trans.

l\letz, C 1974, "The modern cinema and narratlvity",
Language:
1\1 Taylor, Oxford Uniyersity Press, New York.
8 The Modern Cinema
and Narrativity
I
A deep, pennancnt ambiguity the definition of the "mod­
ern" cinema. Jt is often suggested, and son]{:tillles even aJJinmxL that
tIle "young cinema," or the "new cinema," h:1S
that dll' modern film is <1n absolute ObJect, a
lws
work (0 be read in any direction, allll that it has thrown off n:lrra­
the earmark of the classical fllm. This is the preat :n-pUlllent or
the "breakdowll of
nnf_""lEn\{i under a
frolll a deb:lte
For Ren6
which dclilled
JVlar­
ill turn, associated with
Pierre Billard, it was the idea of a more direct approach to realitv, a
certain type of fUl1danlCl1tal realism which would morc or less Jis
place the old narrative hahits,4 For
ema or
was a "111m-maKer Sc111(,111a," which has takcn the place of thc
writer's cincma."6 Or it ,,,,as a cincllla of the "shot," rCDlacin[1 the
18
5
186 THE "1\IODERN" CINEMA' SOME TllEORET1CAL PHOBU2l\lS
directly narrative cinema, where Olle galloped from shot to shot
ehe! j\llardore).7 Or, finally, it was a CillellJ<l of Freedom, open to Illul­
a ('inem:] or "contempJatiull" and "ohjcctivity," which
authoritarian concatenatiolls of the classical film,
the theater, substituting "wise ell presellce" for "mise ell
who has rclleeted with
greal IHCClSIUIl Oil
"cinem,1 of pl)etrv" silllulia
l1'luativc.
Finally, for ,ill or critics, tbe recent pcriod has witnessed the
of a free einclll,l, <l cincm,l perlllancntly 1ibcf<\tl'([ fmlll the Sllp'
rilles 0('
clCCOU III 0['
()r the movie spectacle in fm'oJ'
'('rLlffaut), rejection of the too illlpcccahlc
,'/'ruILILlt ag,lill), rejection (IF the to() evident "sign<' that do violence
tu the allllligllity of fc,llity CBa/,i rejcctioil ()f the pseu(]oWlltactic
arsen,d dl',n t() the old theorctici,111 S (Leell 1wnIt), rejecti()1l of d IC
,1S well as I he lIIuvic spect'ltk. ill favur of a cin­
d'(:crilllfC'l. a docile ,mel Hcxihle llle,ll1S of
J\/Iv purpose ill tllis text is not III take up arllls ,my Olle 01'
the,(· since cadI one of thclIl contains, to my
IlIlnd, ,I grc:ll deal of rather to confronl, by Illl',m, of a
sliccessive (and never total) questioning of these different
a great libcrt(friall lIIyth, which is nul fully cxpressed ill ,my olle of
the analvses. bUl which underlies diem all ,mel aclt],lles them all (ex­
theatrical, and hv extension, fdmic term for the
the crealio;1 "f ,lOts, and til(: ,,1' a
n more direct
THE MODEBN CINEMA AND NATIRATIVITY
cepl for the ideas of Pier Paolo
raise dif­
fcren t though lela ted I)roblcms, will
Let 1I1e be clear: '1'lH'se analyses I am about to (lllcstiull have the
go,!l ,mel the effect of supporting lilms that J like, films that I still
view withollt boredom, They art' decply linked to the gr,ldll,ll risc
and cventual t1'iU11]])11-at least fur largc of the cultivated
cinema that is alil"c toLla\" ¥- Tu ignore Je<ln
10 excludc oJ]cself
able [0 aceOllllt fur
'tructurally----that, in every period ,Jill] for every art, the
lI'ord, ,IS diversified as it may be is n('vcrtheless to he rOLlnd ill ,1 sill­
gle locus, And. even j I' th is loclls GIl1 ,ll first he ]ec()gni7t'lJ only hy t b(,
it thM hcc()Jl1t' larger ,llllj l110re
intense ,IS we ;lppn ,aell thei r SOil it is dOll htles:.. {his pri Illl' ('vi
Ii [sl ('xDcliencvli in I he ('JlIotiulwl
our rellcctJoll, :..incc
of this rdlcdioJ1 is to reduce the distall('(" inili;11 ellorlllOUS,
COll1l1Wllphlcc, ;Illd L!istressl'
I he emol iun or the CI
viction hom its clarilicatioJ1, the or 1i lin from its 1]]eta ];111­
gU'lge. l\IorcOH'I', one IIlLlst1]nt forget t1wt a critic is llCITr altogl'lhel
a theoretician, but that he is ,dways something (II' ,I miliulJl! ,111(.1 tlmt
two cinen"ls left that call iutcrcsl liS:
cillClIla to which article devoted. lhe
American
uninlcllcctual
it lingers on
"ftell in the form or
the vanl!s1er [ihn
t') <.)
a great cinema, a cinema without problems, where onc was ncver bored. The
the extent that it is llo1 taken tip by the living cinema will, one
fean" be assumed by a cinema burdened with ideologics anti dubiolls gOl)(1 will
Potato T1ro 1'0/<1/0, Dapid allll Lisa, : intellectual fIlms, replete- with
intentiolls, based Oil the ielea that art cnl1 reach the "human" by eli­
wlwreas it can unly attnin it after a speCific any rate in
like our own.
188 THE "MODEHN" CINEMA: SO;\IF. TllEOnETICAL PROBLEMS
purpose is not to fi Il11s. but also to
he to this extent one eaJl say that cin­
ema is
Nevertheless one will indeed one lm\'c to unuert,l ke the theo­
rctical it is on th<1t level
if not ,1]) the
at least 10 tlla!
which too oFten lInderlies thelll.
II
First remark: agrees ill the new cinCIll,l no-; dc
lined bv the hlct tlla t it has beyond" or "rejecteu" or "hrukcll
hut the of thM slllllclhing---whcthcr spcc­
" inflexihle significatioll, "devices" of
the script writer, etc, --varies considerahly frOill critic tt) critic, as I
Iried to :-ohmv in tbe hrieF summary or their ideas ,It dl(' heginning or
tllis text.
VEATII of '1'111', "SP!:'CTACU:,""2 The c()ncept of the Slx'cl;lcle has a
certain 'Ippcal) hut it is not tbe expression or ;In\, rigoruus though!.
Olle l11a\' tah' il in its sociological scnse: "spectacle" clJll<lls sociul
rill' cllllsisling ill ~ I Inllnan gathcring olielll('d tow:nd a predominantly
vislI:d evellt. In this (,:lSt', 1 do not sec huw thc mudern 111m is ill any
way less of a specl<\eic than the tmtiitioll,d lilm, unci so the implied
rl'vulutioll remains confined to the V()Cnblllan of the criliealmetahm­
guagc ,1m] doc, 1101 affect the film ohjects for which it is supposeci to
aC('(JUllt. Did not the mrc as they were, who were ,1hlc to
sec !-loris I/OUS rtPlmflic1li, at ,m ;lppnintcd hour ,It an insti­
tutional place: did they not pay for their scats :J1ll1 tip the ushcr? In
these !crms, ill tIuth, it is not very dillicult to rCLnind the reader.
the face of variolls cnthllsiaslic excesscs, that the cinema will remain
a spectacle until olle forms of 111m distribution, commer­
cialization. and viewing that arc so ullusual that the method of "im­
leaps" too as invoked
THn ':\IOIlEnN CINEM./\ AND NAlmATIVITY
d Ihe variutioJ1S of the hearl) reminds us' will
lip a valid llotion of them from what we IJrt's­
To Sd\' that the modern CillCllW is I1U longeI a specLwk
in the luxury uf d ch<ll1ge that is in hct not a ckll1;Y,c.
One may also take the conC('pl or "spcc[;lClc" in a mUll' pSl'chologiC:11
: ,\ spectack is ,111\ essentinll" vislI:d C\Tllt that Pil'Sl'llts
ilself to us .in lllode (,l' ex!cflwlity :lntl In' which \VC :IIT c"llsli­
tilted \\'itn('ss(',. nut il' tllis is so) wlwl pml'r spcl'l,ll'lc is thnc than i\
IFolIl({1I is 17 H
7
oIl1l 11l'-";1 III LIS iCClI (Ullll'ck Silllltit;lJlCOllSJy undermincd
~ I J l d nourished b\ Ihe inlinilciv v:lricd clrcets of sCIl'-l'.lrodv, ami sl
.1 IlIIlSic;d cOllll'dy?
Th('l'l' is 11" dllllhl 111:11 nOlwislial (ami vcrhal-, 1­
liers ;He 111U1'l' imp(lrtanl than cn'!' ill the lllodern CilH'lll:l, that- -ahov('
;lllthev 11:]\,c ceased to he :Ishalllcd or tiH'Jllscln's (;le; ill the
wllell ,;iJl'llt 1Ililvil's were
10 all (,lld: neilL' Clair's SUII'
luils .Ie
in's !Horlcrn Tilllc,'L or, on
111
tnll; hetter th:m
{he COIlCl'pt or
c< Illlrihut i"l I
he {In spcc1:l-
1'llfC spcdClcll's.
to deflnc Wh;lt the\
nature: thcrc['orl' the CIlllccpl
ill the (IUl'stion thaI
COnCe111S us.
DEATH 01' TlIl' "TlJEATEll?" Is it therefore the tllGllf er from which
the young cinema has heen FrectI? That iSll't the case eirher.Fof, be­
fore c.mtinuillg, olle would to llsk: \Vhilt theater, :Jnd what cin­
ema? There hilS always been rI b8c1 cinema copied Fwm a had the,lter:
It alrerldy existed i 11 dlC age of the silent films ,mel despite I he silence
T
I
190 THE "1\10DEl'.N" CINEl\lA: SOME TllEOHETICAL rTIOBLEMS
since the advent or thc talking fillll, we have bad
the "psychological comcdy" and the "dralllatic l'(ll1lcdy"--not tu be
confused with the /\nll'rican comedy-and they me still with llS. To
mention unly the r;rench cinema-which is, admittedly, particularly
favored ill r('sneet many hundreds of {] Illls have we not
to the genre's rcci pe, thc cake mix
or entertainmentl 'I·
II thc llludem cinema has tu a exten t freed itseH
from ;111 while doing so avoid IJolllcl'anl'" 'I- ('11­
rather than tbe theatef, and the grclt Ii Ims of the past
were ahle t() avuid it just as well: atiel Flaherty tl
be sure; bUI also, in a H'fy difrerent wav, Eisenstein.
t, on the cOJllrary, the good thcatcr and the IS
IlI111hing of'? nut, how C;J11 one forget thal
) ;lJ1d
man, VI$COJIll) ,vne mell til the theater, in the full of the terlJJ?
How can one forget all t1ut ;1I! ;\iaill Hcsnais or <Ill
(0 the so called dWaler of distallce (thec/ire de la Ii/S/((}ICUltlOl'!), as
-'em Carta has 511 revealed?'O Hovv can onc that evcry­
of illlportance ill the thcater of is as far rClIJO\cd froll1 the
or "clabow!c intriglle" as arc the film;, of :Milos hlflllan,
Bozier, or Jcall Bouch? And, iF olle loob at the
Here j, the fur the "psychological (ur "dWJIlalie
d ,{)ciell')'
etc
2, Olle P,Ir,t
invents .
hut !lim out to han;
3. A dash or l,rilliant
4. A few m'mbers:
presence of
Mrs. E. F. dnd Mr. 1:.").
5. A touch of the nude: vulgarity.
melodrama and
marital)
THE ,\]()DEI1N CINEMA ,INU NAHIIATIVITY 19 1
from a wider perspective, if, following the of certaill theoreti
dans of tile cinema 11 or of the theater ,:- one
takes the position that the theater is oPI)osed to the epic to the
nove], tlHlt scculiir epic) a Ilction caught in and in its cir­
cllmstantial thrust is in contrast to that same fiction rel,Hed in words
are not those of the proLIgonists, one \vill indeed have to con­
clude that the CillCllW, altllOugh an art very difFercllt From the thea­
ter, is nevertheless not on the its n;lture changes radi­
brcahng till' very ami basic hond that links it to
theater. '" '" No lIlore than tile distinction between the "spectacle"
alld the "nonspce[,lcle," willthc distinctioll hetween the "thC:lll']," and
the "llolltlteater" allow us to establish uur preferellces ill theon', so
that we can unc!erstallll Illore deadv ·whv we like what we like, or
wlwt is new about the Ilew ('il1el11a.
THE CINEMA OF IMPTIOVlSATION? Is the answCJ', I that the
new cinema is a cinc.ma of improvisation? BUI there arc n Lll11efOllS
modern films that fall outside of this definitioll, from Knife in 1111;
lVa/er to JlIles ll1ul Jilll, passing through the works of Orson
Dcwy. l\lain Resl1ais, etc. It is true that, whell he proposed
i\1iehd Mardorc was cnrcful to ;1]1ply it ollly to one
of the modem cinema. hilt the idea is Cllue.l1l' <lnd one often
hears it expressed ;1 IIllich more vanue and uCllcral way. it
b b
devote<l to
,\escribc,
life under
OIle
cannot agree wil h twu
forms, among other \.1:dlnUI1S de
Provence, [(jG6, a book cler the title
"Cincmuturgic de Paris" in
19('5
issue 011 Pmmol and Sacha
to: PI"
'P, '111£ "J\[Ol1En", C1NBMA: SOj\lE THEOHET1CJ\L l'nODLE\IS
only-alld cyell t11ell with some reservations-on the 01lC
Iwud til Jean-tnc Cudmd (bUl the man, we know, has a touch of
,'enius, :mel <'cniLls is 1110rCU\"er, it
illljJl'<Jvi'l'S \I"iib gredl
,""'\ ;-'1
CillClll:1"-"ci 11(; ui, 711"
is ;1 1:15k 11l:IS[Cr), ,1lld (Ill the uther h;lIld II) a 11ltll1lwr ()I'
tCIlc/cIll"ics rchled to the dllellill direct its hro:ldest scnse, '? tend-
C]1l']('" for a
st:lges oj' ;1
Claude Li'vi-Straus, (lllt t' rt'lll:lrh:dY' The ill­
cinell/o ilired i, too often the by-procilil'! or lazi"
Ilotes,' lUI) oFtell it 1'C11UUllCC'S
(IF Ilw linishcd work witi1mlt
(:11 Ill'sl': ;IIlV 11101(' t [lith [h:lll ;1 g\J()d d()CllIlll'llLlf\ P')S­
Sl'SSl'S, II is /1,,1 ellough 101 ,;IV Ih:11 Illc orciill<lrv dir<Tl fillll is 11111 pcr­
fect, ],"1' il h:1:, ,-cal ii, 11t'1 evell ht'cil linislll'd" J\IH] il is ll()1 jU,l the
histot) "I' 11](' l'illl'lll:l, hUI till' 11Iu,t Il:ltur,' (II' till' aesthelic "h
jccL ihl'lr, lh:lt will h:1VL: 10 Ch:lllgl' 1)J()j'flulldk hdulc :l vvorl;: or afl is
ahll' to ahsorb I:ngc s('<'liolls oj: Illtll:ll1S[orllll'tl rcalilyilll() its own pur­
IlI)S<:, :\l1d hci'"rc il (',\11 Iruths "Iiln thall [he'
()Ilt', lr,lIlspI,,-,'d ,1lId rl'rUrJllll lhM its illil PI'! l(cd\lrcs h:ll"c Jlut
"lIl (II' rl:'Wh. "I 'he go!)d
hll',
ill pillt :it lc;t;,t. i'lqlJ'UyjsCl's, H,
is thl' I()('w, wher" laziness :ll1d till' de
0', ('iI/eli!!!. direct itscll' Cltus!,,,I;), m,,1 1'11/(:111<1 t'CI'ile (C/II'{Jlli'1111' ,"1111 (;k, 1,y
lean lil!lIcl,'), hut <Ih" the "camlie[ I"ll1H,,"l" EIlII; the N:lli,)]):)I ['jIm ll",lrtl <,j'
C:alllllh It'lldcflCY; ,\speets ,,1' the su'cliled f\!('\\' Yor]; ,,d,,,,,], or or Ih" Iirili,iJ
"free CillCllIil": the l\mcricCin i'c::ltlll'l'clucuJI1Cllt,nies (LC:leo,C'\;, ill<' J\JilYslcs
br"thl'rs '; tcmknLlcs u[ the televisiun (klein
All hvugll be spoke uf a L'll1Cll1(l ur ·Jjlllnl'fl\(i ... :)t inn
lif,t in rull agreeIllent with the eil/elf/II direct;
much liLc OWll, But it is tbe COlll'cpt \1[' thl:' cinema
that seelllS ullclear to me,
THE l\IUnEHN CINEl\IA AND NilnnATlY1TY
93
each other,
the
cil1('lI1a,
TilE CINEi\lA 011
Is
lhe
allswer
Bllt tllCTl' arc no I('al dC:ld
a lilm is ;! on]v ill ]ik :IIT
spaces," ;\ 1l1011ICnl (';Ill be dllll, "(ll'<ld," only ill J'CLllioll
to :Ill The lifteell"minute IvaiL hdnrc :1 decisive j IllCII'il'lV,
hCC;IUSI' the pcrsoll J alll 10 s(,c is I:ll(', is indccd a tind of "dcad
Sp:lCl"" sincc it is 1](01. whetl I am :ltlClltlill,c; III at the time, But such
moments m'isc on]v hl'C<1l1Sl> the Ol'l'UlTClllTS of life an. nol
()llC\ ()I\'11 wi 11: tliey do nut ubey I he urge l() till' a/kel i vc ,lra­
J)('s'I
lIl
which cOllsidercd most J'ullillilw ( to fl'j)(:at olle oi f,riclIlH' >,
SOl! ria lI'S
by an
as "dead
of the iell al
W;l \ S constructcd
JIIinutes, Ihe whole liFe ur
till' lilm \\'Oldd he clJlltaincd ill
"dead spacc." Th(' (lilly Ical dC:ld
spaces ill the cinclIl:I arc the III
dull 11111
whilc e'xlemal]v
vicwer', attcntioll,
whieh bccolllcs don H:mt, it
inllTll<'dh the ;'I'l'V condiliolls
fIJI' Ill<' ''tlcnd
in life, It is 011 the 1(,l'd oj culti)]"
;11lt!
"
is, before the
lilm l'xishthal tile lkstill\' or till'
"dcad is dCtL'rlllilll'll: Those Ihe lillll-lllakl'l' l'xpl'I'icllCCS as
SIlCI! arc hallislll'd frolll the lilll1., and Ill' willllc\ cr sec thcm·-l'or, till
likclil'l' ill tbis respccl, lilll! IllI':'>1 makc its choices or C(';)SC to cxist al
all. Thw" :dl the "lllonlellls" th:11 the Jilm-lllakcr has included in
I; 1m wcre alivc
cinema is
a nCIV-and a
prnfullllllll'
is lS !lot what or a
mcnt" ill
and it is !J()t hased 011
"dead," innovation is :1l1
matter, and Antonion] is
far more
194 THE
i{
MODUHN
H
CINE]\IA. ~ O M E TlIEOHETICAL PROBLEMS
hmmm substance of his films than became
excels in showing us the diffuse
I ife that ,Ire considered
most IlnpOrl<lllt U1mg about
the Cinel1111 (Nrect-is [h,lt he was
skein of <l mOle subtle
Evell llIure:
diem fro III
that
S](ln
form of
fmc IlO Ijlll1. Or
very
llu\\,cve r,
iricalcs of that shimlllering
he lost
" He
ur
I iema I
itself: 11 ('\\'srecls. prulllo­
in the
widest scnse.
cIlls 11 J('1Il Y'
of the alTragc
dCCCll t dOl'lllllen taries,
A FIlNDA!\IENTAL
TIlE ]\IODERN CINEMA AND NARRATIVITY '95
contained a to
revert to a mythology that Jean NIitry hm; rightly crHlClZCtl,'" a my
that conceals hehilld phenoIllenologica I
tial reidislll whose consequellce is the revival, OJ] the level of the
of tl1il195." of the terroristic
no
e>
in the name of am-
aspects or ;\Ildrc Bazin's alld
Munier's theories, It shuuld be noted illcidentally dwt i\lichcl
1\1<1rdorc ;Illd Pierre Bilhrd do llut conceive of ,he notion or "realism"
in tlltH SCJlS('; nor docs Mmccl some of It is ('spres­
slOns
that ;1 rc aJld tilL' person
lor whUlll tlley me, ill thl' inelllctable "adverse
"I hell' is"
l'cHlng cinema as ;1 whole, but rathcr ;1 ('erwin crazv
has sprung lip around the cil/cllla verite: the belief
(cnce or the i!ll;lge, which is SOIl1e1lOw
as wclJ as-eVCIl as it lends
terns that the slightest dislocation
and
,lei llalizcs
nol the
tll;1t
Lind of in110­
exempt from
discursive
introduces- ­
* ('oilled word derived from the Greek
/(0"1-<0' Ccosmos) Hll<] ,/,all'ELl' ( to Thus, it indicates the faculty to pre­
sent the world in its entirety, to show "--TnANsLATOll,
THE "MODEHN" SO:\IE TllliORETlCAL PHOIlLEl\lS
from tbe enormous
of some
thcsinn terms, 111 tile
the few hcautiful alld the lllany botched works of the Cilll?IlW v()rile,
one might recugnize ,I wayward, s,lll, and obstinale sister of the sel1lio­
logicid appnKlch-at Icast iF the hitter is cOl1sidered in ils k'ilSl teclllli
cal aspccls. and in its deepest ,]tfecl in: fOUlIlhlioll. The
is (me of distrust for bnglwge, anJ \Yunls i]J'eileillg C[llCS­
Crcltcri in order t(J question the world, spel,e11 it
[he ubicct ()l' (jLlCSliolh: fashiolled ,IS a lonl I'm
it is heing asked 1l0VV to aCColillt for
of slispicioll ,mel l10hlc neurosis. the
Incx­
tnll' discollrse is onh' ,I true disc(lllI'SC; the word COl1l<1iIlS I
than that which is conLlillcd ill ils cmJ'cc( ic usage
The cincllw 1'eril(;, Ull the ,lltcllll'ts (0 ,\I'oid (ilco,c diflicu
(ies hy supp()sedly rejecting coherent ,mel the lise of iconic
atll's(ation; ('VCIl the spccch of the (flllll) llCHlCS is slljlPllSl'lIIU he 1I1l­
Il<lSCCTlt--il is pint or the illl,lgc, as iF it Wl'J'l' l)cing swept
v;lsl circuit of vi::;lldl Uhc prolifcra(i')ll 01 III
tcrvicws in tile cinclJliI-rcri{(' lillllS he1s no othcl' SUllfcC It is a P']
thetic
InCOllllll!:-. de Iii I£!rre,
th:11 hav<' hel'!) "0111­

