202012251332—Close-up and Cinema 클로즈업과 시네마

Main Reference: Mary Ann Doane, ‘The Close-up: Scale and Detail in the Cinema’, Differences, 14.3 (2003), 89–111 https://doi.org/10.1215/10407391-14-3-89.
Tags: #cinema #Montage #Eisenstein #Epstein

Reference at the front from Main reference, at the end from second reference

90 엡스테인

  • 가장 오래된 필름 이론중의 하나인 (프랑스 인상주의 1920년에 시작된)
    • 언어를 초과하기에 가장 시네마적으로 인식되었던 photogénie ➡︎ theoretically incoherent
    • which exceeds language and hence points to the very essence of cinematic specificity.
  • 엡스테인에게 그것은 시네마의 행위적 규범에 속박되어있었다.
    • For Epstein “I would describe as photogenic any aspect of things, beings or souls whose moral character is enhanced by filmic reproduction” (Bonjour 20).
    • it transforms the face, reserved as the very locus of subjectivity into a series of harsh and alien objects.
    • 어떤 관객도 거대한 디테일, 우연성들(contingencies), 특이성들을 살펴보도록 초대된다.
    • The close-up is always, at some level, an autonomous entity, a fragment, a “for-itself.”
      • totality
  • (내 예시)
  • Jean Epstein, Le Lion des Mogols, Jean Epstein, 1924, Provenant de la collection : La Cinémathèque française
  • Epstein’s extravagant language, perhaps unconsciously and certainly despite the invocation of morality, delineates the close-up as a lurking danger, a potential semiotic threat to the unity and coherency of the filmic discourse.
    • 가장 많이 쓰이는 클로즈업은 = 얼굴 the face, fragments the body, decapitating it

91-93 Semiotic role of the close-up

  • 이러한 공간을 다 써버린 얼굴들과 오브젝트들은 시간의 순간들로 일직선적 시간의 내러티브로 펼쳐진다.
    • Space is “used up” by the face or object, and the time of the moment, the time of Epstein’s contemplation, is expanded at the expense of the linear time of narrative.

들뢰즈와 다이아그램 그리고 클로즈업

  • Gilles Deleuze, citing Béla Balázs, claims that “the close-up does not tear away its object from a set of which it would form part, of which it would be a part, but on the contrary it abstracts it from all spatio-temporal co-ordinates, that is to say it raises it to the state of Entity” (95–96).
    • 들뢰즈의 경우 (벨라 발라즈를 예시로) 클로즈업은 한 부분으로 귀속되어있던 오브젝트에서 찢겨나오는 것이아닌 오히려 그것은 그 오브젝트를 시공간의 좌표를 추상화하여 state of Entity 로 상승시킨다.
    • Gilles Deleuze, Cinema I: The Movement-Image, trans. by Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam, Bloomsbury Revelations, Paperback edition (London ; New York: Bloomsbury Academic, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2018), p. 106.
  • 클로즈업은 시네마틱 차이점과 특수성으로 자주 나타난다.
    • 발라즈에게 클로즈업은 예술필름의 기술적 조건 “the technical condition of the art of film” (qtd. in Aumont 84)
    • 엡스테인에게 클로즈업은 시네마의 영혼 Epstein described the close-up as the “soul of the cinema” (“Magnification” 9)
    • 세르게이 에이젠슈테인에게 있어서 For Sergei Eisenstein, close-up is a crucial element of montage, the close-up was the support of an intellectual, critical cinema.
      • argued for the disengagement of the close-up from reality, criticizing Griffith for his inability to abstract, to get beyond the “narrowly representational” (Film243).
        • Here is the same defect again: an inability to abstract a phe­nomenon, without which it cannot expand beyond the nar­rowly representational. For this reason we could not resolve any “supra-representational,” “conveying” (metaphorical) tasks.
          • Sergei M. Eisenstein, Film Form: Essays in Film Theory, trans. by Jay Leyda, A Harvest Book, 153 (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1977), 243.
      • The function of the close-up in the Soviet cinema was “not so much to showor to presentas to signify, to give meaning, to designate (238).
      • 리얼에서 찢어내어 “absolute changes in the dimensions of bodies and objects on the screen” (Eisenstein, Au-delà229)
      • “[T]he laws of cinematographic perspective are such that a cockroach filmed in close-up appears on the screen one hundred times more formidable than a hundred elephants in medium-long shot” (112).
  • 에이젠슈테인과 다른 이들이 지적했듯, 컨셉은 용여체계 nomenclature에 따라 다르게 해석되곤 한다.
    • Russian and French ➡︎ 크기 largeness or large scale (fros plan)
      • it is thought as a quality of the image, as extensiveness, scale, an imposing stature, the awe of the gigantic as opposed to the charm of the miniature.
      • the Russian and French terms reject possession in favor of transcendence (the image is truly “larger than life”), a scale that guarantees unattainability.
        • Extras: Susan Stewart, On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection, 1st paperback ed (Durham: Duke University Press, 1993).
    • English ➡︎ 거리 nearness or proximity
      • In the American context, it is conceptualized in terms of point of view, perspective, the relation between spectator and image, the spectator’s placein the scene, and an assumed identification between viewer and camera.
  • 벤야민 Benjamin 에게 클로즈업은 재생산된 이미지를 소유하고자 하는 욕망과 맞닿아있다. possession, possessiveness, the desire to “get hold of an object”
    • the desire of contemporary masses to bring things “closer” spatially and humanly, which is just as ardent as their bent toward overcoming the uniqueness of every reality by accept- ing its reproduction. Every day the urge grows stronger to get hold of an object at very close range by way of its likeness, its reproduction. (“Work of Art” 223)
  • Metz ➡︎ 언어학적 접근이 유행했던 1970년대 유사과학적 접근을 했던 크리스티앙 메츠의 경우 초기 필름 이론에서의 우쭐되던 클로즈업에 대한 해석은 사라진다. 대신 언어학적 시테마의 유닛으로 남는다.
    • and hence why the cinema is always speech—paroleversus langagein Saussure’s terms
      • The image isalways actualized. Moreover, even the image— fairly rare, incidentally—that might, because of its content, correspond to a “word” is still a sentence: This is a particular case, and a particularly revealing one. A close-up of a revolver does not mean “revolver” (a purely virtual lexical unit), but at the very least, and without speaking of the connotations, it signifies “Here is a revolver!” It carries with it a kind ofhere (a word which André Martinet rightly considers to be a pure index of actualization).
        • Christian Metz, Film Language: A Semiotics of the Cinema, University of Chicago Press ed (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991), 67.

