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Notes for Rameau's Nephew by Diderot (Thanx to Dennis Young) by Wilma Schoen 1974 This four-and-a-half-hour film took three years to make and was completed in 1974. During the period, I was obsessed with the film and was continually thinking about it and making notes and scribbles on any paper that came to hand. These "ideas" and "observations" (some having no evident final use in the film) accumulated into the hundreds . They are now in the Edward P. Taylor Research Library and Archives, Art Gallery of Ontario. The following selection of scripts was suggested by Annette Michelson and the editors of October magazine. These notes were all to myself, except for the first two paragraphs, written after the film was completed and intended as a description for inclusion in the catalogues of various distributors of the film: the Canadian Film Makers Distribution Centre in Toronto, New York Film-Makers' Coop and the Canyon Cinema in San Francisco. The selection from the notes reproduced here was originally published in October4, nos. 43-52 (Fall 1977). M.S. To me it's a true "talking picture." It delves into the implicationsof that description and derives structures that can generate contentsthat are proper to the mode. It derives its form and the nature of its possible effects from its being built from the inside, as it were, with the actual units of such a film, i.e., the frame and the recorded syllable. Thus its dramatic development derivesnot only from a representationof what may involve us generally in life but from considerations of the nature of recorded speech in relation to moving light-imagesof people. Thus it can become an event in life, not just a report of it. Echoes reverberate to "language," to "representation" in general, to representation in the sound cinema,to "culture," to "civilization." Via the eyes and ears it is a composition aimed at exciting the two halves of the brain into recognition. A clear use of ambiguity. Can you extrapolatefrom "not being able to understand" (in terms of intelligibility of parts of the separate segments)to "not being able to understand" thewhole? "Understand" - Two shades of meaning. LAUGHTER AND ORGASM: relation? 97 T 98 The Collected Writings of Michael Snow Style is a way of saying. Styles of different sections. Ways of saying several things at once. DIFFERENT MEANINGS AT DIFFERENT READINGS connecting different "strata." INTERNAL EXTERNAL SOUND Appearance/disap- Focus Appearance/disappearance pearance Substitution Color Substitution Metamorphosis Light intensity (f stop) other voice, Auto-motion fade in/out other sound, etc. Changes of light exposure - Pitch change intensity over/under Timbre change color Opticals room-tone, position wipes echo, fuzz Repetition fold-overs Volume (loud to 0) Normal movement Superimpositions spatial position Repetition (printed) Repetition Camera position ''distortion'' Camera movement Camera speed Screen Shape The other external is the actual film strip. Editing CROSS CAUSES AND EFFECTS Cause: action "in" picture. Effect: "external" change (image color, focus, etc.) Cause: action "in" picture. Effect: "Entering the image": TOUCH: caress, feel, eat, fuck, smash. Verbal description, "journalism." Dialogue sexual. Eventually, the camera enters the image by fast changes of position, hand-held stuff, wild cuts, dollies, etc. List all possible manipulates. Computer/cross-index all the permutations, combinations. Use this as a script. 5 6 5 2 4 1 3 5 6 5 6 1 3 2 2 2 1 2 2 5 2 4 1 1 2 1 1 6 1 5 4 4 3 4 4 4 5 6 5 6 4 3 3 3 6 3 6 3 action reaction Superimpose action several locations reaction or sets or backdrops Trees by a river NO New Orleans Street Babylonian (ancient) scene Notes for Rameau 's Nephew 99 Do film in four or five tempi. medium (long) 40 minutes slow (medium) 15minutes fast (medium) 20 minutes slow (short) 5minutes Control of WAVES OF "COHERENCE" necessary. Rhythm continues but certain elements become more sequential then become more varied again. e.g. dialogue becomes more sequential "normal" then starts fragmenting again. COMEDY Commedia dell'Arte Comedy of Art Same characters exchange positions but original voices are still heard. Characters are replaced but original voices are still heard. Characters are replaced but new voices are heard. Characters change spatial position but sound continues. FRAMES: The Fact: Everythingcan be changed between frames. Film absolutely not videotape. CUTTING -Disjunctive. ABSOLUTELY non-sequential patterns. No proportionate modulations,glissandos, fades. Must be staccato, not legato But: 6 2 1 9...


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