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FILM BOOK Découpage by Timothy Barnard





GRAPHIC Decoupage 2 [hand-drawn]
{1}


Découpage


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.



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May 3, 2014 Posted by | decoupage | , , , , | Leave a comment

FILM Découpage technique for La Gueule Ouverte [1974] Dir. Maurice Pialat



Découpage technique plan par plan du film La Gueule ouverte (1974) de Maurice Pialat


Découpage technique réalisé par Bénédicte Romieu pour
http://www.maurice-pialat.net.



January 18, 2012 Posted by | decoupage, decoupage technique | | Leave a comment

FILM decoupage VII (Encroyable! Bien plus? Sûrement pas?)



Are there any examples of decoupage? This would be a lot easier than trying to work out what it was from a welter of different ideas. The main thing is that film analysts and theorists see finished films, rarely scripts and certainly not shooting scripts.


The only example I’ve come across, which has been linked to before for anyone following these decouage posts through on an internal blog search, is in :


French Film Theory and Criticism: A History/Anthology 1907-1939 by Richard Abel (Google Book)

An extract from “Le Filmage,” Le Cinema (Paris: Renaissance du livre, 1919), 145-68 by Henri Diamant-Berger (1895-1972), a French director, producer and screenwriter, has an example of decoupage written by him as an illustration:








He explains that “This scene, as cut up into twenty-six pieces in the scenario, calls for fifteen camera set ups and measures 50 metres in length. You will notice, of course, that a scene thus exhibited out of context carried a completely arbitrary significance and that, according to to its placement in a film, it should be treated in a manner that is either more or less synthesised or balenced.”

Also: the median length of a shot is 2-5 metres (1 meter might be about 2 seconds). There is mention of ‘extremely special decoupages’. Footnote 2 of this extract – or is it a whole article – giving as examples where they can be found in Gance’s J’Accuse (1919) and Griffith’s Intolerance (1916)


He finishes with:

The decoupage is as indispensable to the cinema as dialogue is to the theater or punctuation is two writing…..



This presumably is decoupage technique.


Another way of looking at decoupage would be to look for specific mention of decoupagers in credits. The only one I’ve found so far is is for Falbalas or “Paris Frills” (1945).

Maurice Aubergé (scenario and adaptation)

Jacques Becker (scenario and adaptation)

Maurice Griffe (scenario and adaptation)

Jacques Becker (decoupage)

Maurice Aubergé (dialogue)




January 18, 2012 Posted by | decoupage | | Leave a comment

FILM Mais non! Pas encore de le découpage! VI



The classic French cinema, 1930-1960 (1993)


by


C. G. Crisp


Stages in development of a script, from p. 300.

page 301:


There were [..] five stages listed in script development “manuals”: the synopsis, the traitment, the continuité, the dialogues or continuité dialoguée, and the découpage techniqué. Frequently, mention is made of a prior “stage”, the idée de film, which might be an anecdote noted in a few lines or at most a few pages.



This quoting is a bit complicated – p.301 came from a previous search on the GoogleBook. The recent search had p.301 missing. You’ll have to buy the book, sorry. I just did.


p.302

…the complete five-stage process was not necessarily followed for every film. Sometimes there would be more like three stages — synopsis, traitement through continuité dialoguée, and découpage technique; and if all five stages, they did not necessarily or even normally succeed one another temporarily: each flowed and overlapped with the next. The addition of dialogue in particular might well not be a separate stage, but an ongoing procedure beginning at the traitement stage and not be being finally completed till shooting began (or even after). Consequently, the term for this fourth stage fluctuated more than did the others, from adaptation to découpage artistique to continuité dialoguée; many writers simply use a descriptive phrase such as “addition de dialogues.” The term scenario itself was used for the whole process, but sometimes for the synopsis or traitement stages. The earliest of these post-war commentators, writing in the period 1944-1946, showed particular uncertainty as to how to label the stages, as if the range of terms was still there being developed and had not firmed up. “Scenario, synopsis, adaptation,” says Style en France in 1946, “continuity, dialogues, découpage artistique, découpage technique — this flurry of prestigious and recondite terms cluster around the work.”





January 15, 2012 Posted by | decoupage, film-making | , | Leave a comment

FILM BOOK Montage, Découpage, Mise en Scène: Essays on Film Form



Montage, Découpage, Mise en Scène: Essays on Film Form



Jacques Aumont, Timothy Barnard, Frank Kessler with a foreword by Christian Keathley


This book is to be published by caboose in a series called Kino-Agora [Series editor: Christian Keathley, Middlebury College]



January 15, 2012 Posted by | decoupage, mise en scene, montage | 1 Comment

FILM montage / découpage / mise-en-scène V



After reading the Christian Keathley paper Catherine put up on FSFF about découpage [Bonjour Tristesse and the expressive potential of découpage ] can see that the title of my original post on découpage should really be montage, découpage and mise-en-scène. But then I didn’t really understand the connections before. This is a learning experience!