whu lws "problellls."
Iwo Iypes of ie1coiogy: that of im:1ge
and wbich is a sort of curious behaviorism;
THE j\lODEllN C1NEi\·lA AND NAnnATlV1TY H);
Jlc\'crthekss-ilild IS a1'1';11 ell t at
the best works of Ibe llew cincllu.
viewer;.. with
in the
trcmciv dillicilit to ddinc
1tis the l'XDctncss of an
llslinc­
vOice.
oj' ,I gestnre. of ,I lulle'. Jt for example, till' marvel,llls, <Ibn!)st
dal1ced scellt' ill Pierrul Ie fult ,lIlll,Illg the
C'lI/I./ Iif!, II I' {Ie c!1iIJ1CC , .• I'a li.f.i,lIc de IlilI/e/les , .." "IVfy life line
, , . 'Your llip Jint' , : :1 highlv ,(Till' Ile'vcrtheicss.
since it is ,I piece uf ch()n'ogcqlliy, :1 rclcrcl1cc to ;\lllcri(JIl Illllsical
-we :II'C :1 \\':1)' F!'(JllI lhl' simple-minded ollhc
phil' "cuIlLlrist" traditioll, "realism" for libl socil'lics, No
other film P:ISS,lgC, JHlweY(.'r--lll1icss (O:I ,,"sset' (',{el1t, the si­
lcn( SCdUcli()1l ,ccm' durin!.' the pamc\c Struilcim\ P/cddill,f!,
crl'ti<>ll IlJ:IL i·, all t]wt ,em,lin, "I' tJ.,L"'l' llIClh"d, ,,'hC'1l tl,,·\, '"
the hands "I' the 'l'(:lialisl" :mel "nc tLl'll witlll'''t'S. "pi ti",
icJlenl (,(,"t(,llt, hUI '1 of "g,,[;Iled, )ll(Hlcllcd
jng al ur <It l'tlch ll1ller. cr}'jng, ch'lttcring, etc.
nIll' Jl():;talgi\,' for the olLll!ll'tJl()l1'1 Id: ('c111catl(lll h:l:"l'd Oil HlnallIH'l..:::J It 1'"
,JeHU,]])' sigllilic"lIt that, ,d,' all thl' Ill",krn lllethod" the "Illy !)'lI: Ihilt is reL,
tively ,)(:glcctcd hy the ciJl,.'JJI(( ['cri/e i" prccisdy the "Ill' that i, lll,"! like :t
II ill: ill which Ihe sl'cci:ilist\ ],C)'rtllllllllll'C "be)" lHcc'isc "pc)'al",\
dut's not ::jjlH tu cxprc.':-. ..... :-;ulnc truth (Jr IliUcll <I", 1(
amI (llllrc,Hed rcsllit: aCllwll',yc]'"allaiysi'; Cl add II('/'llfl
con1 that (lP(,I,lle
"I' an urekrh- p,o'-'CrlUI
the
198 THE "l\10DERN" CTNEl\'IA: SOME THEOl1ETlCAL PHOBLEl\IS
TIlE MOD.EHN CINEMA AND NAHHATlVITY 199
Morcf<L-had portrayed with an acclll'acy 8S fundamentally direct,
as superbly careless of the external probabilitics of timc amI place, the
lllute corporeal agrecments that love produces and by which it is pro­
duced, the ambiencc of gcstures and tbe thousand minor ae­
cepl<H1ccs of a docile receptiveness that is no mere obcclic'nce and that
mold the vvoman's sunlly face in the directions her lover's
hallct of active, amused, and tendcrtlcss
I
somc or the /\n­
tonioni
variolls films hy
cvcn say that
rl'lllains to he dcfinedli'---arc, for all their
till' most precious comFlcsts or the CiJlClll,l tll,lt, since 1966,
we h,lVC (',I\lcd "lllodern." Jt is sllrch' not SOllle principle of ohjecliv,
ity, SOlllC faultless IGllislll, that call dcJJ]le tbis modern cinellEI, but
rather the liability to certain truths, or to certain {1cclifacics, that
make the yuung cincm[1 more ,Hlult and the tradition,ll cinema oc­
cCisioll,Jlly vcry youthFul. Tile fll1l1s of the past, evcn the Jllost heau
JI' [ne f'cncr,llh­ a lillIe '\!lJOvc themselves." like t1lOSC
adolesccnts
THE OHDEflED CINEMA, To thaI sHeb accuracies havc be,
the or the were
or sensitive dl[lIl those of locby;
but that exph1l1[ltion is ill,1(!cllw1tc-is to re­
examil1c that ncw and subtler dramaturgy lhat ,ldmits Ilion' ohjectivc
details, details of the kind tb;lt the Iraditional plot film or
ovcrwhelmed, Exactness of tunc ,I priccless COlHjUcst that renders a
whole arC,l of the cinCllla obsolctemight well be, in turn, only a
consecjl1e)lcc.
* Sec passngcs of J\lurnau"s Dall'lI
Sjlistrom's Willd (certain of Lilliall
(the character o[ Marcus), etc. And,
(except in Potemkill) and oj' Pudovkill
Furthermore olle must not
",wtl·'r;70 all of the modern
with which one
of the films of
pI'< j'
and text is ,I grc[lt deal more it is ;15 if the il1­
realistic potcn tiD I or the [ilill ic veil ick, formcrly the proper! Y
of the ('o11\'ention ur a Illoderate degree or discretc'l" thc;ltrical IT;llislll
, the CUlle-Preyert films), had no\\' divided it,clf Iw
twel'll a "cincllla of passion" (in the scnse that Ollt' spe'l](S of "pas­
sionate l()\('," ;IS Hen6 Gilson correct!) Jlo[CS),21 a cincllI:! or ('xlIlxr
<lncc and discol'cry C:mcl it is this Cilll'lll;! thai is (lcc1siollalh able to
C[lpturc those so direct truths I hme iust s]loken ur: Wl' kilO\\, tIll' ill'
terest Godard h1S sbown for
other ham!. a cinema or
ALlin and his SllClCSsiyc
that beliCH'S onl" in rccollstrtlcled a
J\Jost critic:, ]'lasled i\oHl'S Varda's 111m, Lc HOll/IeUr. Thm was result ,., dUe
"f "kind llIisllnderstanlIing. I did not like the Ellll (:itllc1'. bllt to attack it
for it;, lack of realisll1 is, to Illy mimI. a serious miscollslruction. Certainly, th,·
worl,crs' of life, as the Jil)ll presents it, is lJuite fallta:'lic. Uut it had til be
so. For the is a philosophical talc, such as the eighteenth ccnlm;, enjoyed,
or rather a militant ulopia in the >;lylc of the ninetecnth century (hut Ull-
In a Illor(' Iucill "ecUlmt of the actual sucial factorsalld
the class factors-that enter into Ihe problel11 c(lnsiclercd) 1t js abo,
ill ouc way, an act of courage. For, although it is lrue that a few pers(J1ls in
tile social envIronlllcnt where films arc produced dream of a worl,l in whi,']'
luve would be truly frce, a wurld both animal and human, where
the hudy's carcless;less would also be a genewsitv, a and
of women and men, a world in which
monster of scntiwel1tlllis)II, as il has come to he since
paganism, will be lU1l1ecl-altbough it is true that a futurism of
l10urishes some of the cOllversatiollS ill Paris's Left Danlc, the filet is that, aside
from Pierre Kast ill La Morle-saisoJl, Le Bel and La Bnllure des mille
soleils, no (lne besides Varda had gathered these scattered
snch a holdlv l1IOVOCali\'e These human
conducted away from such
futile sufferinQs of jealous, exclusive emotiol1S, are
existed, as if theV were
TITE ",\IODE)\;'/' CI"iEMA: 'H1EOJ(P.'IlCAL PHOULl'J\J
than i1 is awarc thill orders with meticulous patience ,I
c;d <llltl ,I ('111­
Clll<l /\1­
cariier, at the limc ,,(t the missed
vcar at Maricllhad? Was the mnl1('siac O/ISCI1CC
tile llllshrrild or not) ('Ic.1; a cillema of tellSe 1Il1c<'rtrllnlv tlwt, ratllci
lhtm plescnting t1w ;Ipollas uF Illc;llling ill ;1 f"rl1l intended [,) il1l:utt,
their ;Ippearann' in daill experiellcc', dclihcratcly <'<ltlstructs ;1
rinthint' Il1(Jdel SOIll(' hiztllTe Illodernistic ritual "'ithin
which th(' 'pI'datllj" will I()se hiLllselr, bnt
ill ;ldv;lLHT,';' OLle could sav tllal /\bin Fk.sn;lls
lack "I' rc;i1islil. nlll is tkll not aho tile verv definilioll 0\
"plativ(' tf:lllsl;lle([ into the IHC'l'llt or the imlicaiivc
Ihesc frec feiatio)bhips are nlre;)dy 1lll»C or k"
cirde,; but it' !\gll(:S Vard'i had placed the actiu]) ,d' her Ijlm ill such
the story--which woul,l then be realistic "\\'rlliid hnve lost all tbe
power 01 ih militant impact. For what the film ]]lcans til say that workers, to",
cuuld live like thaL In shurt, the mislIJlderSI<llltling d('fivcs frulIl the Llct Il,al
Il,e fil))} w:r;, viewed '" if "nc wI>uld sec a G,,,lard Jilm as exalllpk ,,(
thc ordered eiDem;" 1 rcpe,lt: I did nut like tbe film, Ilut at all in Lltt. This
was h'r rc)s,,"s [" the cnact11ll'1l1 "f the uto!';" ill its details, Dilt
\NIlo \vould Inailltajn tli;lt \vas nut a celtllin :llUollnt ot CtJurtlgc
ill Ill" fnet that a ll1udcrn \YOllJ<m (all 'pc<lk or sud) lmusllal things,
r"rc how Ciln ()Ill' Llil to SVlllllathi7.C wilh the sinccri!\' of her
'(- In nor Lll a 1 !i[c,
wnnt, the
him, resentment
tr;ll1sccndCnlal and a
liollS (as at the moment of the
nHnantic," l:)S Bernard
llwc/erlles? But he is aisu, in
uf tire French cinema,
Goda I'd represent the two film,
as opposed to a
as for
" we find it on one siele as on the
stance, the triumph of "mimesis" and of the reconstruction
and, in the second instance, a
The lillll of the
til is
of
THE J\IODEHN CINEC>.IA AND NAHHATlVITY 201
modem Ii 1m is
the 'cinematograph Ie
one of dIOse great
whose importance in ccr-
is well known,
lield
A FILl\l-I\IAKrm's CINEMA? Whnt
"11 I1lI­ or a
maker's cinema" as distinct from
cinema"? Can
it provide that criterion of
since ils conS"(jllellces hut lind il- so difli·
cult lo ddillC? There is doubt dial lodav', cinema is very often :1
cinem;l," while the old was so frcquently the ulterior
and secondary illustration of a worked-out, Gocbrcl's
the best exanm1es: criticism like .Michel COLlr­
not's evel!
existence fro]]] tllis fact.
it v\'as
the
Ii Ims of the pasl (
and
!lot its prctext in thc sceLlario, But, all of Alain films art' in­
'\cript-writer's lilms": "fhe SVSICLlltllic way ill which this di[cc­
rdLlsing to imagine his works sccb out, at the of thl'
various colbhortltors of suJlicicnt weight to Iwvl' their OWI1
of things. leaves llS in llO dOl1bt as to his opiniolls on the
ie level that the lilm strati/-ies and
Jilms derive their intcrest hOlll "
<- In lire ulel cinema, there weTe of cmuse Jlonrealistic, m,rrvclOlb, and fan­
tastic films, Bllt cunstitllted a marginal area, at least ,iJ)ee the
1935- 4 0 period; Hesnai, is not descendant. The ordered einellla
is one of the two branches emerging Ollt III a snrl of common realistic trunt
that, bctween I940 amI 1950 approximately, had become on the whole
tlolllinant Irenel in relation to the various "fantastic" lenelcllcies,
THE CINEMA: SOJ\I£ THEOnE'JlC;\L PHUllLUI!S
whole reflectioll on the of tlte of sol1tuclc, a
dnt! C11l0­
of essell tially exlra­
of Codnrd himself bear
witness (0 a narr,ltivc cl £antlsy,
docs llut automat­
priority, hut it cl'[t8inly implies an eSSCll­
(hat Cmbrd is (lllc of those mell
(Jill" he /ired clurillP tile ,lctua]
men Illli' arc able to make IlIllIs throngll constant rdlecti()11 (cvell if
it is 11"t ordered) ab()lIt the :lIlel who are ahle to creall'
ill the hordcrLllld of ;1 pocur tbat is also ,111 e55;1\' OJ] pO('trv (tile'
rC:H!cr sur,'ly recognizes here onl' of the lllost
Jll()dcrn litcratUl"C'). But even iF, {'ur director like Codard. the cin­
ellla, IlllTI til Iv prescll t hcFore n;isting, becolllcs tllC nccessarv cat ;dyst
1m lillll creatioll- in the samc wal thM the idea or the "h(lo]z" is 81­
ways
in the minds uf modern even whell the hoolz
t hev ;lre
is hardlv Fact rellFlins that WILlt Collard
or
;]
the
mllmlilt of the
lIarrative
the
sea, P;ll'is, ;1
hie with
story.
" "I do not see why the
modem tban ;lJlvtbing else," Eric
UIlC
point 'Iut t1wt the new
prescnt ill t'he cinem;l
one forgets that between
a dilIcrence uf
V',Jhu reached his maioritv. The
all'
llew novel"]
l'c'sclnblancc is Zl.-S
At tbe vcry least nile sllUuld
narrative," etc).
cinema as
llovd is almust an
slllluid be lllore
in "L'/\n('icl1
certain Siln]
and the l1'-'W
as
extent pheUOJ1lella as
Too
such there exists
old m;lll, ;lIJd the
and
the same
THE ]\IODERN CINE"IA J\ND NAI{HAl1VITY
ever "hroken
and unfamiliar the
1ll8Y
fact never
is olle
of the most proliJic of mudern
remains
true even when, as is oftcn
the scenario is
horn in the midst of
way, only the COIlSC­
(jUcnce or thc
of the sccnario froll!
the modern cmelila. or 10
t1wt the only
scenarios me those that ::lrt' Ii!\C the
of mlll Bust.
A CINEMA OF TIlE SHOT? Is the lllodem cinelli a
ctlll'll1;1
or the "shot," as distillgllishcd frum the old cincllw, which
W;IS JJl(lrc
cOllcerned with racing fwm shut to shot, strais:ht to the
But jf that is the case, what is (lJlC to say
the expressionist CCrlll;Jll eXI )ressi,)Jl iSIll
the LIst
Jilms or
is ;111 (lId OJH'.
that
cOllnotations at
cinellla not
ilctcristics of the Ilew cincma? Is not the
of kind of V:lst C:\istclltiai failure
ohserves, Cll]111IlIl11ic;Jtcd
J1]Olltage) Is not Sa/1'alore. GiuliallO a mOlltage lilill
lIiusie cinl'ma --and tllM was grounded to a hirgc extcnt OIl the
of inducing a IJorizolltal leading of tbe lihn that I\'ould COllSidcf cadi
at length? J\lJd Wll<ll, on tIw olber Iwnd, is OJlC to sal' the
grcllt f1!llaisSIlII('(' of wOllla,:';") whicll, after a period dominated hI' the
from encl (0 end? As for the yuuthflll dynamisllI (If Claude l.cl()uch's
[lUI'. Fillc des fusils, is it not derived as lI1uch fWIll the of
the 111m as from the wonderful exuberance of its lllOllt:lge? ;\nd Wh;ll
of the imDort:mc(' (If
SIOJlS
in the nd r
thought. Tire fact j,;, huwever.
SOlllC(;;le says, H$ one
hears, that thc cincma is "far,
of htcratlll'l\ one must C(lll­
elude he n{ust never have read anvthiw> at all.
204 THE "jVl(JDEI1N" CINEMA: S01\JE THEORETICAL PROllLEMS
rative flow, also confessions of 2 to 7 ,mel 111
Vivre sa vie? And the and in
Hiroshima /11011 omour, a counterpoint lhat, despite its modern
cent, seems to emerge straight from the editing table of a Balilzs, an
Arnheilll, a Pudovl,in, or;1 Tilllocilcnko? And all the {JIm
one sees ,
J\ CINEMA 01: POETP,Y'? rem;llIlO;, lmall y, the !lotiOIl, IT'
by Pier Paolo of a dislinction between
the "cincma 01' and the "cinema of poctry," As attract inc as il
illay se(,IIl., the idea nevertheless basicll1)' fragile. For llle
of "prose" and "poclry" arc too linked to lhe use of the verbal
to he cClsilv carricd over to the cinel1w, Or elsc, if "poetry"
in
sense (>1'
whether 'lln:essful or nOI,
sidcrs poetl\, ill its tcdmical SC]lSC Ihe lise of Icrbal idiom
restrictions
a sC(JlHI code cappillg Ihl' iirsl--'()IlC
idi()m, 1\lsolini is
with
its I)f()adest SCI1Sl'--'as the illlllledi,ll(' Ilrcsenn: of the world, the
cncoun­
seems SIUll101ll1l:1hlc: The ,dlSl'IHT or
code ill (he cincma, th;ll is, the absCllce of
aware o[ Ihis
precision:!l gut Ill' believes
,111 things c()nsidercd, it can he circ1ilIly<;nted, I helieve, UIl tbe
,md bter I will show wIn, Further­
more, t() these obstacles one must add still ,1!lOtlwr: The
prose," in Wh,l(c\'('r S(,llSC it is gin')], has 11(1
the cincma: and iF ,I pros(' docs exist in the lexical
in distinction to poetrv and because a long rhetorical tradilioll has
divided into two a domain that is initially litemry (for prose,
that of a Chateaubriand or of a Sten­
spca
is aJ­
and nol
from
ready the artistic use of language anu
IItiliti1rian language; it creates ohjecls that have their own
and
ilwt leads trulll Ihe
l'lTI;lin \','av frolH
THE 1\IODEnN CINE:\IA i\T"D ,'US
at which lhru:;t or
tor the it IS
lie I'cr thCe!
CUllllllllnicHiul1: it lTCiltCS work;;, The
poetr\' and prnsc J1JS IfIc,1l1ing <1nly within
(111(' that 1:'cparatcs literal.lIre fmlll thl'
I"c'
of idiom :IS a to()1. ;\nd it is this Lllim:lrv distin,'fiOll (licit is
ill
cinema, S(I Ihat no 11111] Gill
sIT iel sellse,
ll( Ir,
Su
oj' Pas(,lini';-; :II
least for
rdurn 10 tilC'111 1:11<..'1'; let us l'X;l11J
ine Ilis Ihesis
i,;(o]v ur til(' l'illl'lll;!. If tJlcrc is
sil]o\c trelld
h IJ or Ihi, histo!'\'. it is indeed II1l'. U!le'
eillCll];1 tu Jill' J](.\'('I,'i111'1I1il,·tl1al i.... II) ,Sci \ ,
the "C1111..'111;1 "f jll'l'lr\'" til till' '",inl'ma o[
l)fose," and 11"1 (he othn \Va, around, Pasolini Itlllis
Ih'CI'III.I-which arc nol rart' in die modern CinellI;]
struclllrt's; I1l' lcnds also (0 tll(' must hC:llltifu
fillllS 10 (be dullest li'ddilil)]);tl movies, <llId he tI( Iwl L'ol)sidlT lhl'
poeln il) 1\ J)ollhle /0111',
PUllr Iii Suile ill! 111001ilc,
or Dewier
aloul,
of
fillllS, Olwj()lIsh' lhere is more
till' {'iallo
Preside III ,
ill( Cmu" pli/rulI,
C,1l) onc
uf which
fur Olle l(l scc
fnr tl.1C
Ill' SLlhst:II1CC :lud Corm of cadI nnc
,mel less ladie;! I h
(he older Ii
djll'ers
>Ill
be suilieiclltiv CC'lt,lln tlla( IhL'
Pasolin 1 sJl( ';( b rCl'fCSCll ts <l
in it il]('
,,,
bC<'illll
CillC'Ill:1?2<i !\nd is it
Jillal ;1ll;]lys]s, ('(Infused with il1;11 inevilable slIbjedive l'OIUmlioll oj'
the filmie objccth its {llming is ;) Ch;llUCil'l'i,lje
of aJI tillCmil-SO that the olliv real dilfercnce \\.uuJcl Jillal/v he tlw
,mel prose perceptions, whith can only he dnrilicd hy d1C
ul' eaeh film and docs no(,
with Ihe existCJlcc of general restrictions
from
____ _
206 THE "MODEHN" ClNEI\Ij\: SO:\IE THEORETICAL PROBLEMS
further is it not, alllong the liIllls that scem the must outmoded
todi1\'····but not always righth,-·that one encounters the most cohercnt
and systcmatic attempts to COllstmct a hIm as one :1 poem?
\i\lhat ahout Pudovl<in's "lvrical " which Jean iVIitl"y has so
well \iVlw! ahollt the corOlWlion scene in [van lilC Terri­
or th: proccssion hefore Vakulintchllk amI the scelles of mist in
Po/clllbll( What ,Iil()Ut Abel Ganee in Nupo/coll and La Roue? AmI
ttlt' attCII1Dts of the "pllre cinema" to substitute a einl'll1<l or tlzellles
And Jean Lpstein's enthusiastic analyses of the
value of the c1ose-ujl shot? And the lise of slow motion in the
in Zero for Conduct? And ;111 the systems of montage
mentioned earlier, vvhose aim \vas to forlllalize the various 'ilmic
10 solidify the thematic "depth" in the normative pre
a formal svstcm? I\m] the accelerated
ing in the scene with the hlack coach ill N ()SfefUflI? j\nd the inered·
iblc ;Icrial traveling ,hot in
me ali, indeed, in$t,1I1CeS of those "gramlllatical elewellts ,IS
flillCtiom:'2B that P,Isolini tellds to idclIt ifv wi th the new
cinema, III trulh, though tmlay's cim'm<l is at times rich in
resonances, tl}()['gh the had films of every I)criod hy definit
elude the s(j,clilcd puetry "of thillgs" ,llld the or their
zaliull, the fact remain;. that the only attempt, that havc been lInder
taken toward Ilut only a poetic eincnla bUlals() a cinema as organized
idiulII-sinec this is what Pasolini is talking about-were, pre­
ill tllC old cinema,"· I\ml the fact is that, since its hirth, the
cinema has pr<lctically nt:Vl'r ceased to evolve ill the direction of an
ideal (technicallr prosaic) lIexihility and a freedOil I that arc
", T" mv mind these atlempts have culminated in a failure which, 01\ the
level uf general C<lllllOt be overcome hy the few ll1uglliliccnt but isolated
suceesses, A Iilm may a poetic novel, it C8l111ot be a (except in the
case uf purely thematic, nUJ1·story-telling short lilms, like Berlill ur
SucksdoriFs Rllyt111H of a Git)', In a poem there is no fable, amI nothing ill·
trudes between the :)uthO! alld the reader. The novelist draws up a world; the
I'oet of tIle work!. The fiction film still seems to me to be closer to the
novel tu the poe111, And, finally, the period in which one believed that a
film cuuld be a pOl!m is that of the old cinema rather than that of the lIew
cinC111a.
_ ____ ._••".__ ••• , __.. , __•___., __•__, __, ______________________ __
THE f-l0DERN CINEMA AND NARllATIVITY
20
7
W<l\·S,
of Frall­
(tbe cinema "s a modern suciological
novel), /\ndrc llazin ;lnd the
to the novcl rather than
or
i'
iou peCl! lia r to mUll y
lISC or the
powers of (he within the framework of til(' rclatiVl'lv
"realistic" lilm's verisimilitude), ·More gcnerally, one will obcrvc
tIle sCH'alied fantastic cinema, whieh ill certain carlv periods
emile vcry close to merging with one of the ILIainstreams of the
cinema as a whole (Gcrm,m-Swcdish expressioll ism hOlll 19
1
t()
1<)3
0
, the fant:Istic lilms of the period 19:jo'\5, sllch ,IS FraJlkeN
stein, T/lC J1H,isilJlc 1\11(111, and Kill,!!, J(OIJ,!!,), eventually became ,I
,!!,Cllfe, and a ralher special genre ,It that, which even ill part over
"vhat the French call the ei!l(;11111-/;is: horror films, gmdc>Bltalian
sadistic Japanese lilms, Soviet fantasy'
etc. As a tllC so called realistic film, which has long
been contrasted to Ihe fanta,tie film or to the film or the marvclous
as ir were the two poles or the cinema «mel this is
the famolls theme: "I "ull1icre l'S A;JcIiJs"), blS taken uver ,limosl the
whole or modern film,
Ihe new cinellIa ;lS the JIO/icca/Jic jJl'CS<'llc'l'
in traditional lill11s, Oil the contrary, the
camcra tried to JIlake its prcsence unfelt, to ll1,llzc itselF invisible hc'·
rore tbe spectacle it was presenting. But, whil·c it is true that this
may apl)l), to certain filllls or the 11(1I-s(Hlistant
classical Americall comedy, for example, and in
III e films
related to what called editing" cia,,·
was made to appear invisible-it cannot describe tllC
various tenclencies or the very cinema whose
on the
were based on the presence of the call1era: mOll
or Abel camera movcmcnts in
films, the optical clistorriom and
...L..
TIlE IO[IEHJ'< CINE:\[!I: St),\H', TJll'UCETlC\1 1:.\ ,,;
TIlE ]\IODIlRN CINEi\Ti\ AND NAHnATIVITY
ii, the lIS ()f dlc T'rellch s
cI"oc-up< in TI;;; Pussioll of /\re ill ,,('sthet ics
[kit th,,! IITt i('i,ms Iike ]' i;;cllstcill
in lI,iml whcll thel' imisled
[illl1ed deri It'S hi the rilmimf, '\Ild ('(In
',)
verselv, \\ilhill Ill(' 111<ldcrn cinlma tiICI'C is ;1 lcndclHv Dill'
ivis\"-JtdlJllCr. SOIlIC "I' i\llj()l)iol1i. "F Dc St'I!I.
,mel Ill' the cil/('lI!(f ele Ilel thilt card'ulh "crilSCS" ,lI1\' C,IIlICr;!
cI Fcc!s; tilliS, (Ill thiS 110im [ am ill a,'ilccnwlll with nuillllcr,
III
,
dUII1l/Ill/ali(HI
Ihc'!ill'l ;lIld I
:11111
!llld
Ihe invisihlc
f()r Ihe
the
dll'Sl' Ulllll'plu;ti pC!
found ill till' lilills "f
Licit
)\'[sul :11111
I",,,k rell
CI's ('111('111:1,
t' Illl' m:l,
hese
or I hc
['.,'allln'
,lllti
ISll! !'!lel LIIJltr[Vancc, [ihn maker's
shut c'illCllI<I ililel sequence (ilWllld, prusc Cill(,lllil
lhc Cillll('f.l-in'l'ICSl'lll"t' alld
tillcliOlls s('cms to me to ,ICCOUill
lIludern
cLlililcd ,I, "Illodcm" i, too ol'lell
to" ,,1'1('1i is bcLillg ill
W;ls PI(lp"s('d with ('1(,J]('l' II' n'r!;] IIiIlI:, 01 tll(' 1"1:,1
10 ClTlclill llIodClil lill]IS;11ll1 hal
!ruc-hut wilh ll!l drOll ,1I11'1,iCI1I
Ill)ssihk, I1l1111IK'1 01'
!l n d llempl is
l!t(; few p"gcs III,,! follow,
"t1V;llIcC lhe inevitable
lui h Sill is! i",I
til In: (Ill('
n()le. lirsl, tlwt il all l'\!llll[lll'd ,11,\)\,(,
rC:1S(lIJ. Tlle'v ,11'(' Sil
the cinCllW was IS S( l
is s(, <,It 10 a much kSSCI extent. I hdievl' "11 til('
the modern film is IllOl'e ll,lI'I'<itin', <Ind IlWIT silli,,1
the main contribulion of the new cinema is lu have
flhllic narrative.
cunll.lry t1J<1t
so, ,md th;ll
enriched the
lVlore or less :lssociaLecl with this idc,l of a presumed
ur wea kcu ing or 1I:11TMi viI y is, <llllOJ] g lll,my critics, Ihe 11 ()tion oJ a
hrcahlow11 or Ihe "gramlllar" ()r "sVlltax" uF the cineilla. I wuuld s"),,
on the contrary, that the cim'lll;) hilS lIe!'(?/' h;ld cit her ,1 r or ;t
in tile prccise linguistic sense or thest' tenliS (S()l1le Iheort'li,
that it did, hut [I)M is allot her Illatter 1'<111\('1', il
toela\' still a certaill Illlllll,CI' of rUllciulllL'll
that pcr!ilin 10 the mosl profolilld necessities or
!ransmissiu11 of inform:,I;,," ''''l11inl,,,,;,.,,1 !;IIVS dl:11 arc ex,
arc to he sough! in
and no! ill tile gl'<ll1llllill' or
1a1lgU<lgl's. TIll' wjl()1c Illutldll' or til('
the fact tIl"( Olle looks for
<l1l1()I1U the
aud spcciJic
"
V(TV rClllovcd !'rom
rl'a Ii t\' ') i,] iOIlI;1 ti ('
without
laws all' lliost prohahly
bC\,Ol1d the
expects to lind is 10 sal', Ull
a IIlllch
ill some WllyS prior to lhe dilfciCllli:lti()1l
or \lcrbnl
all il
e
, idiOilis') Frolll othcr lllllllan semiotic
wstems,
\Vc told
was suited l<J
sv11 Lu.:" llO
['xists, Iklt
the livill<' rJ11il s
t() do with sllch iI hurden, Bul
Ihml beiliU acllwIlv synt<lclir
,""
articubliolls ,ralher
de S;llIS­
CIIlCI1lH elll be
VOlin, ,
, ,':")
excesses
of Ihat, during the period of "dill; !lInglle"J1, amI C\'l'1l
IaLer, was considered to be as strict a;; the grammar of a verbal
gU:Jgc, But the new, more Hexiblc, forms or the cinellld arc gov­
erned just as mllch the fundamental without wllich
110 information would be possible; a discourse of SOIllC' is al­
wavs, in olle way or another, divisible. The
-
these rule, have llothilll' to do
('rab1<, little "cleviees,"
was
on tile '/;;lm York, 10,",1, To Ilush them aside-as
2IO THE ";\,IODETIN" C1NEIIIA: SOi\IE THECmrrnCAL l'HOBLEMS
it tried to he nOI'I11<1­
aim is to
but it admits tu
verbal Imwu;we, the
ollr lilLlguages, And we know the CXtl'llt or the gap bctwcen the
and the normative "gt"allllllariall," ",hiel! was illustratl,d ill
j()6::; by the l'XrlWllgC, puhlished ill Arts, hct\\,(,l'l1 Elil'l1lhll' ;llld M;n
tind,:;' Evcn the l1)ost "allv<lnccd" filllls still pertain to ;J
<q11)],OdCh, tlwugll ill order to apprclll'I1l1 new ()\Jjecb, the 1;lttlT llla\'
have (,) bccomc mure Hexiblc, ns I will show ill s(,veral
her (lll,
hI ;,hmt, tW() \'crv llilTcfCI11
"rules" or the
cincma: On
derivcd i'rolll
a 1/ul'!/lal irc
hc considered outdated
or tbell'Ssl\, restrictive:."c,! 011 till' other 11a!ll1, there arc a certaill 1l1l111
Jwr of' stJ'llctllralcol1liguratiulls th;lt are ill ill'll!:ll rnLl laws alld whose
details arc consLllltly evolving, When OIlC S;IV, tbc I,lllls (IF the
"lll'W w;nc," for cxmllplc, have ullnplctclv "dismantled the Ilarra
livc," or th'lt tbey h:l\C(, "Clltirel\' displaced Wllt;lx," OllC is fC;III" tak­
illu ;1 ven limited vicw of the
,,",
"llalT,lt ive" :lllt!
, \vith ll() rdatioll
a purely 11ll'OlogIC:l1 (lr COlllIlll'! Ud! cudi­
to the
llimic vehick as :I wh(1lc
It is prl'cisdv t() the extellt th;lt tlll'\' rl\l<,'l'
..,. Of the two, the lingui,t Wlb Andre' 1\1:ntincl.
<"\C j\nother suurcc or lllisllndcrs18nJing: The ne\\' cinema has
very rightly so-a !lumber of "mIl'S," sueh (lS the prohibition the 180­
degree angle shot ('I' the taboo gnillg from an establlshlllg shot tu a close­
up with no change of axis, or n<rainst the actor at the cam"ra, etc,
THE l\IODEHN CfNEi\IA AND NAImATIVITY II
tklt the inl1o\'<uiollS of the youllg cillellla arc
so, far frol1l delllonstrating tile llonexist­
(,lJeC' o[ lIlev ,Ire rcallv discovering new syntactic regions
while rellwilling (at least as long as thc\.' arc intelligihle, :IS is the
case ;tlmost ;tlways) elltirely submissive tu the rUllctional
lI1cnts of [iImit discourse, llllJiwl'illc nnd Last Year at j1,joril'llZ)(ld arc
still, from one l'nd to the other, /iIIllS, and
<1ny
""l'ludes the (Icsniptivl' SYlltagllla;
;til inl\1m'l<lW "lid l'lld ill Paris r.";lt
least ill the present slatc or Cilll'lll:Jt(lgraphic t",'hniqucs); a 11(1I](li­
cgl'tic illl<lgC must ill (lIlC way (If ,m()ther he linked t() a diq.:ctic ill!
n,(;,l', ()J' it will not ,Ippear to he lllllldil,(;,ctic, etcY:: But sllcll
hm'l' llcvcr l)('cil seri()tlsly triL'd hy Ii I1ll-11ml,crs, ulliess ]lcrll<ljls--aml
CVCIl ,itl'll OJll' would han' to ('-"<Imine the lIlatkr 1ll()l'C
sUllie (,SlrelllC aV;lilt gardist who
drort to lIlake hilllscll' understood Ci1]('11I<ItO·
to the Jlarrat fictioJl liiln /\nd
lilllllllakcrs Ill'Yl'I' :ltlC1ll(lt tt) C()llstl'll('t stich
\0 thaI thc\' l'xist, is precisely
hCl,lllSC the llIain Ilglll'l's or cillclliatogr,lphic illtclligihilit\C illll:lhit
their Illinds Ii) a IllLlel1 grcater l'"kllt than the\, arc ;nvarl' oF, Sillli·
Imh', (he lIlost (lrigil1;d \c\'ritcr d()l's ]]((t attempt tu L1SlliOll ;111 t'llt
Ilew Llilguagc,
IV
That is wlly HOW of tht' cillema
and la ke a more and lechnical and from this
return to the d the tbcories, which,
more than any other attempt at defining lill1lic I l10llcrnity, Irv [0
delillc tbeir subjcct precisely and go beyond thc stage of gencral im­
pressions,
'1
212 THE "I'\,lODEHN" C1NEi\fA: SOM,E THEOHETICAL Pl\OBLEi\lS
TIm "nH:;F,GNI" on [CONIC ,\NALOCY? 1\t lirst: glance, our 311tllOr
s;lys, there is nothing in the cinema correspondillg to what idiom is
for tbe writer. Tbat is to say, there is no codaied instance prior to
the actual aeslk,tic undertakillg, Fine. Nevertheless, Pasolini contin­
lies, one Hlust assume that there is something in the cinema that, in
olle way (It another, assumes the sallie role as language in
sincc the constant fact is thai' tlll' l'incJI)il is not all "abortion," that it
is able (II cOllllllunic:ltc.:
14
It is at this point, I hclievl" Ihat the lllore
statclllell ts : An artlsllc semiotic svstcm, Sill'll as
the cinema, can functiol1 pcrfec(l" "vel I withoul the assistancc ()f an
initial codified The cincma is in the same as
Ilrativc 1ll Claude LeviSI ra uss's T'I/(; Hall' mId
the Coohed: The first level of articubtioll hv the "natural"
tllill in the
ill the picture 011 the screen).
Literature res languagc. hecause the soulld hy tlte
vocal org,lllS possesses no intrinsic llll';llling. Thcreron' it 11;]s to hc
arliculaled 10 ,ll'lllirc mean \Vhidl is withheld from "inarticulate
Ihe two arliculatiolls dIal C(lllsli1l11(' languagc,,·that of
ami Illat 01' the J1l0nClllCS, in 1\ndre Martinet's
other dwn the illcvit,lhlc eTl',ltiH' iIlSI;II1CCS or
.('., dl'l1otatcd i/icatiull), hlckillg which Ihe
OJ] which to project Ihe illtl'l'play uF l'onno'
lations. But the Ii 1m 'I na ker docs 1101 work wi th voea I suullll in iti,l
His ray\' maleri;ll is (he illlage-thin is to sav,
whieb always
or aI lcust codi
liable, language, delines as
an inJeJ'
thelll, tbe lilm maker is
as the writer (keeping in mind the
the written). 1\s for "real noises," raise essen·
the SilllIC problems as do images, to the auditive dimensilJn.
One mllst nut confuse sonorolls and yflOllic: sound of the worl,l has its (J,vn
meaning (the locomotive's whistle, etc.); a phouic sound acquires pre-
only by means of the linguistic '
THE ,\WDEIIN AND NAnnATIVITY