94 anthropomorphic close-up

  • For Balázs 발라즈에게 클로즈업은 오브젝트이건 인간 얼굴이건 anthropomorphic .
    • “When the film close-up strips the veil of our imperceptiveness and insensitivity from the hidden little things and shows us the face of objects, it still shows us man, for what makes objects expressive are the human expressions projected on to them. The objects only reflect our own selves.
    • “This most subjective and individual of human manifestations is rendered objective in the close-up” (60).
      • 이것은 특히나 무성영화에서 더 강하게 나타나며 인간과 오브젝트 모두 똑같이 homogeneous 픽처, 사진적 재료들로 같은 스크린에 나타난다.
  • according to Aumont, is “the operation which produces a surface that is sensible and legible at the same time, which produces, as Deleuze says, an Entity” (85).
    • The close-up transforms whatever it films into a quasi-tangible thing, producing an intense phenomenological experience of presence, and yet, simultaneously, that deeply experienced entity becomes a sign, a text, a surface that demands to be read. This is, inside or outside of the cinema, the inevitable opera- tion of the face as well.
    • Deleuze formulates even more extreme
      • “As for the face itself, we will not say that the close-up deals with [traite] it or subjects it to some kind of treatment: there is no close-up of the face, ~the face is itself close-up~, the ~close-up is by itself face and both are affect, affection image~ ” (88)

95 Universal language and close-up

  • (96) Almost all theories of the face come to terms in some way with this opposition between surface and depth, exteriority and interiority.
    • the face constitutes a kind of universal language, and Balázs refers to the “universal comprehensibility of facial expression and gesture” (44–45).
      • Béla Balázs, Theory of the Film: Character and Growth of a New Art (New York: Dover Publications, 1970).
      • Extra: Béla Balázs, ‘Close-Up’, in Béla Balázs: Early Film Theory: Visible Man and the Spirit of Film, ed. by Erica Carter, trans. by Rodney Livingstone, Film Europa : German Cinema in an International Context, 10 (New York: Berghahn Books, 2010), pp. 37–45.
  • Traditionally, according to Deleuze, the face has been given three roles:
    1. as the privileged site of individualization (it embodies each person’s uniqueness);
    2. as the manifestation of social role or social type;
    3. as the primary tool of intersubjectivity, of relation to or commu- nication with the other (this also refers to an adequate, mimetic relation, within the individual, between face and character or role).
  • This understanding of the face requires that it be completely detached from ordinary notions about its social semiotics.
  • The close-up pushes us beyond the realm of individuation, of social role, and of the exchange that underlies intersubjectivity.
  • Yet, there is simultaneously a strong denial that cinematic specificity is at work here—the face and the close-up are equated in the arguments of Deleuze, Aumont, and even Balázs. Inevitably, these analyses (particularly those of Epstein and Balázs) produce nostalgia for the silent cinema, since it is the face that speaks there, and speaks to us (rather than to other characters) so much more eloquently when mute.
    • 그러나, 동시에 영화 적 특이성이 여기에 작동한다는 강한 부정이있다 – 얼굴과 클로즈업은 델뢰즈, 오몬트, 심지어 발라즈에게 있어서동일시된다.

