Gustave Caillebotte – Paris street rainy day 1877
Watching Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty  a few weeks ago – in a cinema, golly-gosh! – set me off on a little journey back into the world of the flâneur. Even someone familiar with flânerie, perhaps through reading of Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project, might find a reason to tarry here. This is the sub-species ‘flâneur in film’, so keep reading.
For the rest, start gently with a 2010 post in SeattleMet Fête du Flâneur: Be There. Dan Bertolet conveniently links to the wiki:flâneur to go a stage further. [Scroll down to the post…]
There are many interesting links on the flâneur in film. A selection later.
The most important to me so far is a paper by Jaimey Fisher originally published in The German Quarterly 78.4 (Fall 2005):
which introduces the Rubble-Film. Bear with it. 21pp. Not all rubble. You’re not a rubble-ist are you? A general enticement to rummage in rubble (films) might be mention of the connection between the 19c. flaneur and the modern detective. Lot of ideas to play with.
Overall it’s a historical overview arriving at the key area of the return of the flaneur in 20c. modernity.
As a supplement a review by Imke Meyer of:
The Art of Taking a Walk: Flanerie, Literature, and Film in Weimar Culture
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999. 283 pp. ISBN 069100238X.)
Roughly 3 x A4.
Later, more filmic flânerie. Now I’ve got some reading to do.
a blind flaneur a blog by Mark Willis.
Images above © Jean-Paul Battaggia*
So he was giving interviews. Thank God-ard, this one’s subtitled in Anglais mon brave.
In conversation with Jean-Luc Godard. Filmmaker extraordinaire
From this page the interview in 2 parts, the short trailer and background info. Interesting to note that God.[Fr.point] doesn’t stoop to digital technology but has the digital ‘footage’ converted back to video tape so he can edit it. I remember reading elsewhere how he got really expert at using this medium. Here brief mention of this practice under the workflow tab, with cinematographer Fabrice Aragno. Under equipment he seems to be saying things like 3D gives you no more, we see the same.
* These are from a set on the webpage. I’ve tried to keep them in the right proportions but it’s easier said than done.
A picture speaks a 1000 words, so couple of images to give a bit of an idea of what 3D involves using SLRs. The rig looks home-made, which is an encouragement young film-makers. And of course a bit more advertising for Canon. Godard talks of filming with an iPhone. I have only just seen how my son can run up a music video on his mobile using on-board apps. Note what Godard says about the equipment side in the interview.
A Writer’s Journey from There to Here
The BBC iPlayer page description :
Peter Bowker writes some of Britain’s most compelling television dramas, winning BAFTAs for the likes of Occupation, about the Iraq war, and Eric and Ernie, about the early career of Morecambe and Wise. He has also written other award-winning dramas such as Flesh and Blood, Blackpool, Desperate Romantics and the medical series Monroe.
Bowker’s latest three-part series, From There to Here, which airs in May on BBC1, is a bold, sweeping saga about two Manchester families and how their lives are changed following the IRA bombing of Manchester in 1996 and the events of the next four years leading up to the Millennium. It covers Euro ’96, Labour’s election victory, Manchester ‘s rave music scene and the banking collapse.
This film offers an exclusive insight into the life of Peter Bowker, who explains how he writes and where the inspiration for his writing comes from, and how after 23 years of writing for television he still feels insecure. ‘I always feel my next commission could be my last…’
He reveals his first foray into writing was as a punk trying to sell his poetry at Stockport market, and how the Manchester punk music scene helped his early development as a writer.
Bowker, who is from Stockport, now lives in Richmond and does most of his writing using pen and ink. ‘It’s the way I was brought up I suppose. I just can’t put it all down on a computer.’ In the film, he gives a masterclass on how he creates scenes and how he writes.
Relationships and family are key to his writing. ‘Every family has its secrets, its myths. We look at every other family and think they’re not like us, but scratch the surface and every family has its stories to tell, its secrets to keep.’
‘Part of the intention I wrote From There to Here was as a love letter to Manchester. And when I was thinking what that meant, I think it had to include the good and the bad… that’s the nature of love really, and I think I owe Manchester. It’s where I grew up, it’s where the rhythm of my writing comes from, it’s where even to this day I feel where I belong… it’s just about trying to capture the spirit of the place really…’.