'1/, _etc') awl thai
til(' ";llll(jIllOhilc" froll! "Ira
rite Cillc'IlI;1 <1ITiv('s at the sallie results
not wh()se cJllci,hltion
llnCliol1 i!llu ;m additional illSLlIlcc
,thclic;d ,mel ;](h'Cnllll'Ous::
G
••, il is, 1l1!11'h JI10re
lest and least connoted plll)logr;lph of ,1l1 ;lll
I (I I Ill' ",lli,'h ;1
"Illy 1)\
hall' "aul<llllo],ile" h))' its
mlinlbliol1s
Df its 1l101H'1lH'S
alld cIII, /Inti
\'l'J'\ ,J.i I
1'1)1" ill (lIlI'
p;lrlicul;lr lilms, .. hnl I]()I
dl'(l)('si IlI(Th:lllislll of lillllic inlellcelioll. 1101\ is OIH' to
ulHlcrsl:IIHlli P;]solil1i asb, wilhoUI SllIl1cho\\' ;1 LI1()wl­
cd"c "I' till' s\llIh"/ie \';lll](,s Ill' tlll'Sl' I'islial 1111,1;'(',' "1'(';1111 illl;I"('S,
'" " ,'")
III' ilH' JIll'lllor", Ill' l'IlJllli0I1;1 d d;lih Iii
\liill [heir \1 lli.le lo;ttl or i1ll pi leit l'\tcllsinllS fill' ('ilch S' \ :llld ('ilch
givell 111 \Vulll" Il"
OhSClIl'l' hUI (Illile red
iL tu Llkc' ;1
Cdr III
CO/lsiliS W;IS ;] spprts ('ill', with all t11;lt this implies ill IWl'lllit'lh
dic!illlli!lV
l'\<1J11/'ll', \H'
til(' [ul;1i tllllkrsl:llldiIH' or a
Ii" Pasolilli [;db "hout:
);11')\\ thai
lilY Fnullc, (hl' peri()d pI' dlt: jilIn. But :dl !lIe' S;1111l' 11'('
beCilw;c we would sec it, Ib;n it is ;] C<1r, illld that w(Julll
us t(J grDsp the dl'lll!/ct/ mcanin,g of tltl· pilssugl'. Ll'1
that ;1Il Eskimo wilh no ('\jlcricllCP Dr induslrial
/;]liOIl mighl not evell be ,'Ihk 10 recogni/c the car! For ",h;lt Ihe Es
kimo \Flllid he laclzil1!! ill would Jlot he tJ 1(' abiJitv lu
it would nut he his
21-} THE "MODEHN" CJNEl\lA: SOME TlIEOHE't'ICAL PHOBLEflfS
that would he dcficiclIt hut of
social car-as soon ,IS it exists
in the like ,111 other objects (lj'
and a child in our society Iws IlO more (rouble idcntifying
a (rllck th:111 he docs a (·'It.''·
" As the readE'r C:l11 see, this passage devoted to the ideas of Pier Pool" P:ISO'
lini-which was writtcll carly in 1966-is ,I llli:\tlll'C of alld mgU]JlCllt.
The rC<lsom for this dUl1blc aitilllllc, whicll has nut the llle<llltimc bccn
lllodified, mc clearer 10 'I](: [odav. to the cxtent that
graphic :md
(,lila. h:rs becoLllc
Pasolini's
as this discussion shows. the icon·
_ to cach sociocultural group :lIld
themselves would have llO [ am I](,t in
the l\\istCllCC PI' such instances; ,illlply, what]
l'nsolillian ilk" that thcse ('()(lilications ,,)rc!/(/]'
the\' are of lbe sanle IHlture '\'iIH'lll:lt{;­
Inllgllage," wI"",· li,:st I,'vel they \nlllht cOI1.;.tilllt(·, ;." that till' fllili'
iI' !,Jlcll would always he constrained 10 handle (or partially to invellt')
two lang11:lges that of the "illlSl'gni" and thai "I the cinellla.
Tll('rdorc, ,virat seellled to Ill(' to be "cl(Hlhtful" and a "bunlcIlSOllll' artifact."
and all "addil ioual ;notancc "penly pre;.clltccl by Pas()lini himself ;];.
thing "civcntllJ'(Jl]S ;]n() hypotheticaL" is not the "imse,!no" itse1l'.
jmlilicd elc\'atiol\ to the levcl or
with the conseqllellcc
'" the code of
of our mnch mOle tlwn to cillclllCltogr;1l'hic
insist so IIlIlC], on the idea that, for a l'rt!j!criy sClI1ioli,·.'.
the lirst level of (i.e.. the onc that is 10 the lilln·maker a;. hnguagc
is to the writer) is not made tip of "im·scgni" but of visual and auditory <lIlal,,·
gie" If tIle llovel's readcr is able to recll.oniLc a ill the it is tlwllLs
II! the linguistic 'mit "clog," lind if the firm.viewer within tllc
lilm's stury t hat is Ihanks to Ihe image's visual analogy with a This
does nut prevent, for a more genera I semiotics, many of t he that
Pasolini deSignates as from being reintroduced mId
within analogies (sec abOl'c, p. 1 J for it is the pecnliaritv codes
cudcs)
THE 1\lODEnN CINE,\tA AND NARHATlVITY 2I5
Froll1 the presumed existence of Ll primary of "im·segni"
(which is codifiable, but never really c(ldiliecl), Pasolini deduces the
idea th:lt the f11111llwker is ohliged to invent:l bnguage {lrst (i.e., the
altelllpt (0 j,oLttc c!c;lrh the "im-scgn and then an art-whereas
the writer, wllO .theady possesses the can allow himself to
the mis­
the fact
lhat it is
visual and auditory information. Tn otlin words, when very hroadly cultural
[jlmsas thcy do l'fl'ljllC'ntly, especiaU): whcn ';IlC thinks
of the contents of individnal /illlls·-thcy em: orten prcscnt i'11 fir" hlll/.!!,!' ilsc1f
(or ill Ibe soulld ibeIr)-that is to say, within th(' "analogy," or at a )Joillt that.
in relationship tu the total CCOIlOIllY "I' the Illmic signilication;., is disti1lCt from
that occllpied hy the codilicltions that constitute what olle calls "cinclIlato·
graphic language." The image uf the wheels of the traill derives from
w,t frolll thc cinema; wlicll it appcars on the scrcell it is identified hy \
allalogy with the r(,:11 wheels of a train, and il is thanks to this resemblance
that the Ellll is able to carry all the 3ddilional si"llillcatlolls associated with this
image in culture. Bnt if till' image is ordered
alternalc J111 >ntager
one that
ami is sll])erimposc(I
CillCI1Ltlo­
()J1('C lire] ore

