cutting on the action

photography and film – facts, ideas, values

FILM The Conversation










‘The Conversation’: A Brilliantly Composed Symbol of Watergate America




Cinephilia and Beyond Another longform form this wonderful film site. Please if you use it make a small contribution.


As an added treat a pdf of the screenplay, by Copploa, written in 1973, which is downloadable, but if you want it not to be popping up up as a webpage but as a file on your PC, make sure to save it as such.


The centre-piece is a facsimile of an interview in Filmmakers Newsletter, 1974, with with Brian De Palma and Coppola getting into the nitty-gitty of The Conversation’s conception and making. De Palma going on to make Blow Out in 1980, starring John Travolta.


NB. Coppola mentions Blow Up as an influence.


Also, for the real enthusiasts: Drew Morton’s video essay, Cross-Cut, looking at Blow Up [1960], The Conversation [1973] and Blow Out [1980], here embedded in this Indewire page with a short intro. It’s only 6 mins long, a true video essay made up of just video, doing the job of comparing and contrasting – film explaining film – not one of those video clip/slide-show type-thingummies with lecture tagged on. Though many of this type can be good, there is that thing about whether such a detailed lecture might be better as a separate essay/paper. That debate about video essays is probably still going on. Now the video essay, a well-thumbed subject in itself, has evolved a lot since the early days, with academics pouring over them in various ways.


If you know your three films well, and you’re into film-making, can’t fail to be impressed by Drew’s brilliant editing.


Before coming across Drew Morton’s essay when he first put it up, had myself spent inordinate amounts of time taking screen grabs of all three films, hoping to construct a slide show doing the same thing, lacking the wherewithall to do clips, again with no audio essay superimposed on the visuals. Having seen Drew’s, the idea was soon dropped, but mine would have gone into a lot more detail of all three films. Self-evidently video essays are not ideal for anyone who doesn’t know the film or films. And one of my pet hates, trailers giving awy too much information, even Drews sparse choice of clips would give too much away, in my extreme trailersist view.


A trailerist of course almost kicks in TV screens while shoutung, No, No, No! trying to stop it when the next episode of a series is laid out in such detail as to provide a clear impression of the whole plot, even if it’s a bit jumbled up.


Drew’s vimeo page shows he’s not been a slacker, producing many classy video essays.


Drew has put up earlier shorter versions of Cross-Cut, linked to below, which each have two intercut quotes, but no voice-over, which point to film essays and the video essay form, rather than directly to the three films.


As he puts in his comments on v .5:


“What began as “A poetic introduction to the fiction film as videographic criticism that seeks to illustrate the works of Raymond Bellour and Laura Mulvey through BLOW OUT, BLOW UP, and THE CONVERSATION” eventually became a more modest experiment in exploring the narrative, stylistic, and thematic connections between Michelangelo Antonioni’s BLOW-UP, Francis Ford Coppola’s THE CONVERSATION, and Brian De Palma’s BLOW OUT. This is the first – thumbnail – version.”


and v .75 :


“What began as “A poetic introduction to the fiction film as videographic criticism that seeks to illustrate the works of Raymond Bellour and Laura Mulvey through BLOW OUT, BLOW UP, and THE CONVERSATION” eventually became a more modest experiment in exploring the narrative, stylistic, and thematic connections between Michelangelo Antonioni’s BLOW-UP, Francis Ford Coppola’s THE CONVERSATION, and Brian De Palma’s BLOW OUT. This is the second version – made before the theoretical framing device was ultimately jettisoned.

Differences from Version .5: I realized that I needed to begin intercutting between the three films earlier to establish more of an aesthetic rhythm and conceptual dynamism. If I had stuck with the structure outlined in draft .5, I wouldn’t have introduced THE CONVERSATION until almost 2 minutes in (and BLOW OUT probably nearly three minutes). In short, it was becoming a piece dominated by discrete thirds without really doing much intellectually.”