Looking around for découpage vs. mise-en-scéne has brought a few more explanations.



Useful:


mise en scène analysis needs a reunion with theories of montage (long left fallow in Anglo-American cinema studies, though not elsewhere) — or, at the very least, découpage (‘shot breakdown’, shot-patterning), an intermediate term between mise en scène and montage that was once strongly alive in the writings of Noël Burch and Brian Henderson, and informs the regular reviewing of Jonathan Rosenbaum. And découpage, pushed a little further back to its origin, returns us to an often censored element in *mise en scène* criticism: namely, the script!



from


Placing Mise en scène: An Argument with John Gibbs’s Mise-en-scène


by Adrian Martin in Film-Philosophy Journal, vol. 8 no. 20, June 2004


Buried in the middle of Romance of the Ordinary [on Chantal Akerman], Jonathan Rosenbaum’s post on Belgian film-maker Chantal Ackerman, is a section on découpage and mise-en-scéne. And in the middle of that:

….découpage. In terms of its popular French usage, it has three separate but interlocking meanings: the final form of a script, the breakdown of a film into separate shots and sequences prior to filming, and the basic structure of a finished film. (The verb découper means “to cut out” or “to cut up.”) The term découpage implies that there is a continuity between script and editing — a continuity imposed not by a writer, director, or editor, but by a filmmaker who carries the project through from beginning to end — and that mise en scène becomes a means toward an end in this continuity rather than an end in itself.



Right after that, this paragraph:

If the term mise en scène implies an industrial model of cinema, the term découpage implies an artistic or artisanal model. The latter term makes sense in France, where a filmmaker’s right to final cut is a part of actual law; it makes very little sense in a country like ours, where even the writer-directors who have an unusual amount of creative freedom — Woody Allen, for instance — do not produce a découpage in the sense that Robert Bresson does. (As we know from Ralph Rosenblum and Robert Karen’s book When the Shooting Stops . . . the Cutting Begins, practically all of Allen’s features are restructured and re-created in the cutting room, and the original scripts are quite different from the finished products.)



It’s all over the place. This from a Criterion Forum, What does a cinematographer do? :

Mise en scène began life as a generic term in French cinema in the 20s and 30s to generally indicate the director – “mise en scène de…” The term gained greater force of meaning with the post war critics, and of course the famous Politique des Auteurs. In fact, a distinction grew up between directors whose mise en scene (to cut it short “means of expression”) were clearly expressive of a distinct directorial personality, or directors who were merely “metteurs en scene” – to cut it short, second rung directors whose felicity of expression did not however manifest a distinctive directorial personality – thus endless feuds and arguments between cinephiles of various stripes over many years. I still have a seriously cineliterate friend who regards Powell and Pressberger as metteurs en scène. I think he’s nuts.

It ought to be pointed out also, the French term decoupage which, during the thirties had a substantially conjunctive meaning to mise en scene, was originally used in essence to express the general filmic rhythms vis a vis cutting, camera movement montage – in short the grammatical “layout’ of the film’s visual style.

But like mise en scène, decoupage got into the hands of English language critics and by the 90s or earlier was becoming so overused that the original meanings have simply become debased.



Section 4 of part 1 of How Movies Work, by Bruce F Kawin [1992], titled Montage and Mise-en-scene in the Narrative Film [starting at page 87], does a very good og job of explaining Mise-en-scene and Montage in separate sections, only once briefly mentioning decoupage:

The French term for simple continuity editing is decoupage: it denotes “ordinary” sequential cutting, where one shot follows another in a linear, easy-to-follow manner



This section is followed by by detailed examples of how mise-en-scene and montage work.


Then there is paper in Continuum:The Australian Journal of Media & Culture, vol. 5 no 2 (1990)


‘The mystique of mise en scene revisited’ by Barrett Hodsdon



January 14, 2012 Posted by | decoupage, mise en scene, montage | Leave a comment

FILM découpage / mise-en-scéne IV



Film study: an analytical bibliography


By Frank Manchel


Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 1990

The four volumes of Film Study include a fresh approach to each of the basic categories in the original edition. Volume one examines the film as film; volume two focuses on the thematic approach to film; volume three draws on the history of film; and volume four contains extensive appendices listing film distributors, sources, and historical information as well as an index of authors, titles, and film personalities.



