Film Studies Revision Notes (detailed)

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SURREALISM 

General overview;

·         Artistic movement

·         Founded by Andre Breton in 1924

·         Uses imagery from the subconscious mind

·         Rejects conventions and challenges reality

·         Evolved from the Dada Movement

·         Heavily influenced by the dream studies of Freud

·         No recognisable form

·         Often feature bolder colours, filtered lighting, exaggerated size/scale, breaks in continuity, distorted sound/images, symbolism

 

 

 

UN CHIEN ANDALOU (1929) Luis Bunuel & Salvador Dali

·         No structure, misleading title

·         ‘Once upon a time’ gives false sense of comfort

·         Shocking for its time – violence, nudity, mocking of religious imagery (nuns)

·         Themes : sexual desire, death & religion

·         Fetishized body parts through dismemberment (both literally and with camera)

·         Intention to provoke both attraction and repulsion (binary oppositions)

·         All about audience response

·         No cause and effect structure

·         Actors play more than one role, characters appear and disappear without logic or explanation

·         Broken narrative to remove any possible interpretation

·         Early examples of body horror(ants out of hand, eye cutting, hand cut off, loss of mouth)

·         Eyes are a metaphor for audience reaction

·         The meaning of the images is arbitrary compared to their aesthetic power

·         Out of context violence – no build up creates a higher sense of shock factor than modern cinema

 

 

 

 

 

CITY OF LOST CHILDREN (1995) Marc Caro & Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Characters: Krank, The clones, Uncle Irvin, Miette, One, The Octopus, Little Brother, The Cyclops

·         Use of opening dream sequence

·         Symbolic imagery for loss of innocence (multiple Santa’s, sinister toys)

·         Distorted images indicate a change in tone

·         Violent imagery (stabbing and biting)

·         Sharp jump cuts create a sense of disconnection

·         Fairy tale connotations – the 7 dwarfs, Little Brother taking the apple

·         Immediate lack of context

·         Non-conventional characters

·         Surreal elements = focus on dreams, steam-punk mise en scene and characters

·         Without dreams, Krank lives in a dark reality

·         Use of exaggerated sound

·         De-saturated colours (green and brown connote sickness, cowardice, discord, and jealousy)

·         Expresses unconscious fears

·         No obvious time setting

·         Extreme angles distort images making characters look more monstrous

·         Slapstick comedy intensifies confusion

·         Clocks smashing links to Dali’s ‘Persistence of Memory’

·         Improbable and highly visual comedy

·         Extended ‘cause and effect’ sequences

·         Insects are prevalent

 

 

PAPRIKA (2006) Satoshi Kon

Characters: Chiba, Paprika, Konakawa, Tokita, Osanai, the Chairman, Shima, Himuro

·         Frequent mentions of the subconscious

·         Focus on capturing dreams (like Dali)

·         Motif of parade – western view of Japanese pop-culture (sailor fuku, upskirts, business-men committing suicide, advanced tech, maneki-neko)

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