If you’re filmic, cinematographic – or just a film theorist – try to see that space between texts is as important as space inside film frames. Why write about film,which is about the visual aesthetic as much it is about narrative, with a poorly designed and poorly laid out, cramped web page with tiny ‘here’ links: make the links longer – spell out what the link refers to. That’s good interpretation. You know what’s there but they don’t till they get there.

And don’t cram text up against stills. Give them a few lines above and below to let them breath. If we are going to argue film here, it has to be { movie –> stills –> text } in order of priority. Unless your initials are JLG. Then you are allowed to jumble them all together in all sorts of combinations and priorities.

Don’t forget some will come to a film page intent on devouring images not words. So make it a dual track process like (UK readers will understand…) a Rupert the Bear album, with three layers like an all-in-one-page hypertext: Young non-readers follow the story with the pictures; beginners use the captions; experienced readers use the text.

The HTML code BR is simple to use. Add a few more lines between writing and images, and let the links stand out. Lesson over.

Jim’s video is great fun to watch if you are a Chinatown obsessive, especially the silent version of the Chinaman Joke sequence, where one gets an even clearer understanding of the way the shots were cut together than with dialogue.

Script writer Robert Townes appears in episode 5 of Mark Cousin’s The Story of Film on UK Channel 4.

There are a thousand ways to string together a few dozen short scenes and stills from Chinatown. Thankfully.



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October 4, 2011 - Posted by | Chinatown, Polanski

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