Google Book


Has a short section on page 112 on decoupage and mis-en-scene. 15 lines on mis-en-scene and then






This forms part of Chapter 1. You’ll find yourself scrolling back and forward from this section finding other interesting things. This quote in the section on The Narrative Film starting on page 107


Note 5 in André Bazin Revisited: André Bazin: Part 1, Film Style Theory in its Historical Context

Donato Totaro, 2003

There are two terms used by Bazin which either take on a different meaning in their English translation or don’t have an equivalent. Montage in English terminology implies a rigorous and expressive editing style. Most editing sequences juxtapose shots of varying space, time, and content combining to create an over- all idea, meaning, or tone. Editing implies the formal construction of the film from one shot to the next and is not nec­essarily expressive. Bazin uses the terms interchangeably. The second term, decoupage, has no English equivalent. The French definition is “to cut,” but applied to film the word is better described as construction. Noel Burch, in Theory of Film Practice, defines the three terms for which decoupage is inter­changeably used for as: 1) The final form of a script replete with the required technical information. 2) The practical breakdown of the film’s construction into separate shots/sequences prior to filming & 3) The underlying structure of the finished film, which has probably deviated from the original “decoupage.”



Film editing: The Art of the Expressive, Valerie Orpen, p.2:









January 14, 2012 Posted by | decoupage, film [its techniques], mise en scene | Leave a comment

FILM découpage / Mise-en-scène III



Catherine has linked to a very good 2011 paper in Movie: A Journal of Film Criticism, 3 by Christian Keathley, 2011, which might be in the category of All One Ever Needed To Know About Découpage But Were Afraid To Ask: Bonjour Tristesse and the expressive potential of découpage.



January 14, 2012 Posted by | decoupage, mise en scene | Leave a comment

FILM More on decoupage



Translator’s note on découpage.

What is Cinema? by Andre Bazin. Translated by Timothy Barnard. Caboose 2009.

Mentioned in Girish in post, A Cinema Haunted by Writing, 3 may 2009, on cinema as writing.



August 31, 2009 Posted by | decoupage, film [its techniques] | | Leave a comment

FILM EDITING montage/découpage



GRAPHIC TABLE decoupage technique


Everyone who has read a little bit about film remembers montage as what Eisenstein did. But Découpage?  Unusually, wiki does not provide an answer.

Note 5 in a 2003 essay/paper by Donato Totaro in Offscreen:

André Bazin: Part 1, Film Style Theory in its Historical Context

 

There are two terms used by Bazin which either take on a different meaning in their English translation or don’t have an equivalent. Montage in English terminology implies a rigorous and expressive editing style. Most editing sequences juxtapose shots of varying space, time, and content combining to create an over- all idea, meaning, or tone. Editing implies the formal construction of the film from one shot to the next and is not nec­essarily expressive. Bazin uses the terms interchangeably. The second term, decoupage, has no English equivalent. The French definition is “to cut,” but applied to film the word is better described as construction. Noel Burch, in Theory of Film Practice, defines the three terms for which decoupage is inter­changeably used for as: 1) The final form of a script replete with the required technical information. 2) The practical breakdown of the film’s construction into separate shots/sequences prior to filming & 3) The underlying structure of the finished film, which has probably deviated from the original “decoupage.”

 


Jonathan Rosenbaum posts up his découpage entry for what he says was an aborted Oxford Companion to Film.

GoogleBook of Film Editing By Valerie Orpen, elucidates more and ties it in with editing.



The Classic French Cinema, 1930-1960
By C. G. Crisp

page 301: Stages in development of script

There were [..] five stages listed in script development “manuals”: the synopsis, the traitement, the continuité, the dialogues or continuité dialoguée, and the découpage techniqué. Frequently, mention is made of a prior “stage”, the idée de film, which might be an anecdote noted in a few lines or at most a few pages.



There are a few pages missing here and there, but the discussion on découpage runs on up to page 15, where there is a quote from Rene Clair:

“When I have finished writing the découpage, my film is made.”



French Film Theory and Criticism By Richard Abel


has three beginning pages of  “The Decoupage” by Henri Diament-Berger from the “Le filmage” section of a book called Le Cinéma.


This is very useful because he gives an example of a decoupaged scene: a numbered list with meters of film to be used in each shot. He then goes on to mention logical decoupage.


How meters of film convert to mins/secs, would be nice to know. Suppose if one knew how many frames per meter (we already know 24 fps), tout a fait.


On the History of Film Style by David Bordwell
{GoogleBook}


This Screening the Past review of Valerie Orpen’s Fim editing: the art of the expressive, points out the not always obvious point: editing as cutting and joining.


The Classical Hollywood Cinema by David Bordwell, Janet Staiger, Kristin Thompson


Chapter 6.   Shot and scene.  As usual there are vital pages missing, but enough to get the general idea plus some.


Look on these annoying missing pages not as a reason to have to buy the book, more like the discovery of a pile of dusty out takes  from which you are painstakingly reconstructing the mind of the long gone editor of some unnamed film.


For the beginner, the first paragraph can be quite sufficient to mull over. Though what there is of the rest of the chapter is fascinating stuff.  Anyone know what a timer is?  Well, here you learn this job was to work out the total running time of a script.


Using the search option in GoogleBook to find the other mentions of decoupage.


Film Editing By Don Fairservice


An over 300 page book – no index; no mention of découpage.



December 30, 2008 Posted by | decoupage, film editing, film [its techniques] | , , | 1 Comment