98 Examples

  • (For Epstein) Sessue Hayakawa’s face In Cecil B. De Mille’s 1915 The Cheat – Given the stony immobility of his face, a slight twitch of an eyebrow could convey extraordinary significance.
  • Rouben Mamoulian, Queen Christina, 1933.
  • Alfred Hitchcock, Sabotage, 1936.

103

The legibility of all three instances of the close-up is intimately linked to their very lackof autonomy.

104

  • However, I am not confirming here the banal argument that the close-up must always be read in context and that therefore film theory’s espousal of the idea of its autonomy, its unavoidable despatialization, is simply wrong.
    • why the marked discrepancy between theory’s excessive concentration on the close-up’s extractability from all spatiotemporal coordinates, its production of a hitherto unknown dimension, and its practice within specific films?
      • I would argue that it has a great deal to do with an implicit politics of cinematic scale, most visibly incarnated in the close-up.
      • A number of theorists attempt to elaborate a politics of the close-up or a politics of the face
      • According to Deleuze and Guattari in A Thousand Plateaus, “The face is a politics [. . .]. Certain assemblages of power require the production of a face, others do not [. . .]. The reason is simple. The face is not a universal. It is not even that of the white man; it is White Man himself, with his broad white cheeks and the black hole of his eyes” (181, 175–76).
        • Face = White Man
          • The societies that do not require the production of a face are (predictably enough) primitive societies, societies that are “collective, polyvocal, and corporeal” as opposed to signifying and subjective. They do not operate through the face but through the body, bringing into play heterogeneous forms and substances.
      • For Aumont, on the other hand, the face has operated as the very location of the human since it, ~together with the voice~, allow us a privileged access to the humanity of the other.

106 Detail and despatialisation

  • The only film theorist who situates the politics of the close-up in relation to the question of scale is Eisenstein, with his emphasis on the superiority of the Russian term—large scale or large shot—to that of the English—close-up. [[202012251645—Eisenstein and Close-up]]
    • the close-up is most significantly the close-up of objects, not of the human face:
    • The representation of objects in the actual (absolute) proportions proper to them is, of course, merely a tribute to orthodox formal logic. A subordination to an inviolable order of things [. . .]. Absolute realism is by no means the correct form of perception. It is simply the function of a certain form of social structure. (Film 34–35)
  • Balázs – Balázs, who embraces the defamiliarization argument, also argues that the close-up is not a detail because there is no whole from which it is extracted. The space of the narrative, the diegesis, is constructed by a multiplicity of shots that vary in terms of both size and angle—hence this space exists ~nowhere~; ~there is no totality of which the close-up could be a part~. And certainly if one accepts the theories of the close-up’s despatialization, it cannot be defined as a detail, since it occupies the only space there is, constituting itself as its own whole or totality, abolishing off-screen space.
    • Extra: Invagination ➡︎ Jacques Derrida, ‘The Law of Genre’, trans. by Avital Ronell, Critical Inquiry, 7.1 (1980), 55–81.
  • 이야기 안에서는: ~In the diegesis,~ that fictional space produced by the film, the close-up—despite Balázs’s denial—will always ~constitute a detail~, a part.
  • 관람객의 공간에서는: Yet, ~in the spectator’s space~, that of the theater, the close-up will, even if only momentarily, constitute ~itself as the totality~, the only entity there to be seen.
    • 30년간의 필름 연구에서 관람객의 공간을 없애기 위해 노력해왔다. 그렇기에 클로즈업은 자율적인 실채로 face of the closed
      • (108) Three decades of film theory have insisted that the classical cinematic text works to annihilate this space of the spectator—to suggest that the only world is that on the screen. Hence, the embrace of the close-up as autonomous entity by Balázs, Deleuze, and especially Epstein, is an attempt to salvage spectatorial space, to reaffirm its existence and its relevance in the face of the closed, seamless space of the film.

109

  • In the close-up, the cinema plays simultaneously with the desire for totalization and its impossibility.
  • Its unspeakability is no doubt linked to the desire to make it a corporeal experience, a matter of touching, feeling, tasting, as well as seeing. Yet, the historical trajectory of classical cinema was to defeat that body by annihilating its space, its ability to act as a measure of scale. Photogénieis usually referred to as one of the earliest examples of cinéphilia, a love of the cinema that insists upon its uniqueness and its ability to induce a form of incomparable ecstasy.