Images are freedom and words are prison.
Godard’s lectures and discussions in Montreal in 1978—a series of fourteen meetings that pave the way for the eight chapters of his Histoire(s) du cinema (1988–1998). Translated by Timothy Barnard. Caboose.
COTA has 2 posts on Histoire[s]
In the first sample page 1 of the partition makes it immediately obvious what the partition is, and how useful it can be as a follow-up on a viewing [or two] of Histoire[s]. It’s in French, but if you’ve had to watch Histoire[s] only partially understanding the French, this is blessed relief.
Celine Scemama has since written:
Histoire(s) du cinéma de Jean-Luc Godard: La force faible d’un art
By Céline Scemama-Heard 
Musique, photographie, peinture, gravure, sculpture, littérature, archives, philosophie, poésie, discours, histoire et …cinéma. Godard a mis un s à ses Histoire(s) du cinéma. L’oeuvre de Godard impose une contemplation paradoxalement violente parce que l’écran des Histoire(s) est à l’image des plis du temps où sont retenus toutes les souffrances et tout ce qui est inachevé. Le montage permet des substitutions, des surimpressions et des rapprochements qui font du cinéma une grande puissance historique
Dead in the water. Stuck. Wanting to spill out you thoughts on a film you heard about, watched and then, hey everybody, this is good, it’s….ah,um….you’ve got someone you’d like to watch this film before you spoil it by explaining all. Who hasn’t had that sinking moment when you ask someone about film, only to realise the whole film is going to be recalled from prodigious memory for you, and there is no escape. Yes, seen it. Brilliant. And here is entire right down to the details of all the dialogue.
I’ve got the same problem with The Great Beauty directed by Paolo Sorrentino. What can I say? I’ve tried writing it through to see what can be said, ending up with half-written sentences stuttering to a halt well before reaching their destinations. I was even going to use a few Italian phrases heard in the film. No. There is no way round this except to say it’s termed an art-house film. It’s Italian. English sub-titles. It won the best Foreign Film Award at the Oscars last year. Must be worth watching for foreign film enthusiast. It is.
What to say on a film you want someone to watch before you say anything? Are there films you can say quite a lot about without spoiling someone else’s viewing? Is the smallest vignette permitted? No. Not in this case either. All I can say now is, Lo, a film, try it. So. Not even the title translated into Italian. How one has to exercise steely control. And so this post is also addressed to someone who has seen the film who might understand why the title has not been translated in the heading, or in the body of text. (But who can have a conspiratorial wink about knowing why, and in turn not being able to put a kibosh on things by making a comment..)
Perhaps as a displacement activity to assuage the frustration : une petite idée de film.
A man and a woman meet, fall in love. Have a relationship. Then it breaks up for reasons unknown to the audience. On show some bewilderment, anger, sadness, regret, etc. Hankies out. They both loved the movies and spent a lot of time watching them and talking about them. As one does.
They both realise they can’t share anything about film anymore – no communicating at all. They spend a lot of time thinking and imagining what they would be choosing to see, where they would be doing it if still together. Shown by the usual – inevitable – tropes [cleverly masked as homages and satire on] of shots of couples going into movies, etc. Even plugging in DVDs, blubbing, et al. Little scene in which one or other, disconsolate but determined, goes to see a movie. Buys a ticket, stands in foyer with the milling crowd – then after a certain amount of wistfulness, walks back out onto the street.
The upshot, to cut a short story shorter, is the means by each comes to terms with the loss of the film connection amongst the butterflies of lurv, and learns to live and love again. He of course has a film blog and finds he can’t write about films he wants her to see, so stalls, writes around the curly hedges, about production design or mise en scene, or even Godard being rude about actors, anything just to post with the film’s title on the heading. A marker for the future. A dog lifting it’s leg to a lamp post.
Suddenly one day he finds he can write a bit more on films he has seen. But not a lot. He still can’t bring himself to write about the latest releases – he doesn’t want to be a dirty little spoiler. But he realises he can write about obscure art-house movies that no one would want to watch, or even the technicalities of film making like editing.