large seglllcl1 ts 01
such as alternation,
to dIe eillema is tbe
in relation to c:I('h uther-·that
of the syntagm<ls, On
cuntrary, there is no system
are sel'erai of these
films, but that is matter).
-1
216 THE "1\\ODEnN" CINI\1\IA: S()\1E nlTIOHETlCAL pnOBlF1\IS
his aesthetic inlenlions and his
that- he is occasiona\lv able 10
onn liahle to hccolll(, a "Fact of
conventional
dCllotat inll t(lda v
result of the
111,NHvVAL OF SYNTAX" vVc kllow t1wt
structures, such as thc the allnnatc :" ll­
the hr;lcLl't scquellccs, etc" which
:,lructll res, ,uch
for jlJTce,sioll) lor ('x­
sllccession as the sigllilier rur
disLml Stlccl's:ii()lI), c[(',-:Ir(' <lIl1"llg th()se lIgllrcs or (,(JIIll(lt;!ti()!l tll:lt
h:l\T, ill tillil', :!lso hCCOllll' inll'lli,gihlc pM(cms ur dCIl(ILltio)l, N(lW,
what is illiporLlllt t" noll' i, Ih,lt IIlW,t of thcse sctlliol()gicli figures
h:1I'C' ll(Jt Llllcil <lut (If lIse :tt :Iil hut <Ill', oil the C(}lltr:l1'\', ill currelll
lise ill the lllmll'rli l-inClll:]' Not, ur course, th,ll the oj' figures has
rClll<lillCd 11Ilch:lIJgl'll frolll (:rillith 10 (Jur tillles. III the cillCtl1<l, t(IU,
there is ,I diachrony. It wUllld he easier tll I)icl, olll pnl('('durcs lhal
IWH' aged: the l101ll1icgclic llH'upllo[ as rC!H'\\Td hv (
as \\l' will Sl'C ill :111 c)"llllpll' further Oil ). s]()\Y-JJlo(iol1, :tcccicrated
IlH,tiull, Ihe usc or the iris dinpllr;lglll (cXL'ent for lloswl"ic :llld llll­
lllorollS "(Iuutatiun": S/u)ol II-n'
OIl
this techniquc: the I1rst SC![lll'IlCt' ill UIIl'
iITVlTSC-,,]]()t in it:, lllcchanical f()i'1ll
the Sl clle in the Paris
THE MODERN CINE)'IA AND NARRATIVn'V 2 17
Ie fou, with Anna Karina's lovc song, is handled in a lIlorc llcxiblc
form of these normal evolutiolls, one
should think I \Vice hdorc that cinematographic svntax has
been "completely throvvn overboard." The license of poctic inspira"
tion must not be confused with sOllie impossihle license un the level
of the deeper 'lI'tieuhItiollS, whidl, evcn if they are partiall\' arbitrary
and arc Furthermore ill ,I cOllstant state of evolution, nevertheless
guar,llltcc, within givvn s\l1clmmic conclitiolls, the correct transmis­
sion uf information, Only the and th(lllghl--if
'illch a thing exists-Gill (perhaps) hl' rC1l1()\'cd from such a i<lw, FWIll
thc llloment tll,lt sayin,l! occurs the desire to COl1l111lllliGlIe, con­
CCrtl for the public, a certain number of rest ric­
tiOIlS ;Ippcar, which ch,tr,lcterizc the cxnrcssioll of t hOll[1ht r,ltller
thall thought itselF, thaI is, if tllC two til
Hather thall ic syntax, wc
arc trend of
dCl'd­
or less
'>­
II IIII J,
which
scene,
flgu res
, Let LIS COlJ-
SI) f,lr, I have idclllified, hum dIe origills or tlte cinCIll;1 to dH'
a limited number of ]Jllsic sVl1t<lgm;ltic
Now, there is a passage in G()dard's Pierrol 7(' fOil that Gml10t
he reduced to any of these models, or 10 any variation of these mod­
" 1 am 1I0t using (he wort! figllm in tll<' sense of a uf (or of
is (0 say, as a means or connotation-out in a much hwadcr sense:
,IS any characteristic and recognizable synwgmatic This use of
the wore! is justified hy thc confUSion, pEculiar (0 the COI1­
nutative al1ll dCllotative patterns.
21 THE
II
.MODEHN
"
CINEIIJA: SOME THEOnETfCAL PllODLEl\lS
le:1\'(' the
:1l1d Hee
1Il " red
which is ill
the sidc\valk ill Frollt
the frOI! t of the
of the d"\'arF
egctic point of occur sevenl1 minute,; bier
since we now sec the 404 rapidly alollg the hallks 01' the rivcr.
The P<lSs:lge I hus sever:]1 lllHlSlWl From the
h;mks ()j' the rin'J' we go hIck to the drainpipe; the clltrance or the
car :It the root ,,(, Ihc huildino is ilselF showll two or three limes
,,"">
slight vmi<ltiolls ill Ihe 11()sition :mel in tile 1ll0VClllCllts or lhl' ch:!r­
,lclers (vuri:lti(lns th:lt remind LIS rat]ICT or :l COllstrlldioll dear to
Crillct: 1'(' IIoycur, 1(1 1\-1 uisOJI de rC/ldc:;:;
TllCrCrmc, ill this synt<lgllw, tilllc' d,)l's not fllnctioll <ll'conllllg III
a vectori:l1 SChclllc--a schellll' t Iwt ('oITCSI)OlHIs [0 Ihe simplest :md
ll10st l'Ol1ll1l01l n:urativc procedure; it C:IllIlO! he " lincar lwrr,ltivc
(i_e" sccne, ordin:!ry sequellcc, (JJ' cpisodic sccluellce). Nor
IS II <Ill :dlcrlwte synt:lglll.l, for tll(' ;lltCIII:1lillg illl.lgcs do Ilot reFer to
silllultaneous lTl'llts hut to l'learlv slicceeding events (the shots of
the roadw:! v :lIllIE' t hc river
"a!tcrn:l­
tive" variatioll or the <Iltcrn:!tc ists h;l\T
Illade several trips hack :mel amI the
river IXlllk still less docs it
it
that of sp:Jtial cocxistcnce,
since the passage ill
THE l\JODEHN crNE;I.[A AND NArmATlVITY 19
tive action, but quite c1c:nly a sillgle succession of uni(]ue (lL'CUr­
rences. Nor is it an eX:llllplc of the bwckct syntagnw, for in tIlis
illst:ll1CC the fillll obviollsly shows ;1 singliLir event ill its OWll lL'lI1lS
and not in tefms of SOIlle' other ['vellt (that is, there is !lot the slightesl
at c<ltegorizalion). Last, it is not;1Il mllOIlOIllOllS silot. since it
cont<lins sevenl images corresllOlHling to n single unit of the dicgcsis.
It is in bct ,I killd of disloc<l\ed SC<JUCllCC, highlv c)'prcssivl' of the
Ihe fever. :lnd the rdndOllllll'SS 1)[ existence r1y idcn
of dellot:]tion). In tlK· Illidst ()f the frellzy of the
(lenotation!, it presenls :1<; equal
a sort of scM-confessioll of narmtivit\'. :lJ]
awarelless of its O\\,ll fahlic nature sevcr:lI different \':lri;l
of' a rr:llltic csc:m('. suilicil'lltiv similar to each other nevertheless
\\-hi"h we will never know
I'll lake its uutlined ()CCLIITClill'S,
, Llccd
curate sellse 01' (JthC'r
claimed lIe \\';IS
acttwllv he realized.
tiun curresponds fai
llis own experience: There ,He
of 1Ilind
diet tbe possible outcome to
psvcbol(lgical ,lCntClll'SS ill the imagin:llivl'
v;uinnts tlJ:lt, ill [he given context, :Ut'
hility th'lt is realized.) .In the passngc we
CodaI'd would S(,('lll to lw]ollg to the second sinc(' Ill' is ahle to
suggest with :1 grC:J1 deal of truth, hut wilhout clclCrIllin the out
CO]l1C', s('vcr,1i possihilities at tbe samc time, So he llS a sort or
I'otclltial SCfIIWI1CC--,lll ul1(ktermined
Hew tvpC' ur s),nt;]glllil, :l IlOVel form of the
thai remaiJlS entirely (/ figure of IIm-falit';t)'
difTerenl l'V('llts, places, timC's, Ulle ctc,-iil tbe same IVaI'
that ill the same film the shots of the HClloir p<lintillgs COllstitute a
220 TilE "1\IODEHN" CINE:\lA: SOME 'rHEOHE'J'ICAL PHOBLEl\IS
relitalizHtinn of the old nondiegctic
the sillce the of Eisenstein
statnes of Octol)el',
["here would be lllany other examples to examine: The still
grapll, which IHid been little used up to now and to whieh Rudolf
Arnhcim gave ol1ly n very modest ill his montage c1lart 'i- is 110W,
ilf' Jeanne lVTorcnu's Face ill
you nm't do JIl !\ \Von/all is
1.1/
1Il
is the voice or an
with the modern cinema, cXDericllcilH' its first real Howcrim>: tbe cx-
CIlld Jilll, the SCCplCI1Ce "I het
(i ,mel,
composed
variuils modern lilms IS
anunymolls COIIl­
lIlcntator, much less the inc<Imatioll of the mlll101' than of 1l,IITCItivit y
:1S /\lhcrt, Laffay observed in another Clmtext
3H
occasionally il
is that 01' thc film's Ilrot:Hlonisl llcldressilw hilllself llirectlv !o the
dicllcc--a new form of aside: lkb Iluudo's voice in Vierwt Ie fou, the
lirst seq llCllce ill l\1uriCllvad, To these I wo olle Illllst add the
on-screen voicc ill dialo!211cd sccncs :llld the I'retl LlClit LIse of writtcn
titles ,mel also the (lIl-StTeCIl
voice itself when it assullJcs the rccitative mode and acquires a
that pulls il away hom the illiage ,md trunsforllls it from
within into;1 kind of oIl' screen voice, thus 10 some cxlcnl suhtract
rrml1 the (/lirosliilll(J IlJOIIIllIIO'Uf, La Poll/Ie ('ourle, etc.),
TilLIS til(' lilm is ahlc to pLly Oil five levels of
ranges, live "personac," One could wrile a whole study of
in a Codard or Hcsn;lis lilm Oil the problclll of "Who is
Ami onc could write ,mother study Ull the revitalizatioll of what lISed
to he ca11(;<1 "suhicClivc irll;wcs"' in Fellini Juliet of tile
'[1lJ
"SYNTAX" IS NO'!" S'llcHEOTYl'E: Thus "syntax," still as Funrly
named as ever, is nevertheless alive and well. But many mislIl1dcr­
derive hom the fllct that is often confused with
cliche), An ori2inal 111m is cOll1lllonl\' urcsllmed to
" Fil", liS 1957, p, 131.
TliE MODERN CINEl\ll\ AND NAHrl,\TlYllY :>.:>. I
gralllma r upSide down": ci !lema tu­
grdlllllI<ir is eH:'dited only with mediocre films, That is 10 con-
ruse the l:lIlgUilgC process with the aesthetic stylistic) process, Bc'
tween <1r( and l'lllgu'lgC there me COll1plex scmiulogicnl Ic1<,li(ll1sh
art is nol act\lilliv I:lllguagc; it in OJle \Vil \ (lr illllltilcr "c­
the ()r 7!Csitie it, and tbat is whv dolts lIOt
llbert tlll'nc:d
illscrilwd
II] tilt' j"rcnClI lilliguagv, r)llt UIC IIIl[lcrtcct W,lS (:Int! stili ami lill­
is ill IHJ \Va, dilkrcilt 1'1'(1111 the
is the OJ](' syntactici,lIls ,m,d It i" ,I
SillliLIr\V, the llSC (II'
])()"cl'cr lloVel and intcrc;.t s(JllIe of
llCI'l'lt]W!cSS slili iTDITSCIl[S a hanal livlIrc SlIllT It lIILiIlCl'S LIS
10 reCollstrllct
hip,Htilioll of till' screen space,
must not rcal/)'
COlli lied
{illll-maker's artistic l'Jl(kanlr, sincc he now stalL's that the first (limic
cudiflcatioll is slylistic, i1ll1s overlapping Oil my OWll VIlW that it is the
striVing for conllotatioll thal in the cinema has ultillwll'Iy
till' enrichmcnt awl codifying ur dellotation; and 011 the [Jlher
ized image of the wheels or a train
the lIIisLlllderstnnding surfaces ag<lln whell Pasulini
;1Il
gives l1S all
conventions," I-Ie ci tes the common, COil ITIl"
;11' full
a cloud of sllloke, This is ]lot, he says, a grmll111aLical
a "stylcme." J don't argue with this, But such
Ilothing to do with "cinelllatoQranhic svnlax," For the latter illmlies
,('I us return to Pasolini, I-Ie hclievcs
Illar" has nol hecll ahlc
gmllllllar," tlwt is tl) say
It is never, he sa\,s,;li
urDl rcaJ gmnllnar, bllt r,lthcr
SYSICIlI hetwcell ,1I'l ;Inc!
CUl1lTlltiullS tbat han' till' "pcculiarit\' or
grallllllaticu I." 'I'his <lIl,Ilysis, which
unllll­
,":>
C<lI1­
;1l'l'Cpt, ca lIs for t 1\10 remarks:
believe ill the
shuws tklt Pasolinl hililscif
of allli ,I
cinclll:llograpbic stratulll o[ prior to tile
222 THE "MODERN" CINE:\IA: SOl\JE THEORETICAL PROBLEI\IS
a certaill numbcr of filmic constructiOlls and not just a certnin num­
ber of fil1lled objects. The image of the wheels of the trnin refers
neither to some "by-passing of syntax," nor, on the other hand, to
some fixed, com'cntionalized synt;lctic expression; it constitutes a fact
that is foreign to syntax, a specific vismd element-having its own
"form" ,mel its own "content"-liable tu being ftlmed.
Any properlv filmic syntagmatic Llct implies the conjunction of at
two visual c1elllents, ()ccllrring ill twu im;lges (lllont8ge) or in
the S,lme image (camera muvelllent or, even, st;ltic implication). To
say that the illlage 01' the wheels of the tr;lin is a fact uf stylc is cor­
rect but insullicient; it is a c1ich(\ a stereotype. And it Gin he so only
because it is ;1 ,ingular bct. Crammar h;ls never dictated the content
of thought that cach sentcncc should have; it mcrel) rcgu Lltcs thc
[!cl1er,ll un!alJilati()n of the sentences. !l UmllzlIll1tic([1 faci CIlII he
0
neither (.{cliche 1101' ([ IIUVelty, unless it is so at the mOlllcnt of its first
historic;11 occurrence; it exists beyond the level where the ;llltithesis
clichl"/n(,\elLy even begins to have a mC<ll1ing-that i, to SCI\" it re­
mains COil lined to the st;lge of the initial idiolll and not to t1wt or the
secondarv language or art. The present or the imlicltin', as used hy
HohheCrillct, is still :1 vulgar of tbe indicative, entirely "ba­
n:d," :Jnd vet Jl() olle :](,(,U5(,S it of l)('ing ;1 clich{'. And llO one ,ICClises
Malherhc III' ror using the ohjective prcdiclte, or Victor
Hugo ror lIsillg the reLlti\'C clause, or Baudelaire ror the conjullc­
tion o{' two ;ldjcctivc,. The image of tbe whcels or the train is in IllJ
way the Iilmic equiv;llcnt to these examples; mthl'l' it would corre­
sp()nd til iVblhcrbe\ 1l1et,lphorical comparison or ;1 voung girl tu a
rose, which is a silli_'.I1/or eOllstructi()n (formal and and
must accordingly he judged ;lCcurding t() the Gltcgorie, of originality
and tritcncss. j\s long ;lS one consider, such examples, one will have
the clements not of a "stylistic grammar" of the cinema, hut ()r ;1 jiure
r71ctoric tbat has nothing grammatical, ;lllel not very much cinelllato­
gr<lphie, about it, for the image of the wheels 01' the train (zl1ld similar
images) most commonly represent cultural stereotypes, which if they
;He picked up-or even partially varied-by the cinema me picked up
and varied by other forms of expression as well. There is a grammar of
THE J\IODEJ1N CINEMA AND NAHHATlVlTV 223
the cinem;l (or, to be eX;lct, there is a large syntagmatic categorv of the
liction lilm); but its location lies elsewhere: In the scene, in the se­
quence, ill the different syntagmas, in the other "types" ] have men­
tioned oilly too briefly, in the structured, signiFying, <lI1d stahililed
wntagmatic orderings, which arc never clicht's, ;md were nm'clties
unly once, but which nwke up tbe scattered and disconnected cle­
ments of a code of lilmic intelligihility ("analogy" ;ll1d dialogue COIl­
stituting the rest), the st,llllillcring eljuinlent of a real syntax, :lIld
not of;l list of singular cuntents or forms.
Cinematugr:lphic grammar docs not consist in pn',cribing ",hat
should he lilllled. Alternate lllonl<lge, For exmnplc, simph dcterillinc,
that the altern:lting of ill1;lges ",ill the simultaneitv or the ('or
re,pollding referents, hut it says Ilothing ahout what is to enter those
illlages. TIl(' distinctioll hetween a lllcch;lllic,ll and stcre(}tYjwd
lll<ll''' ;md;l Free, ;lgralllllwticil miginalit\ -;] distincti()n that seeills t()
underlie S,) lll:lIn discu'5ions or the lllod('fTJ cilll'nl;l- -is profoundly
llll('sti()J]'lblc.h)J- a grallllllar, since hv dcJlnitioll it is composed (illl)'
uF stereotypes, cannot he stercotyped, and a certain free creative origi­
n:llity is necessarily "gr;llllm;ltical" in one respect Of another From the
lllOlllent its llle"age hecOIlles intelligible.'"
" I wallt to avoid a confusion that cn>]'s up fre(ll,cntly ill this type "I' dis­
ell"ioll. The analysis (lcveloped in tl,is section is Hut in ;my way intcnded to
<Iistinguisl, ],etwccn "form" ill liln" (which would bc a general categu,.v. be­
yond \1", subdilisions of the original and thc banal\ "colltent'; (;vhich
:::()uld he on the original or, lwnal).
1 he d"tlllctHln between Imlll ('Dntent IllUSt be abs()lutcl v rejected, I
believe; the ullly solutioll Ihat seellls satis[aetorv to me is the one advanced hv
the linguist Lm:is Iljellnslcv, which places the facls uf Ihe _sigllificale (content')
to one side. ,mel the {acls uf I he sigllifier (which is erroneously considered to he
the constituent or "form" and which, ill I-Ijelmslcvian tcrminulugy, constitutl"
((expression") to lhe other side, \Nilh <:8ch 1111'11lbcr possessing its o\vn fortn
nnd substance. (For the possible application of these cOllcepts to cinemato­
graphic ,malysis, see Chapter 8 of this \'olume.) The purpme of this discussion
\\'(1S to Lctnrccn cUllstructiuns :..pecitic fa CillCJJlniograpl1ic 11111guoge ill
gel/em1 and comtructions that occur in particular hlms. Both have their signi­
ficr and their significatc (which is to say, in ordinary bnguagc, thcir "form"
and their "content")' and these signillers and significates each have their own
form and their own suhstance (form, in this casc, is taken in the sense that
secms to me to bc the correct one). In other words, I want to insist on the
presence of a specific level of "figures" that by (lcfinition, relatc to thc hlmic
\'chicle itself-and thcsc arc thc hgurcs that actually dehne "cincmatographic
224 THE CINE;\! A: SOI\[E rr.OBT EJ\l!'.
certain linguists h8ve turned thcir <lltenti<lll tu the proh­
lel1l "f "purek sClllantic" ,mom,1lies (sentences that appem to be
grmllll1atic,dly correct, hut whose n1css,lge doesn't "COJllC thrnllgh"),
['idmple: "'l'he natali:111 hr,1ssie]'l' wol;l' Ujl SLlddl'llly :1 too :1p­
Il,nclld,T p()stpr:1J]clial rictus," But, in G1SeS lil;e this, it is OllCe' ll1ure
frolll the misundcrst,llIcling of cerL1in structur,d 'C'luircments oj'
;Illd I() it i'roln an()ther sCllli()logiL'<I\ level, \\'hich is, jnci
dcntdllv, ,lulI/,I], ullltr;lSted t() the first ill th"t it is h;,th les" (since it
C()lll'l'n'l:-' fllllls 'j and /llOrc p,cllcnd (since it illC()fl)()r;ltcs SYStClilS
arl' I'cry Lwadly cllltliral and l!,elt e"tend bevund thc cinema ibeln, ()ll this
sl'c(Jlld lcvcl ()nc GIll SPL")l.. Dr the Ii()riginaiity" Of of individu:tl fl1nlo..;
("r {tim l'ClsSaul:S, <>,. jJlm "JUtcULs," etc,') 'lCc()rding (" whether the cultural
hare l':C'C11 integrated dIe), arc illt() tlH' 'lilIn (i.e., (If
",hl'lhcr Oil till' ('untcarl' the has rejected illC'lll, dispbcl"! Ihelll,
"I';d;ed" thclIl, 'T\ iLdi/.e,l tlll'Ill, etc.
l\ll'vcrtllekss it is true Ihal "cillc,lEltovral,lric Lliwllagc" itsl'li' is liable to be
jUdgl'cJ ill ,)1' origillality (Jf l);Jllalit); 'fhis 'friJIll ("('rUin or its
aLlcristics I hal, ,drc:ldy Illl'llli'''lcci: lt dues ll"t really cunstitutc :1 bnguagc
"YStC'1I1; it 1;.. Il(Jt a pure but ;111 In<iisl'crllildc Illi\turt' ()r ,!2,rllllllll:ll
Clm! rhl'luri,': jt i
e
; 111<)]'( ild!uellced hv till' illciiviciu,d l'1l':ltiuIlS "j'
maLers th:"l w,ittl'll verb:d 1:1I;gllagcs :lie by 'the iIHlivid,,:d crcatiuns "r writl'l's,
j\ true vcrb:ll ()r Frcllcl;--·jc.; LH'\'Cr ill ibcll' \lr 1>'lna1
(ur, i[' jt is, it i" sr, ill a u,mp1ctely dilJ'crent way :m,] Olle that is r"reign t" t11is
as whcll (Inc ullllparcs (lllt' vl'rl)'I1 l:lllgu<lgc to uthcr vcrlnl ]angu:lgc.:;'j,
III th,' dOIl,,,ill ,,1' tile cinema, un dl(,' c()utrary, it is ]1)ucL easier to find w'mb
th(l[ Cdll 1)(' l'h;lr:ll'tcri:;,('(] ,\.<.., l)('illg 11l(l!(' ()r (Irigilla1 Oil 1/1(' /e(,('1 0/ dIe 11111­
il,cl) 'lLul 11»t Pllh pn thc lell'! ,,[' Iheir stvlc (examl,k: the "P"iClltjcll
'('''ILiellec'' ill COllard\ film all<ll) /,ed earlier'" IF 'Jill' uscs 1\ ol:t IH1
Dartlws\ triple lJd\\'('cll Idll,0,IIC, ('crillfrc,
SVStl'lll. '\vritillg," ill ',C /)cg,ft) :'i..:r() (Ic !'l;cril/lrc
7cru), ULlC wi]] llotice thJt IicillCIlWl\)graphi{' langllJge" resclllhlcs
ill"St ill Ihat it r('I"TsC'Llh a distillCI illslancl' ut' individual ,tyles, hut that it
hO\\'C\lT, Il(lt {'(Infused \\'itl1 (I bllgU(lgC (llc\'crthck;-..s therc rCllldins a t..1iJ"­
fercllcc betll'een the eincllla am1 til(' dUllwin "r the 1'l'L'h"l: III the btter, '\\Til
ing" is distillct fCOlli langlLage) \vhicl! exists: in tllL' einclna! it is JistillL'l [rUll}
what might lie called a IaUgUClgC, if that language l'"isted, It is precisL'1y the
(d' t/)(' cinCllla tlwt \\'llat jt ,IS bllgU'lgC is.. in filet) ..1 '\vril­
illg,"-tl](lt tt) sOlllcrhillg that Ilut a hut is less rddicalh
T
distjnct
fnHll a style thall a is.
lJcsp-itl' Olle still be canti()ll.<.." \<\lhell speaking uf "origi­
nality" or ''twllality'' in the cinema, not tl) h:lIld1c the,e (""nec]'ts ill the sOJJle
WH)" ()r on the sanlC lc\'cl, acc{)rding to vvhether onc js c()nsjderillg individllal
Elms, <>r llH,](' "r less original aspeets ,,[ the general hlllguage of lilllls, Thus, ,1
libn that I\'(wld borrow only what W:1S m()st IJallal from cinematographic
language coulclnevertheless be an original wurk, whel'eas a Ii!m in which all the
particular construetiollS would be banal w(>uld necC'ssarilv be a banal work,
THE J\IODERN CINEi\JA AND NAnr.ATIvITY 225
course that the unintelligibility of the message derives, It is nOl, to bc
sure, a matter of the grl71l1lJllltic((/ strllcturc itself' (at le,lst in the usual
meaning of the term), but of' the SClJll7ll1ic structurcs (that is to say,
again grmmnatic81, in some way) of the French [or ill the
case of this translation, of the English langL18ge-THANsLATon] (i\. J.
Greimas)-or then, depending on the lingllistic schuol, it is ,1 qlll'S­
tion of certain actllally gramlllatiG11 "subrulcs" (Je;l1l Duhois) that
:11'(' sui1ieienti v Jine to be generally omitted from "oHicial" gramm:1rS,
hllt the ign(ll'<mcc of' which results in sentences posscssing Farious de­
of agrallllllilticislll (Noall1 Chomskvl, Thl1s the verb "to \\,:1 lee
up" is scm,mticall\' L'()]np,1tihlc within the same minimulll statcment
onlv with ,111 animate subjcet or OllC l11cl<ll)horically :lssimibtcd tu :1Il
:lllimate subject ('Thc dog wakes up," "Hojle W:1S ':l\v:1tcncd"'i; it
cuuld l10t ll:lvC For subject the term for a llonpers()nified itl'nl or
clothing (hrassierc in lilY cX'll11plc). The adjel'livC' J'{)st},rt711diu/ is
used onlv with sllhstanti\'es helonging to tll(' c:ltcg0l'\' of coclH'still'sis
(sensations of f!lUIICSS, helwillcss, acidity, slcc},illcss, ('lL',) :md C()llse
lll1cntly excillcies (exccpt in :1 specdly il1diC:1tin' contcxt) a subst:ll1­
tin: like rictus, Utc, Now, rcmemhcr tll:lt "cinem:1togr:1phic gralllm:H"
is not a "re:1l grmnm:1r" in the llsllal scnsc of the word, hut simplv :1
budv of p:nti:tlly codified scm:llltic implications (.or rinc gr:lllllll:lticd
llllcs ).
One of the lllost striking ch:lr:1ctcristics of modcrn Jl1ms is that they
me in lllost cases highly umlcrsl<111cbble: 111 this respect they (liffer
from vmiolls cxperimcnt,ll films, with their ,lvaLmchc of gratllitous
and :marchic images against a hackgrollnd oj' heterogcncous
siolls, capped by some ovcrblown :want-gmdist texl, On t'he contrary,
thc "cmancipated" storics that the best modern Jllms me occasionally
able to tell liS Jiml, in order to make themselves llndcrstood, ven' di­
rect paths, and they mobilize a sllflicicllt lIumber of true ,1ceents, of
memories peculim vet eommoll to everyone (and becomc so m:lll)'
analogical systcms in the intellection 01' the Jilm) for evell the slightly
experienced Spcct<1tor to underst,lnd them more rapidly th8n hc would
understand the conventional narr:ltives 01' commercial production,
whose advertised-and very real-conFormism does not cxclude (but
226 THE C1NEi\lA: SOi\lF TllEOHETlCAL l'nOI3LEMS
JIll­
illl tha I arc never
they differ too mueh From
To contrast gralllma alld is, thcrcFurc, to eontmuimltc
lwo On the one hand there arc, in the CinellE],
anel others tll;]t arc less so. Oil the other hand
there is "Cilll'I11;ltogr;q)ilie gmllllllar," with the mnbigw)lJs status of its
COllllot;ltioll that h,ls hccollll' a means of denutatiun, a thM
has hecolllc ;] \Thicle';l status that is urccisclv rcsIJol1siblc for the
con fusion I have been
For it i, indl'cd trUl' t1wt the com-
Illunicatioll of the literal
One
sh()t
lwriz()ntal and fWlltal, ",ith no calll­
era IllOVClllt'llt at ;]11, and no optic:d d!\:ct (,dissolvl', ctc.), with Ill)
tempor:,1 ellipsis, no lighting othl'l thall Ollc that would be lllliful'Jlll"
lIat, ,111d 1I() voices Iwsidcs thosc that would he strictly dicgetic
scrccn voices), l'te. But sllch a lilm w()uld h,lrdlv the cineJlla
wunld he llHlf(' lih- ,] all
recorded hv the ('<lIlll'fa. Eycn
Bouch's (;urc dll Nord \\.'oldd
like
tfllClllcllt
inc.IJ Olle at
is that ;\ film
IllltiU/is 111
Fact is that even dlC most "colorless" prose, ;l zero·degrce
.' ·if :,llch a tlling still ret,]ill the codc of its
'.whosc fUllction ill the cillema is guarantecd by perccptual
<IlHllogy tll<lt allows OllC if neccssary to economize on ,my
like ('1l(liIic;ltion}. Hovvcver, semiological description must· address it­
self to the rc,ll cinema, llot to an imaginary cinema. Now, /he
II1OI1Jellt tllnt the cinewa encounter whose
eonse(lucnces eire, if not inEnite, at least not appears
it has sUDcrilllDosed over tbe message a second conmlex of
TIlE MODERN CINEt>IA AND NAHHATIVITY 227
the image, something tlwt
has to GrifIlth, mainly), <llld
though it was originally intcnded to render the story more living
(to Hvoid a monotonous, continuous iconic Bow, ill shurt, to connutc),
has nevertheless cnded bv multiplyillg thc modes of denotation, and
thus articn/ntillg the ll]Ust litc[<llllll'ssagc of the films we know.
v
of the and richllcsS of the ll1od­
ern and mOIl' unalyzL'll; OJlC
dct;]il than I have done tlWl all thcse llCW
arc made ill n:hitioll to thl' diegcsis, and th:lt lhc llCW cill
CilIa, I'm from lwving ,]h:ll1dollCd the ll[lrrntiv(', gives llS Jl,llT<llivcs
thilt ,11'(' more diversilied, 1llore r:llllificd, ,mel more
havc the spacc herl' (I) bring this analysis, which I hm'c
gUll, 10 its proper cOllclusioJ1.
how strfllHiC it is to hear
the "breakdown 01 dlC narrative" lit a timc whcn
;] new of cinematographic narrators has COllle t(J the
whell vve have heen ,lblc to see [lJIllS like 11 Grido, l.'APIJCII/ltf(l,
111011 11IJ10 It r, lH11 riel, Julcs ami Jilll; at a lime whcn it ;]p­
pears that the autlHJI' or B;ca/hlcss and Pierro/ Ie folt'! is only begin-
Ilis career, and though this jihn·maker docs not ;,ppcal til cvery
unc, he lws 111l1llagcd nevertheless til impose himself (lJl the
attention, amI it secms dillicult 110! to ill him a richness of
inventioll and a power to devclop and change, in which it is
thnt lIot everyone can the L1l<lL ils forms have
bcen spccific lemUCf that characterizes the IJteat tdlers
of tales,
"The films mentioned in this text have heen chosen among those that
had already heen produced and distributed ill the of 1966, when
this article was written,

186

THE "1\IODERN" CINEMA' SOME TllEORET1CAL PHOBU2l\lS

THE MODEBN CINEMA AND NATIRATIVITY

directly narrative cinema, where Olle galloped from shot to shot ehe! j\llardore).7 Or, finally, it was a CillellJ<l of Freedom, open to Illul­
a ('inem:] or "contempJatiull" and "ohjcctivity," which
authoritarian concatenatiolls of the classical film,
the theater, substituting "wise ell presellce" for "mise ell

who has rclleeted with
greal
IHCClSIUIl Oil

cepl for the ideas of Pier Paolo fcren t thou gh lela ted I)roblcms, will

raise dif­

Let 1I1e be clear: '1'lH'se analyses I am about to (lllcstiull have the go,!l ,mel the effect of supporting lilms that

J like, films that I still
of the cultivated
¥-

view withollt boredom, They art' decply linked to the gr,ldll,ll risc

and cventual t1'iU11]])11-at least fur largc
cinema that is alil"c toLla\"

Tu ignore Je<ln

10

excludc oJ]cself

"cinem,1 of pl)etrv" silllulia
l1'luativc. Finally, for

,ill

or the~(' critics, tbe recent pcriod
<l

has witnessed the
'tructurally----that, in every period
,Jill]

of a free einclll,l,

cincm,l perlllancntly 1ibcf<\tl'([ fmlll the Sllp'

able [0 aceOllllt fur for every art, the

rilles 0('
clCCOU III 0['

lI'ord, ,IS diversified as it may be is n('vcrtheless to he rOLlnd ill ,1 sill ­

gle locus, And. even j I' th is loclls GIl1 ,ll first he ]ec()gni7t'lJ only intense
,IS

hy t b(,

it ra(li<1tcs~glill1tl1cril1gs thM hcc()Jl1t' larger ,llllj l110re
we ;lppn ,aell thei r
SOil

rcc~ it is dOll htles:.. {his pri Illl' ('vi

Ii [sl ('xDcliencvli

in I he ('JlIotiulwl
our rellcctJoll, :..incc

()r

the movie spectacle in fm'oJ'
of this rdlcdioJ1 is to reduce the distall('(" inili;11 ellorlllOUS, COll1l1Wllphlcc, ;Illd L!istressl' I he emol iun or the CI viction hom its clarilicatioJ1, the 1i lin from its 1]]eta ];111­

~()g(', '('rLlffaut), rejection of the too illlpcccahlc
,'/'ruILILlt ag,lill), rejection (IF the to() evident "sign<' that do violence

tu the allllligllity of fc,llity CBa/,i

rejcctioil ()f the pseu(]oWlltactic

arsen,d dl',n t() the old theorctici,111 S (Leell 1wnIt), rejecti()1l of d IC ,1S well as I he lIIuvic spect'ltk. ill favur of a cin ­ d'(:crilllfC'l. a docile ,mel Hcxihle llle,ll1S of

or

gU'lge. l\IorcOH'I', one IIlLlst1]nt forget t1wt a critic is llCITr altogl'lhel

a theoretician, but that he is ,dways something (II'

,I

miliulJl!

