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One or Many Planes: The Composition of Intervals in Painting and Film

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Bergson and the Metaphysics of Media
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Abstract

Readers of André Bazin and Jean Mitry may recognize in Gilles Deleuze’s Cinema books a reworking of their already well-established theories on the impression of reality in long sequence and deep-focus shots. For Bazin and Mitry, the deep-focus shot represented a leap beyond the analytic fragmentation of action that characterized earlier forms of montage. Deep focus allowed for a more realistic presentation of events as they occurred. Mitry described this as a change from ‘actualization’ to ‘presentification’. In the classical forms of montage that precede Orson Welles ‘we participate in a represented past, rather than a present actuality...what we are viewing is the consequence of an action.’1 In the deep-focus shot, on the other hand, we witness the development of action and the open time in which this takes place. Bazin’s argument rested on a belief in film’s direct photographic/indexical relation to reality, which he understood to be a part of a movement toward a more perfect analogical presentation of the world in a ‘total cinema’.

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Notes

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© 2013 Stephen Crocker

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Crocker, S. (2013). One or Many Planes: The Composition of Intervals in Painting and Film. In: Bergson and the Metaphysics of Media. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137324504_3

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