In the middle of a long dissertation on Hitchcock’s 1954 Rear Window, from an editing point of view (and POV comes into it a lot..), in Valerie Orpen’s Film Editing, on page 27, referring to an interview with Truffaut, at which point he is talking about the Kuleshov effect:
reading this, helps to see a bit more clearly what Godard means about actors. He’s saying the same thing, except he says it in such as a way as to highlight his role as auteur. Ce film, c’est a moi! Tout a fait….mon Dieu….mais oui….c’est vrai….il est moi! Godard=cinema=Godard.
And Hitch was in the Hollywood system for the most part i.e. not what would be considered an auteur. Hitch was in control of his projects in a way most Hollywood directors were not. I’ve not read it said he was an auteur in the way the New Wave directors were. Though Godard is greatly interested in him and his work.
Jean Renoir as August in La Regle du Jeu
Jean Renoir, a long, detailed post by James Leahy in Senses of Cinema, March 2003.
This came to me from Aeon film, but decided to look for Tijana’s home page to show it from.
One for L.
Wisdom Wednesday: Atom Egoyan’s Golden Rules
Honestly can’t remember watching any of his films. Ararat rings a bell. And didn’t know he was born in Egypt. His name looks like it’s Turkish or Armenian. Proves to be the latter. wiki:Atom Egoyan. I’m at a slight advantage because we had a couple of -ians at my school: Kevorkian, Torosian. Wiki:Armenian name tells me something I didn’t know either. The -ian means ‘son of’. Surnames, schmirnames. Messerschmidt. It’s forenames that count. And what a name Atom is! Every family should have an Atom in it. When he was a little boy, when you said his name, you could define him as well. Molecule. Mmmmm.
Atom’s #3 struck a chord. [ed. this is changed from ‘rang a chord’.]
#6 is in stark contrast to what I just read in footnote 1, chapter 2 Film Editing: The Art of the Expressive, by Valerie Orpen, on Godard’s view on actors.
“My relationship with actors is very hostile. I don’t speak to them….They don’t have a destiny and they know it. They are always conscious of their mutilation. The gap between the creator and the actor is the same as the as the gap between being and having. An actor cannot be.
[Le Nouvel Observateur, Oct 12-18, 1956]
No, but he can recite Hamlet’s soliloquy. One wonders if Godard had been reading too much of Sartre’s “Being and Nothingness”. Thought he might try it out on actors at their most vulnerable. Pretending to talk to the Arrifex, but clearly to the actors – who he doesn’t talk to – Your Being-in-itself is nothing! Etc.
But who is this Godard? Nothing….
Egoyan’s Devil’s Knot , was mostly thought utter crap by the reviewers [32% reviewers/ 85% viewers, which is presumably based on the US audience]. The Sweet Hereafter  got high praise, but I’d tend to go for Ararat  – a lot because it’s a historical subject that interests me and is a film about a film. And there is some suspicion over why it was banned in Italy. And Turkey once wanted to be in the EU! Huh. Next thing we know it’ll be the German’s kicked out because of the Holocaust…
By Timothy Barnard (Out in Autumn 2014, Caboose)
The first 36 pages are available in scribd
Catherine Grant in Film Studies For Free has also showcased the book:
On Cinematic Découpage
– including a set of associated source materials and a video seminar at Sussex U:
REFRAME Seminar: “DÉCOUPAGE and Otto Preminger’s CARMEN JONES” by Christian Keathley
45 mins. Better things to do with your film time? Confused? Quick answer? Why not look at diagrams of découpage [not the cutting up bits of paper and material ones..] in Google Image.
I’ve written several posts on découpage, quoting some books and papers on the bare essentials. Christian mentions long footnotes on découpage. When I looked it up this seemed to be the only place where it was explained, set against the other techniques – synopsis, traitement, continuité dialoguée, and then finally découpage techniqué.
When I eventually bought Colin Crisp’s Classic French Cinema 1930-1960, things got a lot clearer. From the first 36 page freebee pre-publication taster of Timothy Barnard’s Découpage, seems like it might be the one to get to put this baby to bed. Well, at least for a while.
Until the next Découpage post. A bientot.