The cinema as a graphic art : on a theory of representation in the cinema (1959)

Record Details:

Something wrong or inaccurate about this page? Let us Know!

Thanks for helping us continually improve the quality of the Lantern search engine for all of our users! We have millions of scanned pages, so user reports are incredibly helpful for us to identify places where we can improve and update the metadata.

Please describe the issue below, and click "Submit" to send your comments to our team! If you'd prefer, you can also send us an email to with your comments.

We use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) during our scanning and processing workflow to make the content of each page searchable. You can view the automatically generated text below as well as copy and paste individual pieces of text to quote in your own work.

Text recognition is never 100% accurate. Many parts of the scanned page may not be reflected in the OCR text output, including: images, page layout, certain fonts or handwriting.

THE CINEMA AS A GRAPHIC ART Arising out of the foregoing analysis, we must note the following fa which are directly connected with the practical exploitation of a number of spe resources of the camera-man's art. 1. The change in the tone of the image throughout the scenario fragm« From a lowered tone in the opening shots, the tone of the image is raised to de of lightness in the group of shots covering the ' dialogue ' with Peter and i| pursuit, lowering again in the closing shots. This change in tone is achiev first by the selection of appropriate lighting schemes, and second by variati in exposure. 2. The change in the texture of the image. The opening shots are g: softened optical treatment, to correspond with the low tone. A sharp for* transmission is employed in the * dialogue ' with Peter and during the pursi, and is followed by the use of softening lenses during the final episode. Togetl- with a change in the optical transmission there is a change in the lighting treatm<t of the texture of the object. 3. Foreshortening construction is almost completely absent during 1; opening shots. The greatest resort to foreshortening constructions comes dun; the middle section (the ' dialogue ', the Horseman's rearing, and the pursui 1 4. Optical distortion, achieved by the use of a short-focus lens, is mair employed in foreshortening constructions. 5. The shooting speed is exploited in several ways as a means of expressi: organisation of the dynamic processes. The turns of the Horseman gradua r become swifter in correspondence with the acceleration of Eugene's flig Eugene's hurried running to and fro is achieved by slowing up the shooti; speed. The movement of the clouds is arbitrarily made swifter and slowed I by changing the shooting speed, in dependence upon the episode into which t particular editing piece is cut. 6. In certain cases the cutting-off of the image involves bringing the frai limit horizontals into a slanting position in relation to the true horizontal of t field of vision. This applies primarily to the foreshortening constructions of t close-ups of Eugene. Thus, by considering each shot separately we can draw up a detailed e planation of the technical resources by means of which the given compositioi scheme can be carried out. In the foregoing analysis we have contented ourselves with reducing t task to a simple scheme of linear dimensional composition, which establishes t disposition of the objects in the frame field of vision. Many directors and camei men are in the habit of fixing the compositional task not only in the form of simplified linear scheme, but also in that of a developed sketch. For instanc the director L. Kuleshov made compositional sketches for his film " The Gre Consoler ". Fig. 54 reproduces a sketch for linear composition and Fig. 56 i lighting of long-shots in that film. Further we give examples of compositional schemes for various films ma outside the U.S.S.R. Fig. 53 is a scheme of linear-dimensional composition f a mid-shot from the American film " The Big House ". This figure provides complete compositional scheme, for the cut-offs of the frame limits, the distortio and the viewpoint for the objects are all clearly fixed. In the case of Fig. 55 also, behind the apparent simplicity of the shot whi< we see on the screen there has obviously been a great deal of creative work. Tr sketch gives a scheme not only for the disposition of the objects, but also f lighting. Figs. 57 and 58 were used for a German documentary. 104