,111(.1

tlmt

J\/Iv purpose ill tllis text is not III take up arllls

,my Olle 01'

the,(· <lllalyses~cspel'i,dl)' since cadI one of thclIl contains, to my

IlIlnd, ,I grc:ll deal of truth~bl1l rather to confronl, by Illl',m, of a
sliccessive (and never total) questioning of these different a great libcrt(friall lIIyth, which is nul fully cxpressed ill ,my olle of the analvses. bUl which underlies diem all ,mel aclt],lles them all (ex ­
theatrical, and hv extension, fdmic term for the the crealio;1 "f ,lOts, and til(: ,,1' a
n more direct

two cinen"ls left that call iutcrcsl liS: cillClIla to which t1~is article devoted. lhe American uninlcllcctual it lingers on "ftell in the form the t') <.) vanl!s1er [ihn a great cinema, a cinema without problems, where onc was ncver bored. The sllcC("si()n~to the extent that it is llo1 taken tip by the living cinema will, one fean" be assumed by a cinema burdened with ideologics anti dubiolls gOl)(1 will Potato T1ro 1'0/<1/0, Dapid allll Lisa, : intellectual fIlms, replete- with intentiolls, based Oil the ielea that art cnl1 reach the "human" by eli­ wlwreas it can unly attnin it after a speCific cletour~nt any rate in like our own.

or

1 III LIS iCClI (Ullll'ck Silllltit.1]) the at least 10 tlla! : . One may also take the conC('pl "spcc[.mel despite I he silence .d lilm. that.ll'lc is thnc than i\ IFolIl({1I is 17 H7 oIl1l 11l'-".m . 1 do not sec huw thc mudern 111m is ill any way less of a specl<\eic than the tmtiitioll.""2 The c()ncept of the tnll.lllthev 11:]\.:lSt'.mtinuillg. and viewing that arc so ullusual that the method of "im­ as too invoked leaps" b8c1 cinema copied Fwm a had the.lld: neilL' Clair's SUII' 11" Th('l'l' is dllllhl 111:11 nOlwislial (ami or Iried to :-ohmv in tbe hrieF summary tllis text. to deflnc Wh.He 111U1'l' imp(lrtanl than cn'!' ill the lllodern CilH'lll:l.Fof.le. TllEOnETICAL PROBLEMS THn ':\IOIlEnN CINEM. at .lppnintcd hour . ami sl .It an insti­ tutional place: did they not pay for their scats :J1ll1 tip the ushcr? In these !crms.Y.1hlc to sec !-loris I/OUS rtPlmflic1li. Olle l11a\' tah' il in its sociological scnse: "spectacle" clJll<lls sociul rill' cllllsisling ill ~I Inllnan gathcring olielll('d tow:nd a predominantly or c< Illlrihut i"l I vislI:d evellt..l ke the theo ­ it is on th<1t level d Sd\' Ihe variutioJ1S of the hearl) reminds us' will lip a valid llotion of them from what we IJrt's­ that the modern CillCllW is I1U to this extent one eaJl say that longeI a specLwk Nevertheless one will indeed one rctical in the luxury uf d ch<ll1ge that is in hct not a ckll1. commer ­ cialization.lrodv.iJl'llt 1Ililvil's were 10 all (. DEATH 01' TlIl' "TlJEATEll?" will remain Is it therefore the tllGllf er from which the young cinema has heen fore c. ill the wllell .\ spectack is . who were . be­ to llsk: \Vhilt theater.It dl(' heginning or luils . that the cinema a spectacle until olle he {In spcc1:l1'llfC spcdClcll's.d cOllll'dy? no-. VEATII or their ideas . nut il' tllis is so) wlwl pml'r spcl'l.lt the\ nature: thcrc['orl' the CIlllccpl ill the (IUl'stion thaI COnCe111S us. unci so the implied rl'vulutioll remains confined to the V()Cnblllan of the criliealmetahm ­ guagc .c ceased to he :Ishalllcd tiH'Jllscln's (.In\.\IF.lClc" in a mUll' pSl'chologiC:11 if not or .lJlCOllSJy undermincd II First remark: agrees ill hut the lined bv the hlct tlla t it has ~IJld nourished b\ Ihe inlinilciv v:lricd clrcets of sCIl'-l'./\ AND NAlmATIVITY purpose is not he ema is to fi Il11s. etc..lcle has a {he COIlCl'pt certain 'Ippcal) hut it is not tbe expression or . as I vcrhal-. Did not the mrc as they were. 1­ liers .1m] doc. dc beyond" or "rejecteu" or "hrukcll the new cinCIll. on 111 of '1'111'.l' ex!cflwlity :lntl In' which \VC :IIT c"llsli ­ tilted \\'itn('ss('. ilself to us . rigoruus though!.'L or. --varies considerahly frOill critic tt) critic. In this (.in lllode (. the face of variolls cnthllsiaslic excesscs. ill tIuth. "devices" of the script writer.1 IlIIlSic. but also to cin­ To lm\'c to unuert. it is not very dillicult to rCLnind the reader. hetter th:m Slx'cl.lter: It alrerldy existed i 11 dlC age of the silent films .111\ essentinll" vislI:d C\Tllt that Pil'Sl'llts which too oFten lInderlies thelll. 1101 affect the film ohjects for which it is supposeci to aC('(JUllt. "SP!:'CTACU:.Ie in's !Horlcrn Tilllc. olle would ema? There hilS always been FrectI? That iSll't the case eirher.-ahov(' .188 THE "MODEHN" CINEMA: SO.l of thM slllllclhing---whcthcr spcc­ " inflexihle significatioll.c. :Jnd what cin­ rI forms of 111m distribution.

particularly favored ill r('sneet many hundreds of {] Illls have we not rcci pe. the "llolltlteater" allow us to establish uur preferellces ill theon'."). 3. from Knife in 1111.ma of improvisation? BUI there arc n Lll11efOllS . b it devote<l to the fur the "psychological (ur "dWJIlalie . tlHlt scculiir epic) a~ a Ilction caught in and in its cir­ cllmstantial thrust is in contrast to that same fiction rel. '" '" till' very app~lrent ami basic hond that links it to were ahle t() avuid it just as well: rather than tbe theatef.('11­ from a wider perspective.\escribc. bUI also.lJ1d that we can unc!erstallll Illore deadv ·whv we like what we like. a book "Cincmuturgic de Paris" in issue 011 Pmmol and Sacha twu \.one takes the position that the theater is oPI)osed to the epic to the nove]. among other Provence. so IS t. or Jcall Bouch? And.N" CINEl\lA: SOME TllEOHETICAL rTIOBLEMS THE . Bozier. lVa/er to JlIles ll1ul Jilll.Ir.vne mell til the theater. l\lain Resl1ais. altllOugh an art very difFercllt From the thea­ ter. hilt the idea is Cllue.1 IIllich more vanue and b uCllcral way. following the of certaill theoreti dans of tile cinema 11 or of the theater . the good thcatcr and the IlI111hing of'? nut. passing through the works of Orson is as far rClIJO\cd froll1 the or "clabow!c j. E.1I! . A touch of the nude: marital) melodrama and cannot agree wil h forms. VI$COJIll) how C." willthc distinctioll hetween the "thC:lll'].t invents . To mention unly the r. 1:. as that evcry­ revealed?'O Hovv can onc -'em Carta has 511 of illlportance ill the thcater practicc~ of modern films that fall outside of this definitioll. if..rench cinema-which is. of :Milos hlflllan. in a difrerent wav. [(jG6. F.T I 190 THE "1\10DEl'. dnd Mr. man. thc cake mix to the genre's exten t freed itseH avoid IJolllcl'anl'" 'I. OIle Mrs. intriglle" as arc the film." and be sure. we have bad the "psychological comcdy" and the "dralllatic l'(ll1lcdy"--not tu be confused with the /\nll'rican comedy-and they me still with llS.lcle. etc. one \vill indeed have to con­ clude that the CillCllW. It is true that. is nevertheless not on the pojLlt-~ulllcss its n. on the cOJllrary.J11 one forget thal ) .1]1ply it ollly to one of the modem cinema. hut !lim out to han.\]()DEI1N CINEMA . A few m'mbers: presence of vulgarity. in the full Sl'I1~C of the terlJJ? How can one forget all t1ut . whell he proposed i\1iehd Mardorc was cnrcful to . 5.l1l' <lnd one often hears it expressed . or wlwt is new about the Ilew ('il1el11a. d . admittedly. I that the new cinema is a cinc.rilliant 4. and the grclt Ii Ims of the past a tiel Flaherty tl H'fy No lIlore than tile distinction between the "spectacle" alld the "nonspce[.111 entertainmen tl 'I· thc llludem cinema has tu a while doing so brcahng theater.1:dlnUI1S de cler the title 19('5 to: PI" 43~44· .{)ciell')' etc 2. A dash or l. iF olle loob at the Here Dcwy.:.\iaill Hcsnais or <Ill (0 the so called dWaler of distallce (thec/ire de la Ii/S/((}ICUltlOl'!). Eisenstein. THE CINEMA OF IMPTIOVlSATION? Is the answCJ'.Hed in words are not those of the proLIgonists.lture changes radi­ or II from . life under Olle P.INU NAHIIATIVITY 19 1 since the advent or thc talking fillll.

m. ill<' J\JilYslcs SIlCI! arc hallislll'd frolll the lilll1.-'1 the cil1('lI1a.c is I:ll('.. :)t inn in rull agreeIllent with the eil/elf/II direct.t.].. attcntioll. lilll! IllI':'>1 makc its choices or C('. . It is the 1(.lIlspI.' (II' till' aesthelic "h jccL ihl'lr.l'd oj culti)]" is thl' ill pillt :it lc. wher" laziness :ll1d till' de (C/II'{Jlli'1111' . ()Ilt'.\speets . Thw" :dl the "lllonlellls" th:11 the Jilm-lllakcr has included in I. hut <Ih" the "camlie[ I"ll1H.'enius.lrtl <. But it is tbe that seelllS ullclear to me. "(ll'<ld." innovation is matter.iJ or (LC:leo.. hUI till' 11Iu.).. and Ill' willllc\ cr sec thcm·-l'or.. COlll'cpt what is or and it is !J()t lS !lot a hased 011 :1l1 much liLc H~)' OWll. I()('w. till likclil'l' ill tbis respccl. we know.l \ S constructcd ill JIIinutes.C'\.. .' (:11 lUI) oFtell 1'C11UUllCC'S Ill'sl': . is indccd a tind of "dcad Sp:lCl"" sincc it is 1](01. has a touch of .l the histot) "I' 11](' l'illl'lll:l."1' il h:1:. ui.riclIlH' by an as "dead of the iell :\l1d hci'"rc il "lIl ('. But such moments m'isc on]v hl'C<1l1Sl> the Ol'l'UlTClllTS of life an. (lllt t' rt'lll:lrh:dY' it The ill­ ~il1Cl' a lilm is .1 1'11/(:111<1 t'CI'ile lean lil!lIcl. .lra­ fect. Iwud ..'). C1NBMA: SOj\lE THEOHET1CJ\L l'nODLE\IS THE l\IUnEHN CINEl\IA AND NilnnATlY1TY 93 only-alld cyell t11ell with some reservations-on the 01lC Cudmd (bUl the man.IV Ih:11 Illc ()llC\ ()I\'11 >. direct itscll' Cltus!. hCC.t h:l~il' Il:ltur.1 Claude Li'vi-Straus. whetl I am :ltlClltlill." .1lld (Ill the uther h.1 ellough 101 ." only ill J'CLllioll inter('~t: The lifteell"minute IvaiL hdnrc :1 decisive j IllCII'il'lV. nol spaces.11lt! or " 0'.(~ 1:15k 11l:IS[Cr). the C:alllllh It'lldcflCY.!Cl':-. Ihe whole liFe Jlut ur till' lilm \\'Oldd he clJlltaincd (II' rl:'Wh. or Ih" Iirili. II is /1. and Antonion] is far more . J)('s'I lIl which SOl! ria lI'S cOllsidercd most J'ullillilw ( to fl'j)(:at olle oi f. \1[' thl:' cinema "dead.c.1lId rl'rUrJllll "Iiln thall [he' PI'! l(cd\lrcs h:ll"c al W.k. it fIJI' condiliolls Ill<' ''tlcnd ~P.. lh:lt will h:1VL: 10 Ch:lllgl' 1)J()j'flulldk hdulc :l vvorl. is. i'lqlJ'UyjsCl's. before the lilm l'xishthal tile lkstill\' till' "dcad Sp~Il'CS" is dCtL'rlllilll'll: Those Ihe lillll-lllakl'l' l'xpl'I'icllCCS as .1 g\J()d d()CllIlll'llLlf\ P')S­ orciill<lrv dir<Tl fillll is 11111 pcr­ be dllll.j' . tcmknLlcs u[ the televisiun (klein 1..d..'P.y N:lli.)SC to cxist al all.'I'l'V whieh bccolllcs don H:mt.IUSI' the pcrsoll J alll 10 s(..! Is lhe Bllt tllCTl' arc no I('al dC:ld 1ll~1l1Ilraclllrl'l1Ilhi('l't: on]v ill ]ik :IIT cinell/o ilired i. ].."l" EIlII."1111 (. III at the time. "free CillCllIil": the l\mcricCin i'c::ltlll'l'clucuJI1Cllt. it illljJl'<Jvi'l'S \I"iib gredl CillClll:1"-"ci 11(. too often the by-procilil'! or lazi" Ilotes." Th(' (lilly Ical dC:ld spaces ill the cinclIl:I arc the III whilc e'xlemal]v dull inllTll<'dh the 011 11111 vicwer'..t.. TilE CINEi\lA 011 allswer st:lges oj' . wi 11: tliey do nut ubey I he urge l() till' a/kel i vc .\11 Iruths lhM its illil lr.: or afl is ahll' to ahsorb I:ngc s('<'liolls oj: Illtll:ll1S[orllll'tl rcalilyilll() its own pur­ IlI)S<:.'d .I.)]):)I ['jIm ll".IIlV 11101(' (IF Ilw linishcd work witi1mlt t [lith [h:lll . ('iI/eli!!!..\ 1l1011ICnl ('.t All hvugll be spoke uf a L'll1Cll1(l ur ·Jjlllnl'fl\(i .1 dcnl:llldil1. H.""'\ til Jean-tnc .nies br"thl'rs '. 11t'1 evell ht'cil linislll'd" J\IH] il is ll()1 jU. 711" is .lIld II) a 11ltll1lwr ()I' tCIlc/cIll"ics rchled to the dllellill direct its hro:ldest scnse. '111£ "J\[Ol1En".. :mel <'cniLls is 1110rCU\"er. 1m wcre alivc cinema is a nCIV-and a prnfullllllll' mcnt" ill lif." in life. "I 'he go!)d hll'.1' the su'cliled f\!('\\' Yor]..Ill to :Ill Sl'SSl'S. '? tendC]1l']('" for a each other. "dead spacc. .-cal ii.-..

nol the l'cHlng cinema as . ill thl' inelllctable "adverse "I hell' is" and . to show * ('oilled word derived from the Greek Thus. which is SOIl1e1lOw Lind of in110­ exempt from discursive introduces.1 whole.lt he was skein of <l mOle subtle ur llu\\. ~OME TlIEOHETICAL PROBLEMS TIlE ]\IODERN CINEMA AND NARRATIVITY '95 to hmmm substance of his films than became excels in showing us the diffuse Iife that .lei llalizcs I iema I in the of the alTragc widest scnse.194 THE i{ MODUHN H CINE]\IA.Illd Pierre Bilhrd do llut conceive of . nor docs Mmccl some of It is ('spres­ slOns or Evell llIure: diem fro III that S](ln or iricalcs of that shimlllering he lost form of fmc IlO Ijlll1. no in the name of ame> aspects .1t has sprung lip around the cil/cllla verite: the belief (cnce the i!ll.1 rc aJld tilL' person lor whUlll tlley me. Or very that itself: 11 ('\\'srecls." of the terroristic OJ] the level of the the Cinel1111 (Nrect-is [h. It shuuld be noted illcidentally dwt i\lichcl 1\1<1rdorc . prulllo­ .he notion "realism" in tlltH SCJlS('.cve r. it indicates the faculty to pre­ "-.TnANsLATOll. of tl1il195.lge.'" a my that conceals hehilld phenoIllenologica I tial reidislll whose consequellce is the revival.all'ELl' ( to sen t the world in its entirety./. rightly crHlClZCtl.Ire considered most IlnpOrl<lllt U1mg about " He contained a revert to a mythology that Jean NIitry hm.­ or as wclJ as-eVCIl as it lends terns that the slightest dislocation /(0"1-<0' C cosmos) Hll<] .1 ('erwin crazv tll.\Ildrc Bazin's alld Munier's theories. cIlls 11 J('1Il Y' A FIlNDA!\IENTAL dCCCll t dOl'lllllen taries. but rathcr . .

. .lldl illJl()n~IH'L' Uhc prolifcra(i')ll 01 III tcrvicws in tile cinclJliI-rcri{(' lillllS he1s no othcl' SUllfcC thetic InCOllllll!:-.I true disc(lllI'SC. Cilll?IlW v()rile. "I' tJ.di~.' the pamc\c Struilcim\ P/cddill. Cl add II('/'llfl con1 rihLltj()l1~" that (lP(.mel l10hlc neurosis. lll..(Till' Ile'vcrtheicss.l'l\'('s ur <It l'tlch ll1ller. and obstinale sister of the sel1lio­ logicid appnKlch-at Icast iF the hitter is cOl1sidered in ils k'ilSl teclllli cal aspccls..'JJI(( ['cri/e i" prccisdy the "Ill' that i.I lulle'. nIll' Jl():.em.' for the olLll!ll'tJl()l1'1 Id: ('c111catl(lll h:l:"l'd Oil HlnallIH'l.ulnc truth (Jr il\lpr('s~~i()ll ~'(l IliUcll <I". "pi ti".C)'rtllllllllll'C "be)" lHcc'isc "pc)'al". :-." Iwo Iypes of ie1coiogy: that of im:1ge and wbich is a sort of curious behaviorism."! like :t II ill: ill which Ihe sl'cci:ilist\ ]. Jlc\'crthekss-ilild IS a 1'1'.I gestnre.o'-'CrlUI the whu lws "problellls.THE "MODEHN" CINE~I.lIc de IlilI/e/les ..d.]])' sigllilic"lIt that.mel the lise of iconic atll's(ation. as iF it Wl'J'l' l)cing swept v. spel..lll. II I' {Ie c!1iIJ1CC .. " "IVfy life line .lIi~tic" . from tbe enormous of some thcsinn terms. viewer. 'Your llip Jint' . tively .f!.. . till' marvel. it is heing asked to aCColillt for of slispicioll . .f. .JeHU. all t]wt . of .IS a lonl I'm 1l0VV 1tis the l'XDctncss of an vOice.)(:glcctcd hy the ciJl. tnll' discollrse is onh' . :1 rclcrcl1cc to .i. cr}'jng. . Ull the l'olllr~lfy.' all thl' Ill".llt. oj' . It is a P'] de Iii I£!rre.\ dut's not ::jjlH tu cxprc.\: SO:\IE TllliORETlCAL PHOIlLEl\lS THE j\lODEllN C1NEi\·lA AND NAnnATlV1TY H).'hC'1l tl. ch'lttcring.Hed rcsllit: aCllwll'. etc.·\.lin.lgC.Illg the C'lI/I.Iled. anJ \Yunls i]J'eileillg C[llCS­ Crcltcri in order t(J question the world.. the Incx­ : :1 highlv "lilH('. The is (me of distrust for bnglwge.krn lllethod" the "Illy !)'lI: Ihilt is reL. hUI '1 of "g. No (O:I .I piece uf ch()n'ogcqlliy.[.:::J It 1'" tnLi~ . .11 ell t at the best works of Ibe llew cincllu. "0111 ­ th:11 hav<' hel'!) ~.p. icJlenl (.h<Jll]d crl'ti<>ll IlJ:IL i·.c diflicu (ies hy supp()sedly rejecting Il<lSCCTlt--il is coherent di~colll'SC .\I'oid (ilco.{el1t. .talgi\.llls..'r--lll1icss lcn( SCdUcli()1l .\lllcri(JIl Illllsical -we :II'C :1 \\':1)' F!'(JllI lhl' simple-minded "rc.e11 it [he ubicct ()l' (jLlCSliolh: fashiolled ."sset' ('.. )ll(Hlcllcd jng al th<:lll~'. 111 tile ell()rmou~ the few hcautiful alld the lllany botched works of the one might recugnize . <Ibn!)st dal1ced scellt' ill Pierrul Ie fult .lgc.':-. with in the trcmciv dillicilit to ddinc llslinc ­ s.yc]'"allaiysi'. the si­ other film P:ISS.lll" ollhc phil' "cuIlLlrist" traditioll.]tfecl in: fOUlIlhlioll. • I'a li.I. . 1( amI (llllrc.lle "I' an urekrh."t(.I wayward.(. . JHlweY(. . "realism" for libl socil'lics. ('VCIl the spccch of the (flllll) llCHlCS is slljlPllSl'lIIU he 1I1l­ pint or the illl.. '" the hands "I' the 'l'(:lialisl" :mel "nc tLl'll witlll'''t'S.lIlll.lltcllll'ts (0 . and in its deepest .ccm' durin!.. Jt for example.lsl circuit of vi::.L"'l' llIClh"d./ Iif!. the word COl1l<1iIlS I than that which is conLlillcd ill ils cmJ'cc( ic usage The cincllw 1'eril(. since it is .

