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206 LETTERS lN CANADA 1991 While the Lockerbie book has fewer errors in relative and absolute terms than the Donohoe one, there are still too many Gallicisms, as already noted, in the texts by francophones, an abuse of capitals for French titles (e.g., 'La Grosse Femme d'A Cote Est Enceinte') confusion between 'French Canadian' (noun) and 'French-Canadian' (adjective), faulty punctuation (lack of commas and colons), insufficient spacing between sentences and countless words run together. Clearly, the subject matter treated in the two books calls for much more care and seriousness. (B.-Z. SHEK) Nicole Gingras. Les Images immobilisles Guernica. 155. illus. $15.00 paper In Les Images immobilisees, Nicole Gingras analyses the role that still photographs play within the temporal unfolding of a motion picture. She attempts to be systematic. Her opening chapter establishes three categories which we might summarize as diegetic, structural, and thematic. While the short analyses of a number of films within this introductory chapter do bear out these distinctions, in the book that follows they become increasingly arbitrary. Drawing upon the theoretical work of writers such as Philippe Dubois, Pascal Bonitzer, and Roland Barthes, Gingras addresses the different spatial and temporal properties of the two media - photography and film: 'Contrairement au cinema qui opere en continuite, ne serait-ce que par la nature meme du medium, la photographie est coupure de la continuite. Elle ne reconstitue pas la memoire d'un parcours temporel.' From this basic distinction, Gingras offers extended accounts of films as diverse as Hollis Frampton's nostalgia and Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow Up, analysing how the presence of photographs either constitutes the film (nostalgia) or troubles its narrative development (Blow Up). The problem with this intriguing work, at least for an anglophone reader, is that the theoretical positions that Gingras adduces are inadequately clarified within her own study. For instance, consider the following statement 'Fonde sur le regard, sur la relative paralysie du spectateur et sur l'onirisme, le cinema permet ala photographie d'aller contre son destin, la mort, en lui offrant un ecran blanc ou elle defile et circule.' That death is the assumed fate of photography is not, in my view, an assertion that we need take for granted. Similarly, in her discussion of Chris Marker's La Jetee, drawing upon notions apparently established by Jean Baudrillard, Gingras equates the lure of the feminine with the lure of death; while in Hollis Frampton's nostalgia, an experimental film in which photographs are incinerated before our eyes, Gingras perceives connections between '!es implications magiques de la photographie et !es proprietes du feu dans certain rituels.' HUMANITIES 207 Insufficiently analysed within her own text, these theoretical abstractions are more suggestive than meaningful. More specific is her discussion of the testimonial photograph in Blow Up. In this section.of her book, her analysis is amenable to empirical verification. Speaking of the central character, Gingras writes: 'Entraine malgre lui a elucider le drame, le photographe doit reduire la distance qu'impose toute prise de vue. Par cette recherche sur et dans }'image, le photographe se bute ala condition essentielle a la photographie: la distance. Si une photographie se prend adistance elle tient neanmoins le spectateur adistance.' While theoretically more provocative than demonstrably consistent and while arbitrary in its choice of films (where, for example, are the references to distinguished Quebecois features such as Michel Brault's Entre la mer et l'eau douce or Jean Pierre Lefebvre's Les Maudits Sauvages, both of which make significant use of the photographic image?), Les Images immobilisees is nevertheless full of insights concerning the individual films that Gingras chooses to deal with. It delineates a territory that merits a more extensive study. Furthermore, by combining short experimental films with established theatrical features and by interweaving European and American examples with those from Canada and Quebec, Les Images immobilisees suggests an approach to film analysis that is refreshingly original. Whatever its conceptual limitations, Les Images immobilisees repays an attentive perusal. (PETER HARCOURT) Richard Courtney. Drama and Intelligence: A Cognitive Theory McGill-Queen's University Press 1990. x, 190. $34.95 While most traditional theories of drama primarily deal with the concept of dramatic action, Richard...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 206-207
Launched on MUSE
2017-05-25
Open Access
No
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