CROSS-CUT (AKA Cinefilea, Version .5)


CROSS-CUT (AKA Cinefilea, Version .75)


And again for convenience, v. 1.0 :


CROSS-CUT



September 8, 2018 Posted by | Antonioni, Blow Out, Blow Up [1966], Coppola, De Palma, The Conversation [1974] | , , | Leave a comment

FILM Fellini La Dolce Vita 1960



film-antonioni-la-dolce-vita-beach-1




La Dolce Vita

The Magic Widow 6 November 2015 ~ film blog by Kristoffer T notable for the quality film stills


the cinematography of la Dolce vita: that’s deep, man

Brandon W. Irvines’ Underplex film blog, 20 June 2013 ~ always plenty of stills


La Dolce Vita: Lessons not learned

Kate Fitzpatrick, Brattle Theatre Film Notes, 24 June 2103


Search Brattle for other La Dolce Vita posts.



February 26, 2017 Posted by | Antonioni, film, film directors, La Dolce Vita [1960] | , | Leave a comment

FILM ANTONIONI L’ Avventura in 3 images













September 4, 2012 Posted by | Antonioni, film, film still, L'Avventura | , , , | Leave a comment

FILM Antonioni [from blog The Film Sufi]



The Film Sufi has 12 posts on Antonioni. For convenience here: Antonioni. The whole set is not in the first scroll. For the final batch click older posts at the bottom.

For film people who like to luxuriate in long posts on film this is the place to go. There are three on Red Desert.



May 30, 2012 Posted by | Antonioni, Michelangelo Antonioni | , | Leave a comment

FILM ESSAY ANTONIONI L’Avventura (1961) [from blog The Film Sufi]



Film blog The Film Sufi does a handy essay “L’Avventura” – Michelangelo Antonioni (1960) (posted 17 July 2010)


He or she divides the analysis into 5 sections like five movements in a musical composition


Plenty of stills.


Cinematic Expression in “L’Avventura” (Another Sufi essay on Antonioni)


La Notte (1961), L’Eclisse (1962), Red Desert (1964) also have substantial posts on them here in The Film Sufi.



May 28, 2012 Posted by | Antonioni, Film blog - The Film Sufi, L'Avventura, La Notte [1961], Red Desert [1964], Red Dsert [1964] | , , , , | Leave a comment

FILM ANTONIONI Barthes: “. ..vigilance, wisdom and fragility.”



FSFF is doing Antonioni this week.

Looking through the academic papers Catherine has listed the divide between film and what is written about it seems enormous. The density and opacity of jargon-filled texts often seem to bear no relation to a film viewed on screen.

Picked out Laura Rascaroli and John David Rhodes, ‘INTERSTITIAL, PRETENTIOUS, ALIENATED, DEAD: Antonioni at 100’, in Rascaroli and Rhodes (eds), Antonioni: Centenary Essays (BFI/Palgrave, 2011).

This is the intro essay by the editors in the collection.

The story is the screening of L’Aventura [1960] at the 13th. Cannes Film Festival. The audience hated it.

p.3

Michelangelo Antonioni and Monica Vitti, director and protagonist of the film, emerged from the projection in tears, devastated by the audience’s scathing reaction, but awoke the following morning to find, hanging from a wall in the hall of their hotel, a typewritten letter of support signed by a long list of directors, technicians, actors and critics (among many others, Roberto
Rossellini, Georges Sadoul, Janine Bazin, Anatole Dauman, André S. Labarthe and Alain Cuny). The short letter read: Conscious of the exceptional importance of Michelangelo Antonioni’s film, L’avventura, and appalled by the demonstrations of hostility it has aroused, the undersigned professionals and critics wish to express all their admiration to the author of this film.

Roland Barthes wrote an open letter, Cher Antonioni, which was read out on 28 January 1980 at a ceremony in which the city of Bologna awarded him a civic honour.

In Michaelangelo: The Investigation by Seymour Chatman and Paul Duncan, Barthe’s letter is described as:

p.11

…..a dense and insightful one and one of the most elegant pieces ever written about a film-maker.


Following paragraph:





There is a 6 part Youtube of a BBC Arena programme, Dear Antonioni…, aired on 18 January 1997, which uses Barthes’ letter to frame an essay on Antonioni. Included amongst the commentators is Alain Robbe-Grillet. Ever try one of his novels? Erk. Note he wrote screenplay for Alain Renais’ Last Year in Marienbad.






May 24, 2012 Posted by | Antonioni | , | 1 Comment

FILM SCRIPT ANTONIONI L’Aventura



English translation by Louis Brigante of script by, Michelangelo Antonioni,
Elio Bartolini, and of Tonino Guerra

of

L’Aventura

August 29, 2010 Posted by | Antonioni, L'Aventura | , | Leave a comment