I pI'< grc[lt deal more it is .I priccless COlHjUcst that renders a whole arC. Certainly. amused. or to certain {1cclifacics.less would also be a genewsitv. <lncc and discol'cry C:mcl it is this Cilll'lll. aside from Pierre Kast ill La Morle-saisoJl.l SOllle tll.I\lcd "lllodern. for all their realistic potcn tiD I the [ilill ic veil ick.Jlly vcry youthFul. that call dcJJ]le tbis modern cinellEI. tIll' ill' terest Godard h1S sbown for other ham!. (except in Potemkill) and oj' Pudovkill J\Jost critic:.. evcn the Jllost heau JI' [ne f'cncr. th.']' luve would be truly frce.llh ­ a lillIe '\!lJOvc themselves. the filet is that. Le Bel and La Bnllure des mille soleils." Jt is sllrch' not principle of ohjecliv. a and of women and men.lylc of the ninetecnth century (hut UllIn a Illor(' Iucill "ecUlmt of the actual sucial factorsalld the class factors-that enter into Ihe problel11 c(lnsiclercd) 1t js abo. or rather a militant ulopia in the >.198 THE "l\10DERN" CTNEl\'IA: SOME THEOl1ETlCAL PHOBLEl\IS TIlE MOD. will be lU1l1ecl-altbough it is true that a futurism of l10urishes some of the cOllversatiollS ill Paris's Left Danlc." .1(!cllw1tc-is to re­ examil1c that ncw and subtler dramaturgy lhat . that make the yuung cincm[1 more . etc. no (lne besides Varda had gathered these scattered snch a holdlv l1IOVOCali\'e These human conducted away from such futile sufferinQs of jealous.wtl·'r.70 all of the modern with which one of the films of hallct of active. the CUlle-Preyert films). an act of courage.l of the cinCllla obsolctemight well be. For the is a philosophical talc.~.21 a cincllI:! ('xlIlxr ur or or or till' most precious comFlcsts ity. Lc HOll/IeUr. "f "kind llIisllnderstanlIing." like t1lOSC ALlin nesnai~ that beliCH'S onl" in rccollstrtlcled [fllths. To thaI sHeb accuracies havc be. * Sec passngcs of J\lurnau"s Dall'lI Sjlistrom's Willd (certain of Lilliall (the character o[ Marcus). formcrly the proper! Y of the ('o11\'ention a Illoderate degree discretc'l" thc. as the Jil)ll presents it. SOlllC or the CiJlClll. Tile fll1l1s of the past.llislll .EHN CINEMA AND NAHHATlVITY 199 Morcf<L-had portrayed with an acclll'acy 8S fundamentally direct. the dir('ct()r~ or the Ilion' were or Ic~s sensitive dl[lIl those of locby. I did not like the Ellll (:itllc1'. ]'lasled i\oHl'S Varda's 111m.. Exactness of tunc . a wurld both animal and human.lt the Iraditional plot film ~:lcrificecl or ovcrwhelmed. we h. Uut it had til be so. bllt to attack it for it. exclusive emotiol1S. And. a world in which monster of scntiwel1tlllis)II.clf Iw twel'll a "cincllla of passion" (in the scnse that Ollt' spe'l](S of "pas­ sionate l()\('. in turn.crs' of life.ldmits ohjectivc details. a cinema faultless IGllislll.ll cinema oc­ cCisioll. details of the kind tb. enjoyed. as superbly careless of the external probabilitics of timc amI place. since 1966. as if the V were .Hlult and the tradition.ltrical IT. lack of realisll1 is. only a consecjl1e)lcc. but that exph1l1[ltion is ill. as il has come to he since paganism.lt. ill ouc way.· worl. although it is lrue that a few pers(J1ls in tile social envIronlllcnt where films arc produced dream of a worl. are existed. Thm was dUe result . and tendcrtlcss and text is . the lllute corporeal agrecments that love produces and by which it is pro­ duced. had no\\' divided it. a serious miscollslruction..a adolesccnts THE OHDEflED CINEMA. such as the eighteenth ccnlm. but or and his SllClCSsiyc rather the liability to certain truths.l in whi.IS Hen6 Gilson correct!) Jlo[CS).! thai is (lcc1siollalh able to C[lpturc those so direct truths I hme iust s]loken ur: Wl' kilO\\. For. to Illy mimI..15 j' I somc or the /\n­ tonioni if the il1 ­ variolls films hy cvcn say that rl'lllains to he dcfinedli'---arc. the ambiencc of gcstures and tbe thousand minor ae­ cepl<H1ccs of a docile receptiveness that is no mere obcclic'nce and that mold the vvoman's sunlly face in the ~uccccding directions her lover's Furthermore olle must not ".lVC ('. is lJuite fallta:'lic. where the hudy's carcless.

lt \vas nut a celtllin :llUollnt ot CtJurtlgc an~l ill Ill" fnet that a ll1udcrn \YOllJ<m (all 'pc<lk or sud) lmusllal things.l." 1 rcpe." while the old CiJl(~m:l was so frcquently the ulterior and secondary illustration of a worked-out. The ordered einellla is one of the two branches emerging Ollt III a snrl of common realistic trunt that..1 the 'cinematograph Ie lield whose importance in ccr- is well known. as opposed to a as for " we find it on one siele as on the stance. m."s [" the cnact11ll'1l1 "f the uto!'. Hesnai.TITE ".ldv. bnt or a "11 I1lI­ ill . This was h'r rc)s.I c.e fil))} w:r.C wilh the sinccri!\' of her '(. various colbhortltors of suJlicicnt weight to Iwvl' their OWI1 of things...l then be realistic "\\'rlliid hnve lost all tbe power 01 ih militant impact. Gocbrcl's the best exanm1es: criticism like .In lire ulel cinema.i1islil.. resentment tr. is not descendant.'. in uf tire French cinema. a The lillll of the cariier.4 0 period.lle([ into the IHC'l'llt or the imlicaiivc Ihesc frec feiatio)bhips are nlre. and fan­ tastic films. dclihcratcly <'<ltlstructs rinthint' Il1(Jdel SOIll(' il1l:utt. Ilut at all in Lltt. For what the film ]]lcans til say that workers. . ratllci til is of modem Ii 1m is one of dIOse great lhtm plescnting t1w .( thc ordered eiDem." ill its details. a cillema of tellSe 1Il1c<'rtrllnlv tlwt. cuuld live like thaL In shurt.IA AND NAHHATlVITY 201 Dr('cllli~l11 than i 1 is awarc thill orders with meticulous patience .'IlCAL PHOULl'J\J THE J\IODEHN CINEC>.iJ)ee the 1935. cinema is very often :1 cinem. at the limc . the mislIJlderSI<llltling d('fivcs frulIl the Llct Il. Dilt \NIlo \vould Inailltajn tli. there weTe of cmuse Jlonrealistic. but it' !\gll(:S Vard'i had placed the actiu]) . viewed '" if "nc wI>uld sec a G.rrvclOlb. nlll is tkll not aho tile verv definilioll 0\ "plativ(' tf:lllsl.1.(t the missed O/ISCI1CC vcar at Maricllhad? Was the mnl1('siac tile llllshrrild or not) ('Ic. at the of thl' s('ell~Hio...Michel COLlr­ not's evel! existence fro]]] tllis fact..d <llltl . had become on the whole tlolllinant Irenel in relation to the various "fantastic" lenelcllcies.I ('111­ Clll<l /\1­ Goda I'd represent the two film. ils conS"(jllellces hut lind il. Bllt cunstitllted a marginal area. .~IE 'H1EOJ(P.Ipollas uF Illc.:' nHnantic.lls maker's cinema" as distinct from it provide that criterion of since \n~ cult lo ddillC? There is cinema"? Can lack "I' rc.al Il.ll1sccndCnlal and a liollS (as at the moment of the "cxccs~i\'(. <.\IODE)\.Ippearann' in daill experiellcc'.. But. the it v\'as Ii Ims of the pasl ( !lot its prctext in thc sceLlario.)dy 1lll»C or k" cirde.d' her Ijlm ill such the story--which woul. in the second instance. the him.lLHT. the triumph of "mimesis" and of the reconstruction and.lt: I did nut like tbe film. r"rc how Ciln ()Ill' Llil to SVlllllathi7.) their . leaves llS in llO dOl1bt as to his opiniolls on the ie level that the lilm strati/-ies and Jilms derive their intcrest hOlll " wnnt.' OLle could sav tllal /\bin Fk. to". all of Alain rdLlsing to imagine his works and films art' in­ '\cript-writer's lilms": "fhe SVSICLlltllic way ill which this di[cc­ sccb out.'/' CI"iEMA: SO. at least . bctween I940 amI 1950 approximately.so difli· doubt dial lodav'.sn.In nor Lll a 1 !i[c." l:)S Bernard llwc/erlles? But he is aisu.llling ill .1 f"rl1l intended [.lard Jilm as exalllpk . A FILl\l-I\IAKrm's CINEMA? hiztllTe Illodernistic ritual "'ithin Whnt which th(' 'pI'datllj" will I()se hiLllselr.

lre in the minds uf modern even whell the hoolz not is hardlv bC"LlI1~thc Fact rellFlins that WILlt Collard or . on tIw olber Iwnd.1 (Jill" he /ired clurillP tile .." etc). hut it cl'[t8inly implies an eSSCll­ (hat Cmbrd is (lllc the modern cmelila.l one forgets that between a cOllsidcrabl~ dilIcrence uf In. after a period dominated hI' the the ilctcristics of the Ilew cincma? Is not the of ~I kind of V:lst C:\istclltiai failure ohserves.:'. GiuliallO a mOlltage lilill slllluid be lllore in "L'/\n('icl1 all' certain Siln] llew novel"] and the l1'-'W l'c'sclnblancc is Zl.vh~'n SOlllC(.\nd Wh.-S from encl [lUI'. 81­ cOllnotations at cinellla ways t hev .)Jl iSIll ellla. only the 10 COIlSC­ thc of the sccnario froll! priority. huwever. horn in the midst of (jUcnce docs llut automat­ or way. whole reflectioll on the of tlte ~ll1d of sol1tuclc. Tire fact j.~ :lIlel who are ahle to creall' the hordcrLllld of .~lJ1 V'.lJlvtbing else.IS JJl(lrc rC:H!cr sur. strais:ht to the But jf that is the case. Cll]111IlIl11ic. " "I do not see why the modem tban .") whicll." Eric . is it not derived as lI1uch as UIlC SIHll~titnes point 'Iut t1wt the new prescnt ill t'he cinem.le says.(lut the of wOllla.111 e55. H$ one C(lll­ of htcratlll'l\ one must . But even iF.dyst 1m lillll creatioll. .:.Jtcd J1]Olltage) Is not Sa/1'alore.THE "~roDEnN" CINEMA: SOJ\I£ THEOnE'JlC.\L PHUllLUI!S THE ]\IODERN CINE"IA J\ND NAI{HAl1VITY .ltivc cl £antlsy.1 pocur tbat is also . hie with story.isting. {'ur ~I director like Codard..ll of the imDort:mc(' (If SIOJlS in the nd r thought. hears. or scenarios t1wt the only of those mell me those that ::lrt' Ii!\C the of J\UJ'enclH~ mlll Bust.~o::.'ly recognizes here onl' of the lllost Jll()dcrn litcratUl"C'). as is oftcn of Codnrd himself bear witness (0 a narr.in the samc wal thM the idea Jilms that the LIst or the "h(lo]z" is is . ctlll'll1. P. Too cinema as such there exists llovd is almust an old m.cl()uch's fWIll the of Fillc des fusils.1\' OJ] pO('trv (tile' 11"t or the "shot. (0 end? As for the yuuthflll dynamisllI (If Claude l. a dnt! C11l0­ ever "hroken and unfamiliar the line8r~this fact never 1ll8Y is olle remains the scenario is of essell tially exlra ­ of the most proliJic of mudern true even when.. IlllTI til Iv prescll t hcFore n.ll'is.] lIiusie cinl'ma --and tllM was grounded to a hirgc extcnt OIl the of inducing a IJorizolltal leading of tbe lihn that I\'ould COllSidcf cadi grcllt f1!llaisSIlII('(' the lIarrative sea.1 mllmlilt of the illla~.lll. elude he n{ust never have read anvthiw> at all." or as distillgllishcd frum the old cincllw.lctua] men Illli' arc able to make IlIllIs throngll constant rdlecti()11 (cvell if A CINEMA OF TIlE SHOT? Is the lllodem cinelli a it is ill ordered) ab()lIt the l'iIlC)ll. is OJlC to sal' ~lj. becolllcs tllC nccessarv cat . the cin­ cOllcerned with racing fwm shut to shot. . that thc cincma is "far.c at length? J\lJd Wll<ll.Jhu At tbe vcry least nile sllUuld extent pheUOJ1lella as narrative.lIJd the reached his maioritv. which W.111 (lId ~md OJH'. what is (lJlC to say the expressionist tendcllC\'~ CCrlll. The and the same the 111m as from the wonderful exuberance of its lllOllt:lge? .Jll eXI )ressi.I.

I pros(' docs exist in the lexical in distinction to poetrv and because a long rhetorical tradilioll has divided into two a domain that is initially litemry (for prose.inl'ma o[ l)fose.1ll. whith can only he dnrilicd hy d1C ready the artistic use of language anu IItiliti1rian language. till' {'iallo PUllr Iii Suile ill! 111001ilc.1 Tilllocilcnko? And all the {JIm one sees .md bter I will show wIn.1!lOtlwr: The tbe ('()n~ Further­ C..dlSl'IHT or code ill (he cincma.l(c\'('r S(.. l'lTI.\TIVJ.mel less ladie. despite its modern ac~ cent..~m (he older Ii djll'ers >Ill . the !lotiOIl. seems to emerge straight from the editing table of a Balilzs. I1l' lcnds also (0 CI)]ll!. sidcrs poetl\. Olwj()lIsh' lhere is more poeln il) 1\ J)ollhle /0111'. ill( Cmu" pli/rulI. or Dewier aloul.11 inevilable slIbjedive l'OIUmlioll oj' the filmie objccth its {llming pl'rcC'ptjoll~whidl is . a Pudovl.tl movies.llSC it is gin')]. Pasolini Itlllis eillCll]. t() these obstacles one must add still . if ()Ill~ sense oj' Pas(. at which lie I'cr thCe! lhru:..'US 2 to 7 . . an Arnheilll.] struclllrt's. The poetr\' and prnsc J1JS IfIc.lin \'.. For llle of "prose" and "poclry" arc too linked to lhe use of the verbal to he cClsilv carricd over to the cinel1w.. J\ CINEMA 01: POETP.rY .1 "f jll'l'lr\'" til till' '".!.204 THE "jVl(JDEI1N" CINEMA: S01\JE THEORETICAL PROllLEMS THE 1\IODEnN CINE:\IA i\T"D NAm~. the absCllce of idi()m. more. the Jill' J](. II) .mel prose perceptions.! Ih \'lIl.mel 111 rative flow.~lrc tll(' must hC:llltifu whether 'lln:essful or nOI. it creates ohjecls that have their own from and ul' eaeh film and docs no(." and 11"1 (he othn \Va.lje of aJI tillCmil-SO that the olliv real dilfercnce \\.\nd it is this Lllim:lrv distin.'111.·tl1al i. let us l'X. also confessions of and Ncver~ in Vivre sa vie? And the Hiroshima /11011 omour." As attract inc as il Su least for ine Ilis Ihesis sil]o\c trelld h ilwt leads trulll Ihe illay se(.Sci \ . fnr tl.ll is.I-which arc nol rart' in die modern CinellI.. :II 1:11<.llIlO.. .Y'? by Pier Paolo the "cincma 01' rem..1l1ing <1nly within or (111(' that 1:'cparatcs literal.'fiOll (licit is ill cinema. the idea i~ nevertheless basicll1)' fragile.) Ch. U!le' rdurn 10 tilC'111 ur or "poetry" in its I)f()adest SCI1Sl'--'as the illlllledi.1 tu (>1' Ih'CI'III.nted. th. a counterpoint lhat. around. Preside III .1l) onc be suilieiclltiv CC'lt.ll(' Ilrcsenn: of the world. has 11(1 CillC'Ill:1?2<i !\nd is it the cincma: and iF . ('(Infused with uf wh ich Pasolin 1 sJl( '. or.(o]v til(' l'illl'lll. ll( Ir. If tJlcrc is IJ Ihi.( b rCl'fCSCll ts Olle l(l scc in it il](' bC<'illll .-.l11J i. ." in Wh.t tor the it IS CUllllllllnicHiul1: it lTCiltCS work.llUCil'l'i.]lys]s.lini'. lmall y.lln tlla( IhL' fur Jillal . IT' of a dislinction between and the "cinema of poctry. ill its tcdmical fillllS 10 SC]lSC (be dullest li'ddilil)]). it is indeed II1l'. histo!'\'. with Ihe existCJlcc of general restrictions from .IIl.'i111'1I1il. I helieve.lIre fmlll thl' I"c' of idiom :IS a to()1. S(I Ihat no 11111] Gill sIT iel sellse. Or elsc.'1'.111 things c()nsidercd. <llId he tI( Iwl L'ol)sidlT lhl' Ihe lise of Icrbal idiom restrictions a sC(JlHI code cappillg Ihl' iirsl--'()IlC cncoun­ seems SIUll101ll1l:1hlc: The . it can he circ1ilIly<.1C <l prose. prop~ that of a Chateaubriand or of a Sten ­ spca is aJ­ and nol il1. 1\lsolini is aware o[ Ihis ]lruh~ with precision:!l gut Ill' believes UIl fillllS.. Ill' SLlhst:II1CC :lud Corm of cadI nnc of .'av frolH the "C1111.\'('I.uuJcl Jillal/v he tlw .in.

Isolini tellds to idclIt ifv wi th the new cinema. tlH~ an. one will obcrvc tIle sCH'alied fantastic cinema.. the optical clistorriom and _ .!!. finally.· or was made to appear invisible-it cannot describe tllC various tenclencies the very cinema whose on the were based on the presence of the call1era: mOll or or Abel camera movcmcnts in films.Cllfe.Icrial traveling . to ll1. And.-·that one encounters the most cohercnt and systcmatic attempts to COllstmct a hIm as one slrtletllr~.. eventually became .. and in III e films related to what called editing" cia. 1<)3 0 . for example. which even ill part over flillCtiom:'2B that P.clilcd puetry "of thillgs" .:Ilvsc~ of Frall­ todi1\'····but not always righth. III trulh. In a poem there is no fable.m-Swcdish expressioll ism hOlll 19 1 t() Zero for Conduct? And . T/lC J1H. in traditional lill11s. _ _ ~ ••• . ~.s :1 poem? \i\lhat ahout Pudovl<in's "lvrical " which Jean iVIitl"y has so well analyzed?~7 \iVlw! ahollt the corOlWlion scene in [van lilC Terri ­ or th: proccssion hefore Vakulintchllk amI the scelles of mist in Po/clllbll( What .11111-/.~~_.JcIiJs"). 01\ the level uf general C<lllllOt be overcome hy the few ll1uglliliccnt but isolated suceesses._ _ _ __ . the of tIle work!.111 the systems of montage mentioned earlier. it C8l111ot be a (except in the case uf purely thematic. since its hirth. Oil the contrary. vvhose aim \vas to forlllalize the various 'ilmic 10 solidify the thematic "depth" in the normative pre seen(~ in a formal svstcm? I\m] the accelerated ing in the scene with the hlack coach ill N ()SfefUflI? j\nd the inered· iblc . tl}()['gh the had films of every I)criod elude the s(j. __ .. to certain filllls the 11(1I-s(Hlistant classical Americall comedy. . As a tllC so called realistic film.I and a ralher special genre . A Iilm may a poetic novel. J(OIJ.L. whil·c it is true that this may apl)l). pre­ ill tllC poles the cinema «mel this is the famolls theme: "I "ull1icre l'S A. and Kill.tie film or to the film the marvclous hy definit or their zaliull. _ _ ..llzc itselF invisible hc'· rore tbe spectacle it was presenting. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _. that the only attempt.lS ir or or the JIO/icca/Jic jJl'CS<'llc'l' old cinema. the fact remain. blS taken uver ._••". which has long been contrasted to Ihe fanta. But.). the cinema has pr<lctically nt:Vl'r ceased to evolve ill the direction of an ideal (technicallr prosaic) lIexihility and a freed Oil I that arc ". like Berlill ur SucksdoriFs Rllyt111H of a Git)'.!!. _ _•_ _ _ _ _•_ _ ..!!. Soviet fantasy' etc.IS FraJlkeN 1\11(111. /\ndrc llazin ."· I\ml the fact is that. as were the two Ihe new cinellIa .It that. whieh ill certain carlv periods emile vcry close to merging with one of the ILIainstreams of the cinema as a whole (Gcrm.limosl the whole or modern film. that havc been lInder taken toward Ilut only a poetic eincnla bUlals() a cinema as organized idiulII-sinec this is what Pasolini is talking about-were.lnd the to the novcl rather than or iou peCl! lia r to mUll y lISC i' Abel Ganee in Nupo/coll and La Roue? AmI ttlt' attCII1Dts of the "pllre cinema" to substitute a einl'll1<l tlzellles or And Jean Lpstein's enthusiastic analyses of the value of the c1ose-ujl shot? And the lise of slow motion in the powers of (he f:lbliIOlI~ within the framework of til(' rclatiVl'lv or the "realistic" lilm's verisimilitude). the fant:Istic lilms of the period 19:jo'\5..isilJlc . T" mv mind these atlempts have culminated in a failure which. The fiction film still seems to me to be closer to the I'oet tu the poe111. alllong the liIllls that scem the must outmoded W<l\·S.1I1CeS of those "gramlllatical elewellts . _ _ . The novelist draws up a world.206 THE "MODEHN" ClNEI\Ij\: SO:\IE THEORETICAL PROBLEMS THE f-l0DERN CINEMA AND NARllATIVITY 20 7 further is it not. ____ .llld the "vhat the French call the ei!l(. nUJ1·story-telling short lilms.hot in me ali. in$t. indeed. ·More gcnerally. though tmlay's cim'm<l is at times rich in resonances.Iil()Ut (tbe cinema "s a modern suciological novel). the period in which one believed that a novel film cuuld be a pOl!m is that of the old cinema rather than that of the lIew cinC111a.is: horror films.IS stein. sllch ... amI nothing ill· trudes between the :)uthO! alld the reader. gmdc>Bltalian sadistic Japanese lilms. the camcra tried to JIlake its prcsence unfelt.

..11ll1 hal !ruc-hut wilh ll!l drOll . prusc Cill(..l-in'l'ICSl'lll"t' alld Ihe invisihlc hese without I hc bC\.IIlICr.my critics.lIld I dUII1l/Ill/ali(HI :11111 ISll! )\'[sul :11111 I".ralher llempl is lui h Sill is! i ". the lIS ()f dlc T'rellch s cI"oc-up< in TI.ICCOUill f()r Ihe lIludern eillCJll~L cLlililcd .. lirsl. or or or III . de S. I he 11 ()tion oJ a hrcahlow11 Ihe "gramlllar" ()r "sVlltax" uF the cineilla.CI' of rUllciulllL'll that pcr!ilin 10 the mosl profolilld necessities !ransmissiu11 of ~ll1V inform:.IIVS dl:11 arc ex. TJll'UCETlC\1 1:. [ihn maker's the fact <l1l1()I1U tIl"( Olle looks for shut c'illCllI<I ililel sequence (ilWllld. !lInglle"J1. !llld t' Illl' m:l. Ihc'!ill'l . <. too ol'lell dll'Sl' Ulllll'plu. .'ilccnwlll with l~lic nuillllcr. arc to he sough! in and no! ill tile gl'<ll1llllill' or 1a1lgU<lgl's. Pussioll [kit th.)1 is 10 sal'...'allln' . in olle way or more Hexiblc. <llllOJ] g lll.. the grammar of a verbal CIIlCI1lH elll be . TIll' wjl()1c Illutldll' til(' or !'!lel LIIJltr[Vancc.ms I ike ]' /\re ill i.iml whcll thel' imisled '. tilliS..:" llO the livill<' rJ11il . . amI C\'l'1l IaLer.ld cit her . hut [I)M is allot her Illatter 1'<111\('1'. Iklt s articubliolls .l of a presumed .. But the new." ''''l11inl.ls PI(lp"s('d with 10 found ill till' lilills "f Licit ('1(. Ull ['.) hilS lIe!'(?/' h.md th.1 ti (' laws all' lliost prohahly lhc Cillll('f.t in tile prccise linguistic sense thest' tenliS (S()l1le Iheort'li. .) of lVlore or less :lssociaLecl with this idc...IC~ "t1V. .lllil " V(TV rClllovcd !'rom the the aud spcciJic rl'a Ii t\' ') i.. I1l1111IK'1 01' !l n d was suited l<J t() do with sllch iI hurden. I wuuld s").. "F Dc St'I!I.cllstcill in lI. Bul Ihml beiliU acllwIlv synt<lclir sv 11 Lu.\ .iCI1I Ill)ssihk. ill some WllyS prior to lhe dilfciCllli:lti()1l all il e.~L1rl's without wllich be possible.llIcC lhe inevitable n()le. divisible."" ['xists.. that the cim'lll.lI'I'<itin'.. ..I III.I.1I11'1... il toela\' still a certaill Illlllll. SOIlIC "I' i\llj()l)iol1i. tlwt il all l'\!llll[lll'd rC:1S(lIJ..I. excesses of »syllt~)(' Ihat.mel Ill' the cil/('lI!(f ele Ilel thilt card'ulh "crilSCS" .1 lcndclHv Dill' ivis\"-JtdlJllCr. <Ind IlWIT silli. TIlE ]\IODIlRN CINEi\Ti\ AND NAHnATIVITY ii.lI1\' C.1 \Vc ~Irc told ClTlclill llIodClil lill]IS.11'(' Sil Tlle'v the cinCllW was IS S( l is s(.1'1('1i is bcLillg ill the l'~l'.Ol1d tillcliOlls s('cms to me to .(..! cI Fcc !s.\H'. \\ilhill Ill(' 111<ldcrn cinlma tiICI'C is . VOlin. (Ill thiS 110im [ am ill a.. 01 tll(' 1"1:.! IITt i('i.1 so.] or \lcrbnl wstems.('sthet ics [illl1ed deri It'S hi the rilmimf. W... on the contrary.It lc~lst 10 a much kSSCI extent.k rell CI's ('111('111:1. forms the the cinellld arc gov­ fundamental f..J]('l' II' n'r!.ll the main contribulion of the new cinema is lu have enriched the flhllic narrative.. '\Ild ('(In verselv. few p"gcs til In: (Ill(' . .1 gr~l1lJJl1U r or . "Illodcm" i.11.. during the period of "dill.lry t1J<1t the modern film is IllOl'e ll.1 !.TIlE IO[IEHJ'< CINE:\[!I: St). The or - .':") gU:Jgc. a discourse of SOIllC' is al­ another. idiOilis ') Frolll othcr lllllllan semiotic IIiIlI:..lllti a IIlllch to" . ur wea kcu ing or 1I:11TMi viI y is. that it did. was considered to be as strict a.] iOIlI.ti or pC! expects to lind thl'lll~th.! follow.\)\.llIS­ l!t(. I hdievl' "11 til(' cunll. erned just as mllch 110 information would wavs.

hiel! was illustratl. or n<rainst the actor lo()kill~ at the cam"ra. a 11(1I](li­ cgl'tic illl<lgC must ill (lIlC way (If .III" tak­ illu .' Evcn the l1)ost "allv<lnccd" filllls still pertain to <q11)]. puhlished ill Arts.Ire rcallv discovering new syntactic regions while rellwilling (at least as long as thc\.~ht l'xist..SlrelllC aV. the 1.lJeC' o[ lIlev .(.tlmost ..'l' ""l'ludes the (Icsniptivl' SYlltagllla.crs. hI . \vith ll() rdatioll llimic vehick as :I cudi­ to the rl\l<..:ctic ill! n.itl'll OJll' would han' to ('-"<Imine the lIlatkr 1ll()l'C sUllie (. arc . llllJiwl'illc nnd Last Year at j1.1.lt tlll'\' .OdCh.lt ive" :lllt! a purely 11ll'OlogIC:l1 (lr COlllIlll'! Ud! .) bccomc mure Hexiblc. ()J' it will not ." IV That is wlly or (~octeau was of tht' cillema and lechnical an d from this and la ke a more return to the d the Pa~oliniall tbcories. /iIIllS.' arc intelligihle.lllSC the llIain Ilglll'l's cillclliatogr. Sillli· Imh'. from one l'nd to the other.111 t'llt or or Ilew Llilguagc. To Ilush them aside-as pressions." OllC is fC.".l'l1 Elil'l1lhll' tind.nvarl' oF..(.lt are ill ill'll!:ll rnLl laws alld whose details arc consLllltly evolving.joril'llZ)(ld arc still. When OIlC S. "llalT.we.lilt gardist who Ci1]('11I<ItO· drort to lIlake hilllscll' understood to the Jlarrat fictioJl liiln /\nd lilllllllakcrs Ill'Yl'I' :ltlC1ll(lt tt) C()llstl'll('t stich \0 iJlJa.IV.lttlT llla\' have (. there arc a certaill 1l1l111 Jwr of' stJ'llctllralcol1liguratiulls th.. .m()ther he linked t() a diq." sueh (lS the prohibition the 180­ degree angle shot ('I' the taboo gnillg from an establlshlllg shot tu a close­ up with no change of axis.d \c\'ritcr d()l's ]]((t attempt tu L1SlliOll .d ill . 10.".2IO THE ".lllls (IF the "lll'W w.lx. (he lIlost (lrigil1.lt least ill the present slatc Cilll'lll:Jt(lgraphic t".IODETIN" C1NEIIIA: SOi\IE THECmrrnCAL l'HOBLEMS THE l\IODEHN CfNEi\IA AND NAImATIVITY II it tried to he nOI'I11<1­ tklt the inl1o\'<uiollS of the youllg cillellla arc aim is to so.nc. Of the two.l'.llld M.ctic. is precisely hCl. "Clltirel\' displaced Wllt. etc.lm York.(. have llothilll' to do ('rab1<."c. and by the l'XrlWllgC. more than any other attempt at defining lill1lic I l10llcrnity. And we know the CXtl'llt j()6::. th~lt tbc I. the ollr lilLlguages. hct\\.J or (. :IS is the case . which.veral <1ny her (lll.1 ven limited vicw of the .! 011 till' other 11a!ll1.:. ns I will show ill s(. little "cleviees. cincma: On a 1/ul'!/lal irc tW() \'crv llilTcfCI11 "rules" or the derivcd i'rolll hc considered outdated or tbell'Ssl\.".tlways) elltirely submissive tu the rUllctional lI1cnts of [iImit discourse. the lingui. restrictive:." ".\. thaI thc\' l1li. tlwugll ill order to apprclll'I1l1 new ()\Jjecb.~ill(. far frol1l delllonstrating tile llonexist­ but it admits tu verbal Imwu. the gap bctwcen the and the normative "gt"allllllariall.t Wlb Andre' 1\1:ntincl.'hniqucs).Ippear to he lllllldil. <"\C j\nother suurcc lllisllndcrs18nJing: The ne\\' cinema has very rightly so-a !lumber of "mIl'S.til inl\1m'l<lW "lid l'lld ill Paris r..lphic illtclligihilit\C illll:lhit their Illinds Ii) a IllLlel1 grcater l'"kllt than the\." or th'lt tbey h:l\C(. .hmt.. Irv [0 delillc tbeir subjcct precisely and go beyond thc stage of gencral im­ HOW on tile '/. these rule. ulliess ]lcrll<ljls--aml CVCIl . wh(1lc It is prl'cisdv t() the extellt th.n . etcY:: But sllcll hm'l' llcvcr l)('cil seri()tlsly triL'd hy Ii I1ll-11ml.." for cxmllplc. have ullnplctclv "dismantled the Ilarra livc.

Sill'll as the cinema. our 311tllOr s.:14 It is at this point. 1l1!11'h JI10re hall' "aul<llllo].]solil1i asb.1Il ('\jlcricllCP Eskimo wilh no Dr it would nut he his lallgl1'l~l' . wilhoUI SllIl1cho\\' 1111. language.c:lIa. Literature res languagc.11')\\ thai Cdr III CO/lsiliS W. _ etc') awl thai Df its 1l101H'1lH'S til(' bll..1 <1ITiv('s at the sallie results 1)\ alld cIII.1. Ill' l'IlJllli0I1.IS . Fine.lph of h))' its ". 1\s for "real noises.1 \liill [heir \1 " "1'('.'1 212 THE "I'\.g of thelll.llll(jIllOhilc" froll! "Ira rite Cillc'IlI. there is nothing in the cinema correspondillg to what idiom is for tbe writer.vn meaning (the locomotive's whistle.lr lilms.c we would sec it.n it is .s Ill' tlll'Sl' I'islial '" III' ilH' JIll'lllor". with all t11.ll'lllirc mean \Vhidl is withheld from "inarticulate Ihe two arliculatiolls dIal C(lllsli1l11(' languagc.1 ).h..·that of ami Illat 01' the J1l0nClllCS.'") d d.) TIm "nH:.thclic.] C<1r. to the auditive dimensilJn.\WDEIIN U1NE~IA AND NAnnATIVITY ~l.lllS possesses no intrinsic llll'." that it is able (II cOllllllunic:ltc.\NALOCY? 1\t lirst: glance.hltion . Hall' in the mId the Coohed: The first level of articubtioll ill the picture 011 hv the "natural" mlinlbliol1s '1/." raise essen· problems as do images. One mllst nut confuse sonorolls and yflOllic: sound of the worl.('. an inJeJ' delines as Ii" Pasolilli [.).' .~(' ". tbe lilm maker is as the writer (keeping in mind the the written).. in not ~l wh()se cJllci. 1101\ is ulHlcrsl:IIHlli p.mel .lll](. etc. a phouic sound acquires pre- only by means of the linguistic ' tltl· pilssugl'.] spprts ('ill'.ll is (he illlage-thin is to sav. illld that w(Julll us t(J grDsp the dl'lll!/ct/ mcanin.lt this implies ill IWl'lllit'lh lilY Fnullc. hnl P.]s to hc arliculaled 10 . in 1\ndre Martinet's other dwn the illcvit.1 .lODEHN" C1NEi\fA: SOM.](h'Cnllll'Ous:: G••.1111 illl. I hclievl" Ihat the lllore statclllell ts : An artlsllc semiotic svstcm.lys.'h .lll "Illy Claude LeviSI ra uss's tllill T'I/(.F.ile" I (I I Ill' lest and least connoted plll)logr. dl'l1otatcd i/icatiull).I"('S. il is.ltiH' iIlSI. Nevertheless.tic undertakillg.lli. assumes the sallie role as language in sincc the constant fact is thai' tlll' l'incJI)il is not all "abortion.'('.1l1 . can functiol1 pcrfec(l" "vel I withoul the assistancc ()f an initial codified The cincma is in the same as Ilrativc 1ll .lt Ihe Es kimo \Flllid he laclzil1!! ill would Jlot he tJ 1(' abiJitv lu that . Tbat is to say.'Ihk 10 recogni/c the car! For ".ttl or i1ll pi leit l'\tcllsinllS til(' [ul.lhlc eTl'. But the Ii 1m 'I na ker docs 1101 work wi th voea I suullll or a givell \Vulll" Il" His ray\' maleri.]liOIl mighl not evell be . Pasolini contin ­ lies.d . Thcreron' it 11. there is no codaied instance prior to the actual aeslk.J. hlckillg which Ihe OJ] .m additional illSLlIlcc llnCliol1 i!llu olle way (It another.llling.1 to LI1()wl­ OIH' or cd"c "I' till' s\llIh"/ie \'. Ib. Ll'1 the SilllIC induslrial /.i I ill (lIlI' I]()I 1'1)1" dl'(l)('si IlI(Th:lllislll of lillllic inlellcelioll.lih Iii S' \ :llld ('ilch 111 which to project Ihe illtl'l'play uF l'onno' in iti. . one Hlust assume that there is something in the cinema that. hecause the soulld hy tlte vocal org.II1CCS .GNI" on [CONIC .le lo. But :dl !lIe' S. /Inti \'l'J'\ the screen).1111l' 11'(' beCilw. \H' OhSClIl'l' hUI (Illile red liable.db "hout: iL tu Llkc' .1i tllllkrsl:llldiIH' fill' ('ilch lations.lrlicul.l has its (J.l lli.E THEOHETICAL Pl\OBLEi\lS THE . (hl' peri()d pI' dlt: jilIn. whieb always or a I lcust codi dic!illlli!lV l'\<1J11/'ll'. .

21-} THE "MODEHN" CJNEl\lA: SOME TlIEOHE't'ICAL PHOBLEflfS THE 1\lODEnN CINE. wllO .!no" itse1l'. h:rs becoLllc Pasolini's Froll1 the presumed existence of Ll primary of "im·segni" (which is codifiable. the altelllpt (0 j.].Jlcll would always he constrained 10 handle (or partially to invellt') two lang11:lges ~.virat seellled to Ill(' to be "cl(Hlhtful" and a "bunlcIlSOllll' artifact.viewer within tllc lilm's stury t hat is I hanks to Ihe image's visual analogy with a This does nut prevent. jmlilicd elc\'atiol\ to the levcl with the conseqllellcc '" the code of or visual and auditory information. to the cxtent that graphic :md (. there is no are sel'erai films..!!. Pasolini deduces the idea th:lt the f11111llwker is ohliged to invent:l bnguage {lrst (i.. especiaU): whcn '. .lila. is disti1lCt from that occllpied hy the codilicltions that constitute what olle calls "cinclIlato· graphic language. thing "civcntllJ'(Jl]S . but never really c(ldiliecl).t in the l\\istCllCC PI' such instances.imult:me()llsly: that of the "illlSl'gni" and thai "I the cinellla." wI"".. On cuntrary.:st I.]n() hypotheticaL" is not the "imse.'..!' ilsc1f (or ill Ibe soulld ibeIr)-that is to say.at~ large seglllcl1 ts 01 of our mnch mOle tlwn to cillclllCltogr.· li. to dIe eillema is tbe in relation to c:I('h uther-·that of the syntagm<ls." and all "addil ioual . 1 J for it is the pecnliaritv codes cudcs) II! such as alternation. the lirst level of (i. mc clearer 10 'I](: [odav.." or at a )Joillt that. Tll('rdorc.·. many of t he that Pasolini deSignates as from being reintroduced mId within analogies (sec abOl'c. hnguagc is to the writer) is not made tip of "im·scgni" but of visual and auditory <lIlal.1l'hic insist so IIlIlC].· gie" If tIle llovel's readcr is able to recll." that till' fllili' iI' !... but that is system of these matter).IS it exists like . .­ Inllgllage. Bnt if till' image is ordered alternalc J111 >ntage r one that ami is sll])erimposc(I CillCI1Ltlo­ ()J1('C lire] ore ~p(.illlply. what] l'nsolillian ilk" that thcse ('()(lilications . for a more genera I semiotics. the onc that is 10 the lilln·maker a.oLttc c!c.. the icon· _ to cach sociocultural group :lIld themselves would have llO [ am I](... in relationship tu the total CCOIlOIllY "I' the Illmic signilication. on the idea that. within th(' "analogy. The rC<lsom for this dUl1blc aitilllllc.t frolll thc cinema.IlC thinks of the contents of individnal /illlls·-thcy em: orten prcscnt i'11 fir" hlll/.clltccl by Pas()lini himself .~~. this passage devoted to the ideas of Pier Pool" P:ISO' lini-which was writtcll carly in 1966-is .lrh the "im-scgn and then an art-whereas the writer. and il is thanks to this resemblance that the Ellll is able to carry all the 3ddilional si"llillcatlolls associated with this image in culture.. .e.''· of car-as soon .\tA AND NARHATlVITY 2I5 that would he dcficiclIt hut social in the and a child in our society Iws a (rllck th:111 he docs a (·'It..oniLc a ill the it is tlwllLs the linguistic 'mit "clog..111 other objects (lj' more (rouble idcntifying IlO " As the readE'r C:l11 see. .cilically cin. whicll has nut the llle<llltimc bccn lllodified.I llli:\tlll'C of alld mgU]JlCllt." The image uf the wheels of the traill derives from w.notancc "penly pre.tilllt(·.)rc!/(/]' the\' are ~(HllclH)\\! of lbe sanle IHlture :I~ '\'iIH'lll:lt{. p. for a l'rt!j!criy sClI1ioli. Tn otlin words.e." lind if the firm.'vel they \nlllht cOI1.:11 wheels of a train. when very hroadly cultural [jlmsas thcy do l'fl'ljllC'ntly. wlicll it appcars on the scrcell it is identified hy \ allalogy with the r(.theady possesses the can allow himself to the mis ­ the fact lhat it is as this discussion shows.

1 to dH' ]Jllsic sVl1t<lgm.lr.tiull.!ti()!l tll:lt ur dCIl(ILltio)l. It wUllld he easier tll I)icl. there is IWH' . trend of diachrony.sioll) lor ('x­ sllccession as the sigllilier rur thc llloment tll.IS any characteristic and recognizable synwgmatic This use of the wore! is justified hy thc confUSion.ltic Now. Only the i~()lDted and unexprc~setl th(lllghl--if 'illch a thing exists-Gill (perhaps) hl' rC1l1()\'cd from such a i<lw.he is occasiona\lv able 10 Ie fou. . th. with Anna Karina's lovc song.gihlc pM(cms <Ill'. Ihe usc OIl hv ( :tcccicrated III III '>­ J. hum dIe origills a limited number of or tlte cinCIll. t(IU. FWIll structures. etc" which :.lglll (cXL'ent for lloswl"ic :llld llll­ which scene. thaI is.lructll res. within givvn s\l1clmmic conclitiolls. the desire to COl1l111lllliGlIe. or (. is handled in a lIlorc llcxiblc conventional dCllotat inll t(lda v result of the form of should think I \Vice hdorc these normal evolutiolls.ltller thall thought itselF.-:Ir(' <lIl1"llg th()se lIgllrcs h:l\T. ill tillil'. c[('. whidl. such as thc the hr.lt sayin. ill currelll Hather thall arc ic syntax.Ippcar.uch ~IS for jlJTce.l! occurs CCrtl disLml Stlccl's:ii()lI). there is a passage in G()dard's Pierrol 7(' fOil that Gml10t he reduced to any of these models. lllcchanical the Sl clle in the Paris SI) f. I have idclllified.tr. :!lso hCCOllll' inll'lli. pEculiar (0 the bctwc(~n COI1­ nutative al1ll dCllotative patterns. as a means or connotation-out in a much hwadcr sense: .llltcc. olll pnl('('durcs lhal dCl'd­ or less aged: the l101ll1icgclic llH'upllo[ as \\l' will Sl'C ill :111 c)"llllpll' further IlH. or 10 any variation of these mod­ using (he wort! figllm in tll<' sense of a uf (or of is (0 say.(JIIll(lt.lcLl't scquellccs. wc h:1I'C' ll(Jt Llllcil <lut (If lIse :tt :Iil hut lise ill the lllmll'rli l-inClll:]' Not. nevertheless guar. s]()\Y-JJlo(iol1. which ch. III the cillCtl1<l. lllorollS "(Iuutatiun": S/u)ol II-n' this techniquc: the I1rst iITVlTSC-. a "Fact of that cinematographic svntax has been "completely throvvn overboard.I ur course.ll the ~t()ck oj' figures has as rC!H'\\Td Oil ). N(lW. " 1 am 1I0t spccch}--th~t .NHvVAL OF '(C:[NE~IA'fl)(:I\Al'lIIC SYNTAX" vVc kllow t1wt the allnnatc :" ll­ of the deeper 'lI'tieuhItiollS." The license of poctic inspira" tion must not be confused with sOllie impossihle license un the level 111.]]()t SC![lll'IlCt' ill UIIl' f()i'1ll flgu res .-1 216 THE "1\\ODEnN" CINI\1\IA: S()\1E nlTIOHETlCAL pnOBlF1\IS THE MODERN CINE)'IA AND NARRATIVn'V 2 17 his aesthetic inlenlions and his that. or the iris dinpllr.lt IIlW. the correct transmis­ sion uf information. one onn liahle to hccolll(. evcn if they are partiall\' arbitrary and arc Furthermore ill .I cOllstant state of evolution. if tllC two til what is illiporLlllt t" noll' i. rClll<lillCd 11Ilch:lIJgl'll frolll (:rillith 10 (Jur tillles. Ih.lcterizc the cxnrcssioll of t hOll[1ht r. Let LIS COlJ- in it:.t of thcse sctlliol()gicli figures oil the C(}lltr:l1'\'. a certain number of ~c11li(Jl()gical rest ric­ tiOIlS .. con­ for the public.

""> slight vmi<ltiolls ill Ihe 11()sition :mel in tile 1ll0VClllCllts .l of' a rr:llltic csc:m('.. So he llS a sort or I'otclltial Hew SCfIIWI1CC--.I killd 1'(' II oycur.ltivc cpisodic sccluellce). ill [he given context. :lJ] awarelless of its O\\. hut wilhout clclCrIllin the out CO]l1C'. of disloc<l\ed SC<JUCllCC. since the passage ill thai remaiJlS entirely (/ figure of difTerenl places.l. it C:IllIlO! he " lincar lwrr. tilllc' d.21 THE II . [0 .ll fahlic nature sevcr:lI different \':lri. In tlK· Illidst ()f the frellzy of the tlll~ (lenotation!. the clltrance or the car :It the root . for in tIlis illst:ll1CC the fillll obviollsly shows .) . ill this synt<lgllw. s('vcr. :Ut' hility th'lt is realized.(.)l's not fllnctioll <ll'conllllg III a vectori:l1 SChclllc--a schellll' t Iwt ('oITCSI)OlHIs (i_e" sccne.He IS II <Ill :dlcrlwte synt:lglll.MODEHN " CINEIIJA: SOME THEOnETfCAL PllODLEl\lS THE l\JODEHN crNE..:.IS ll10st l'Ol1ll1l01l n:urativc procedure.t)' it that of sp:Jtial cocxistcnce. 1(1 1\-1 uisOJI de rC/ldc:. The P<lSs:lge I hus sever:]1 lllHlSlWl From the h. it presenls :1<. for tll(' .1i possihilities at tbe samc time. bier rapidly alollg the hallks It is in bct since we now sec the 404 01' the rivcr. form of the IIm-falit'.mks ()j' the rin'J' we go hIck to the drainpipe. timC's.lCntClll'SS ill the imagin:llivl' v. Nor is it an eX:llllplc of the bwckct syntagnw. tiun curresponds fai llis own experience: There . ordin:!ry sequellcc. Nor acttwllv he realized. Last. Ulle ctc.lltCIII:1lillg illl. (JJ' Ihe simplest :md curate sellse 01' (JthC'r claimed lIe \\'.-iil tbe same IVaI' that ill the same film the shots of the HClloir p<lintillgs COllstitute a .I.('lll to lw]ollg to the second sinc(' Ill' is ahle to suggest with :1 grC:J1 deal of truth.1 singliLir event ill its OWll lL'lI1lS and not in tefms of SOIlle' other ['vellt (that is. there is !lot the slightesl the sidc\valk ill Frollt at c<ltegorizalion).lll ul1(ktermined :l IlOVel tvpC' ur s).uinnts tlJ:lt..lclers (vuri:lti(lns th:lt remind LIS rat]ICT Hoblx~ Crillct: or or lhl' ch:!r­ :l COllstrlldioll dear to of the dicgcsis. but quite c1c:nly a sillgle succession of uni(]ue (lL'CUr­ rences. Ihc huildino is ilselF showll two or three limes .1Il mllOIlOIllOllS silot. suilicil'lltiv similar to each other nevertheless \\-hi"h we will never know I'll lake its uutlined ()CCLIITClill'S. .In the passngc we ~lrl' CodaI'd would S(.nt. :lnd the rdndOllllll'SS 1)[ existence r1y idcn of dellot:]tion).l\T tive" variatioll or the <Iltcrn:!tc psvcbol(lgical Illade several trips hack :mel river IXlllk still less docs it amI the . it is not.[A AND NArmATlVITY 19 le:1\'(' the :1l1d Hee 1Il " red which is ill tive action. since it frOI! t the of the cont<lins sevenl images corresllOlHling to n single unit of the d"\'arF egctic point of occur sevenl1 minute.]glllil. highlv c)'prcssivl' of the Ihe fever.lgcs do Ilot reFer to silllultaneous lTl'llts hut to l'learlv slicceeding events (the shots of the roadw:! v :lIllIE' t hc river of 1Ilind "a!tcrn:l­ diet tbe possible outcome to ists h. Llccd TllCrCrmc. l'V('llts. equal a sort of scM-confessioll of narmtivit\'.

or a train and 011 the [Jlher COil ITIl" the lIIisLlllderstnnding surfaces ag<lln whell Pasulini gives l1S all "SYNTAX" IS NO'!" S'llcHEOTYl'E: Thus "syntax.).m. which . 131.li CUl1lTlltiullS tbat han' till' "pcculiarit\' or C<lI1­ grallllllaticu I.s. the SCCplCI1Ce "I het you nm't do JIl !\ \Von/all is (i ~{lOIl/{{II." For the latter illmlies .mel also the (lIl-StTeCIl pulls il away hom the illiage .Htilioll of till' screen space.wcs"' in Fellini Juliet of tile '[1lJ ur dellotation. i1ll1s overlapping Oil my OWll VIlW that it is the striVing for conllotatioll thal in the cinema has ultillwll'Iy till' enrichmcnt awl codifying Ami onc could write .11' full named as ever." conventions.lIls . etc.md trunsforllls it from (/lirosliilll(J Oil say hetwcell .1l'l'Cpt. r)llt UIC IIIl[lcrtcct W.I is the voice an anunymolls COIIl­ lIlcntator.:>. titles dell~ity that or SillliLIr\V." I-Ie ci tes the common." 'I'his <lIl.1 kind of oIl' screen voice. p.<1 "suhicClivc irll.1I'l ." One could wrile a whole study of COlli lied cinclll:llograpbic stratulll o[ in a Codard or Hcsn." tlwt is tl) .lis lilm Oil {illll-maker's artistic l'Jl(kanlr. Laffay observed in another Clmtext 3H occasionally il is that 01' thc film's Ilrot:Hlonisl llcldressilw hilllself llirectlv !o the ~11I­ dicllcc--a new form of aside: lkb Iluudo's voice in Vierwt Ie fou.1/ 1Il composed variuils modern lilms IS is ill IHJ OJ](' \Va.1Il liS Ilothing to do with "cinelllatoQranhic svnlax. . ized image of the wheels .mel.220 TilE "1\IODEHN" CINE:\lA: SOME 'rHEOHE'J'ICAL PHOBLEl\IS TliE MODERN CINEl\ll\ AND NAHrl. ()r 7!Csitie it.. cXDericllcilH' its first real Howcrim>: tbe cxilf' Jeanne lVTorcnu's Face ill CIlld Jilll.t llCI'l'lt]W!cSS syntactici.('I To these I wo olle Illllst add the us return to Pasolini. I relitalizHtinn of the old nondiegctic the sillce the statnes of Octol)el'. he sa\.. it in OJle \Vil \ (lr illllltilcr lIOt "c­ lill­ Arnhcim gave ol1ly n very modest ill his montage c1 lart 'i- is 110W. which IHid been little used up to now and to whieh Rudolf tween <1r( and l'lllgu'lgC there me COll1plex scmiulogicnl Ic1<.lthcr SYSICIlI . llbert tlll'nc:d II] tilt' j"rcnClI lilliguagv. This is ]lot. shuws tklt Pasolinl hililscif TilLIS til(' lilm is ahlc to pLly five levels of the problclll of "Who is must not rcal/)' believe ill the of allli . a "stylcme. sincc he now stalL's that the first (limic cudiflcatioll is slylistic.\TlYllY :>. is often confused with cliche). thus 10 some cxlcnl suhtract rrml1 It is never. dilkrcilt llSC 1'1'(1111 is the ])()"cl'cr lloVel and intcrc. But such ." still as Funrly a cloud of sllloke. the lirst seq llCllce ill l\1uriCllvad. is nevertheless alive and well. he says.Inc! voice itself when it assullJcs the rccitative mode and acquires a ~()vcr­ within into. But many mislIl1dcr­ derive hom the fllct that " Fil". That is con- stylistic) process.Ilysis. live "personac.IITCItivit y :1S /\lhcrt. bllt r.":> unllll­ on-screen voicc ill dialo!211cd sccncs :llld the I'retl LlClit LIse of writtcn Illar" has nol hecll ahlc gmllllllar. the s(JllIe of hanal livlIrc slili iTDITSCIl[S a (II' SlIllT It all\'~IVS lIILiIlCl'S LIS 10 reCollstrllct hip. Bc' ["here would be lllany other examples to examine: The still grapll. much less the inc<Imatioll of the mlll101' than of 1l.mother study Ull the revitalizatioll of what lISed to he ca11(. and tbat is whv dolts the illscrilwd with the modern cinema. An ori2inal 111m is cOll1lllonl\' urcsllmed to 1957. .d i" .lS (:Int! stili ami the It 1.I prior to tile ranges. a grmll111aLical J don't argue with this. of Eisenstein ruse the grdlllllI<ir l:lIlgUilgC gralllma r upSide down": process with the aesthetic ci !lema tu­ 10 is eH:'dited only with mediocre films. La Poll/Ie ('ourle.li(ll1sh art is nol act\lilliv I:lllguagc. ca lIs for t 1\10 remarks: the IlJOIIIllIIO'Uf. I-Ie hclievcs th~lt urDl ~I rcaJ gmnllnar.

it mcrel) rcgu Lltcs thc [!cl1er. it is a c1ich(\ a stereotype. TIl(' distinctioll hetween a lllcch.mel the {acls uf I he sigllifier (which is erroneously considered to he the constituent or "form" and which.ill ~ignih' the simultaneitv or the ('or re.ls never dictated the content of thought that cach sentcncc should have.lS one consider.. one will have the clements not of a "stylistic grammar" of the cinema. cannot he stercotyped. in this casc. unless it is so at the mOlllcnt of its first historic. ill I-Ijelmslcvian tcrminulugy. :lIld not of. .1 . subdilisions of the original and thc banal\ ~ll~d "colltent'. but which nwke up tbe scattered and disconnected cle­ ments of a code of lilmic intelligihility ("analogy" .pollding referents.lllic. There is a grammar of uF stereotypes. it constitutes a fact that is foreign to syntax.1 clich{'. to some fixed. To say that the illlage 01' the wheels of the tr. on the ca~l'. ill the different syntagmas.md. Any properlv filmic syntagmatic Llct implies the conjunction of at lea~t two visual c1elllents. signiFying. of originality and tritcncss.\elLy even begins to have a mC<ll1ing-that i. Both have their signi­ ficr and their significatc (which is to say.(." nor.1 voung girl tu a rose. such examples.I1/or eOllstructi()n (formal and ~emantic) and must accordingly he judged .cribing ". to be eX. even.'" " I wallt to avoid a confusion that cn>]'s up fre(ll.) lll:lIn discu'5ions or the lllod('fTJ cilll'nl.pecitic fa CillCJJlniograpl1ic 11111guoge ill gel/em1 and comtructions that occur in particular hlms. I believe.mel its own "content"-liable tu being ftlmed.U5(.llllm." :Jnd vet Jl() olle :](.{cliche 1101' ([ IIUVelty. . or Baudelaire ror the conjullc­ tion o{' two .llcnt to these examples. ].v. And it Gin he so only because it is . but its location lies elsewhere: In the scene.1 jiure r71ctoric tbat has nothing grammatical. which if they . which arc never clicht's. And llO one .ll and stcre(}tYjwd "gr~lll1lll<ll''' .s he singll]ar. the st. on the other hand. see Chapter 8 of this \'olume.lge of the initial idiolll and not to t1wt or the secondarv language or art. in the se­ quence.is section is Hut in . The present or the imlicltin'. In other words.ingular bct.lin is a fact uf stylc is cor­ rect but insullicient. j\s long . constitutl" ((expression") to lhe other side.h)J.ltical" in one respect Of another From the lllOlllent its llle"age hecOIlles intelligible.. The analysis (lcveloped in tl.11 occurrence.l list of singular cuntents or forms. there is a large syntagmatic categorv of the liction lilm).l~1ere. is taken in the sense that secms to me to bc the correct one). as used hy HohheCrillct.l Free. that the altern:lting of ill1.) The purpme of this discussion \\'(1S to di~lillgllish Lctnrccn cUllstructiuns :. The image of tbe whcels or the train is in IllJ way the Iilmic equiv. Alternate lllonl<lge. I want to insist on the presence of a specific level of "figures" that by (lcfinition. original or.etwccn "form" ill liln" (which would bc a general categu. ()ccllrring ill twu im.222 THE "MODERN" CINE:\IA: SOl\JE THEORETICAL PROBLEI\IS THE J\IODEJ1N CINEMA AND NAHHATlVlTV 223 a certaill numbcr of filmic constructiOlls and not just a certnin num­ ber of fil1lled objects. or Victor Hugo lIsillg the reLlti\'C clause.ldjcctivc..ltic implication).] distincti()n that seeills t() underlie S. st. it exists beyond the level where the .lme image (camera muvelllent or.llltithesis clichl"/n(. hut ()r .-is profoundly llll('sti()J]'lblc. in the structured.a grallllllar.lct.lCcurding t() the Gltcgorie. Cinematugr:lphic grammar docs not consist in pn'. and a certain free creative origi­ n:llity is necessarily "gr. <lI1d stahililed wntagmatic orderings.S it of l)('ing . in the other "types" ] have men­ tioned oilly too briefly. which places the facls uf Ihe _sigllificale (content') to one side.ICClises Malherhc III' tritene.ll un!alJilati()n of the sentences.vhich ror :::()uld . be­ yond \1". neither (. the ullly solutioll Ihat seellls satis[aetorv to me is the one advanced hv the linguist Lm:is Iljellnslcv.ll1d dialogue COIl­ stituting the rest). lwnal). relatc to thc hlmic \'chicle itself-and thcsc arc thc hgurcs that actually dehne "cincmatographic . !l 0UmllzlIll1tic([1 faci CIlII he ~. . is still :1 vulgar pre~cnt of tbe indicative. (1~pl'1l(ljn7.lges (lllont8ge) or in the cinem. Crammar h.malysis. (. 1 he d"tlllctHln between Imlll ~md ('Dntent IllUSt be abs()lutcl v rejected. a specific vismd element-having its own "form" .hat should he lilllled. simph dcterillinc.lges ". for the image of the wheels 01' the train (zl1ld similar images) most commonly represent cultural stereotypes. . ~.lgralllllwticil miginalit\ -. mthl'l' it would corre­ sp()nd til iVblhcrbe\ 1l1et.. The image of the wheels of the trnin refers neither to some "by-passing of syntax. to SCI\" it re­ mains COil lined to the st.my way intcnded to <Iistinguisl.lphorical comparison or .~d:vay.He picked up-or even partially varied-by the cinema me picked up and varied by other forms of expression as well. which is a silli_'.llllillcring eljuinlent of a real syntax.md were nm'clties unly once. \Nilh <:8ch 1111'11lbcr possessing its o\vn fortn nnd substance. thcir "form" and their "content")' and these signillers and significates each have their own form and their own suhstance (form. about it. For exmnplc.lctic expression.~ ror using the ohjective prcdiclte. (For the possible application of these cOllcepts to cinemato­ graphic .l.cntly ill this type "I' dis­ ell"ioll. hut it says Ilothing ahout what is to enter those illlages. entirely "ba­ n:d.l (or.. com'cntionalized synt.~'(Jre. since hv dcJlnitioll it is composed (illl)' the S. in ordinary bnguagc.lllel not very much cinelllato­ gr<lphie.

') 'lCc()rding (" whether the cultural ~y~tclllS hare l':C'C11 integrated <l~.:~rc(' 7cru).111 animate subjcet or OllC l11cl<ll)horically :lssimibtcd tu :1Il :lllimate subject ('Thc dog wakes up.l tlll'Ill. acidity..](' "r less original aspeets . The adjel'livC' J'{)st}. etc.cril/lrc (. hut that it i~. lJcsp-itl' thi~ rc~crvatiull) Olle l11LL~. i[' jt is.llIcling of cerL1in structur.IS ~I bllgU'lgC is. it is ." "Hojle W:1S ':l\v:1tcncd"'i. "I'. in order to make themselves llndcrstood.cl) 'lLul 11»t Pllh pn thc lell'! . whel'eas a Ii!m in which all the particular construetiollS would be banal w(>uld necC'ssarilv be a banal work. ['idmple: "'l'he natali:111 hr.ittl'll verb:d 1:1I.. in G1SeS lil.lge doesn't "COJllC thrnllgh"). acc{)rding to vvhether onc js c()nsjderillg individllal Elms...111 In<iisl'crllildc Illi\turt' .('(] .-. Dr the Ii()riginaiity" Of "trit('nc. if that language l'"isted.d l'1l':ltiuIlS "j' 1.lEltovral. it is ]1)ucL easier to find w'mb th(l[ Cdll 1)(' l'h.l still be canti()ll. <>r llH. T bllgU(lgC sy~telll (llc\'crthck.~ill<il \ l r 1>'lna1 (ur.mom. with their .th les" ~(. ()r hO\\'C\lT..mp1ctely dilJ'crent way :m.. III th.OBT EJ\l!'.ll films. '\vritillg. Thl1s the verb "to \\.e. jJlm "JUtcULs. .or rinc gr:lllllll:lticd llllcs ).dly correct.!2.llll~m"l. Il(lt {'(Infused \\'itl1 (I fercllcc betll'een the eincllla am1 til(' dUllwin "r the 1'l'L'h"l: III the btter..IIC.[' Iheir stvlc (examl.d 'C'luircments oj' bngl1~lgcn dis~ .lric Lliwllagc" itsl'li' is liable to be jUdgl'cJ ill ll'rIll~. it i" sr.1 libn that I\'(wld borrow only what W:1S m()st IJallal from cinematographic language coulclnevertheless be an original wurk. whose advertised-and very real-conFormism does not cxclude (but Il. .~C il. of memories peculim vet eommoll to everyone (and becomc so m:lll)' analogical systcms in the intellection 01' the Jilm) for evell the slightly experienced Spcct<1tor to underst. of the English langL18ge-THANsLATon] (i\.~ J)c.. ("r {tim l'ClsSaul:S.] Olle that is r"reign t" t11is alla1y~is: as whcll (Inc ullllparcs (lllt' vl'rl)'I1 l:lllgu<lgc to uthcr vcrlnl ]angu:lgc.ed earlier'" IF 'Jill' uscs 1\ ol:t IH1 Dartlws\ triple di~tillcti()11 lJd\\'('cll Idll. hut is less rddicalh distjnct fnHll a style thall a lallgLl~lgC is.T p()stpr:1J]clial rictus.ft) :'i.gllagcs :lie by 'the iIHlivid.)) but .tyles.. depending on the lingllistic schuol." ~lnd ~tyk) ill '.mticall\' L'()]np.~llish it i'roln an()ther sCllli()logiL'<I\ level.1ssie]'l' wol. 'T\ iLdi/.... ven' di­ rect paths..k: the "P"iClltjcll '('''ILiellec'' ill JC'an~LlIc COllard\ film all<ll) /.~rccs of agrallllllilticislll (Noall1 Chomskvl. a matter of the grl71l1lJllltic((/ strllcturc itself' (at le.': jt i e.I].tin...' dOIl. un dl(..[ the general hlllguage of lilllls.nclld. dispbcl"! Ihelll.--·jc. in some way) of the French 1~1l1guage [or ill the case of this translation. hllt the ign(ll'<mcc of' which results in sentences posscssing Farious de­ . ('crillfrc. again grmmnatic81.\! A: SOI\[E THEOJ~ETJCi\L rr. ~llld ~iJ'lc (bngLl'-I~(.ill .1tihlc within the same minimulll statcment onlv with .l' Ujl SLlddl'llly \\~ith :1 too :1p­ course that the unintelligibility of the message derives. Utc.e this." But. in filet) .Illd I() di:.\. On t'he contrary.. (If ".hl'lhcr Oil till' ('untcarl' the l.. it is OllCe' ll1ure frolll the misundcrst." etc.. dIe).:r() (Ic !'l. ~tl'rC(ltypcs-l.:1 lee up" is scm.:. hut whose n1css.l1l Duhois) that :11'(' sui1ieienti v Jine to be generally omitted from "oHicial" gramm:1rS.224 THE "1VTODEl~N CINE. ()ll this sl'c(Jlld lcvcl ()nc GIll SPL")l. thc "cmancipated" storics that the best modern Jllms me occasionally able to tell liS Jiml. J.JlCJ'/i1 (since it C()lll'l'n'l:-' p~lrtic~lLH fllllls 'j and /llOrc p.rllllllll:ll Clm! rhl'luri. THE J\IODERN CINEi\JA AND NAnr. It is precisL'1y the l)('culi~lrity (d' t/)(' cinCllla tlwt \\'llat ~crvcs jt . l\ll'vcrtllekss it is true Ihal "cillc.\rrjlill. 111<)]'( rl'~adil\' ild!uellced hv till' illciiviciu.<..elt e"tend bevund thc cinema ibeln.e (""nec]'ts ill the sOJJle WH)" ()r on the sanlC lc\'cl.." \<\lhell speaking uf "origi­ nality" or ''twllality'' in the cinema. ullltr. '\\Til ing" is distillct fCOlli langlLage) \vhicl! exists: in tllL' einclna! it is JistillL'l [rUll} what might lie called a IaUgUClgC.lSted t() the first ill th"t it is h. but of' the SClJll7ll1ic structurcs (that is to say.tllgllagc---(~crlll~lll ()r Frcllcl. j\ true vcrb:ll l.'j. ill a u. 'fhis dl'ri~cs 'friJIll ("('rUin or its char~ aLlcristics I hal. . rcmemhcr tll:lt "cinem:1togr:1phic gralllm:H" is not a "re:1l grmnm:1r" in the llsllal scnsc of the word. it cuuld l10t ll:lvC For subject the term for a llonpers()nified itl'nl or clothing (hrassierc in lilY cX'll11plc).l'I' has rejected illC'lll. Greimas)-or then.rt711diu/ is used onlv with sllhstanti\'es helonging to tll(' c:ltcg0l'\' of coclH'still'sis (sensations of f!lUIICSS. arc illt() tlH' 'lilIn (i.lnd them more rapidly th8n hc would understand the conventional narr:ltives 01' commercial production. 1 '\vril­ illg.C /)cg.lulI/.1ceents.1' tile cinema.<.)1' origillality (Jf l).Jllalit).' c()utrary. (Irigilla1 Oil 1/1(' /e(. ('lL'. certain linguists h8ve turned thcir <lltenti<lll tu the proh­ lel1l "f "purek sClllantic" .ly. ULlC wi]] llotice thJt IicillCIlWl\)graphi{' langllJge" resclllhlcs '\vritill~'" ill"St ill Ihat it r('I"TsC'Llh a distillCI illslancl' ut' individual . Thus. capped by some ovcrblown :want-gmdist texl..cllcnd (since it illC()fl)()r. jnci dcntdllv. Now. sOlllcrhillg that i~ Ilut a ~tyll'. SVStl'lll..illcss.lst in the usual meaning of the term).ltcs SYStClilS t]l~1t arl' I'cry Lwadly cllltliral and l!. .1 qlll'S­ tion of certain actllally gramlllatiG11 "subrulcs" (Je. helwillcss.drc:ldy Illl'llli'''lcci: lt dues ll"t really cunstitutc :1 bnguagc "YStC'1I1..ed" thclIl. LH'\'Cr ill ibcll' (lrj.) :md C()llse lll1cntly excillcies (exccpt in :1 specdly il1diC:1tin' contcxt) a subst:ll1­ tin: like rictus... not tl) h:lIld1c the.d."-tl](lt l~ tt) ~. it 1.1lies (sentences that appem to be grmllll1atic.ATIvITY 225 RecCl1lh~.e.s therc rCllldins a t. and they mobilize a sllflicicllt lIumber of true . <>. l)('illg 11l(l!(' ()r le~<. Il(Jt a pure "gr:l!lllll~lr. to bc sure.lvaLmchc of gratllitous and :marchic images against a hackgrollnd oj' heterogcncous IJCI'cus~ siolls. hut simplv :1 bud v of p:nti:tlly codified scm:llltic implications (.lr:ll'tcri:.11ll~ maLers th:"l w.('1 0/ dIe 11111­ ~ll1'.1iJ"­ . \\'hich is. slcc}. One of the lllost striking ch:lr:1ctcristics of modcrn Jl1ms is that they me in lllost cases highly umlcrsl<111cbble: 111 this respect they (liffer from vmiolls cxperimcnt. It is nOl.~" of individu:tl fl1nlo.:d crcatiuns "r writl'l's.0.

ctc. <llld tha I arc never illl they differ too mueh From is.).lblc to see [lJIllS like 11 Grido.]h:ll1dollCd the ll[lrrntiv('. a thM has hecolllc .q)ilie gmllllllar. l. ". and no optic:d d!\:ct (. if not inEnite. has nevertheless cnded bv multiplyillg thc modes of denotation. continuous iconic Bow. Julcs ami Jilll. at . 10 its proper cOllclusioJ1. Eycn tempor:..'APIJCII/ltf(l. llot to an imaginary cinema. indl'cd trUl' t1wt Illunicatioll of the literal ern the comarc made CilIa.]p­ pears that the autlHJI' or B.urc dll Nord \\." with the mnbigw)lJs status of its COllllot.'oldd ~CClll tfllClllcllt .ppcal til cvery unc. gives llS Jl.llch a tlling cxi:.ltion}. l'te. tlWl OJlC dct.whosc fUllction ill the cillema is guarantecd by perccptual <IlHllogy tll<lt allows OllC if neccssary to economize on . at least not finished~it appears thnt lIot everyone can sCL'~Llnclcr the L1l<lL ils forms have bcen rencwcd~the spccific lemUCf that characterizes the IJteat tdlers of tales. semiological description must· address it­ self to the rc. at a lime whcn it .N" C1NEi\lA: SOi\lF TllEOHETlCAL l'nOI3LEMS TIlE MODERN CINEt>IA AND NAHHATIVITY 227 JIll­ the image. mainly). and thus articn/ntillg the ll]Ust litc[<llllll'ssagc of the films we know.] \Thicle'. to eontmuimltc To contrast gralllma alld On the one hand there arc.lrdlv rc~t'lllhic the cineJlla inc. it has sUDcrilllDosed over tbe message a second conmlex of . with Ill) Ollc that would be lllliful'Jlll" voices Iwsidcs thosc that would he strictly dicgetic scrccn voices). lwo anel others tll. amI it secms dillicult 110! to ill him a richness of Fact is that even dlC most "colorless" prose. in which it is '. thcrcFurc. ill shurt.]11.1 ellipsis. Hovvcver.11'(' more diversilied. ill and mOIl' unalyzL'll. which I hm'c gUll.111d Bouch's (.my like ('1l(liIic. and though this jihn·maker docs not .ca/hlcss and Pierro/ Ie folt'! is only beginIlis career.dissolvl'.IJ Olle at ~it wunld he llHlf(' lih. Now. lH 11 riel. /he II1OI1Jellt tllnt the cinewa ellc01mteretl1wrratiFity~an encounter whose eonse(lucnces eire. no lighting othl'l thall 1I() how strfllHiC it is to hear the "breakdown 01 dlC narrative" lit a timc whcn lIat.]t arc less so. 111011 11IJ10 It r.llT<llivcs One sh()t lwriz()ntal and fWlltal. But sllch a lilm w()uld h.]ill the codc of its inventioll and a power to devclop and change.l zero·degrce .]il than I have done all thcse llCW llCW n:hitioll to thl' diegcsis. to connutc). when this article was written.ith no calll­ era IllOVClllt'llt thilt .' ·if :. . in the CinellE].ll cinema. something tlwt has to GrifIlth. 1llore r:llllificd. .] new of cinematographic narrators has COllle t(J the whell vve have heen . v of the and richllcsS of the ll1od­ con fusion I have been For it i. and th:lt lhc cill I'm from lwving .ltogr. Oil the other hand there is "Cilll'I11.\ film 111 the attention.226 THE "~lODEP. "The films mentioned in this text have heen chosen among those that had already heen produced and distributed ill the of 1966.ts~wolild still ret.ls hccollll' a means of denutatiun.l status that is urccisclv rcsIJol1siblc for the though it was originally intcnded to render the story more living (to Hvoid a monotonous.] all like recorded hv the ('<lIlll'fa. he lws 111l1llagcd nevertheless til impose himself (lJl is that ~Il('h IllltiU/is .mel more havc the spacc herl' (I) bring this analysis.. .ltioll that h.

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