When I was a critic, I thought that a successful film had simultaneously to express an idea of the world and an idea of cinema; La Règle du Jeu and Citizen Kane corresponded to this definition perfectly. Today, I demand that a film express either the joy of making cinema or the agony of making cinema. I am not at all interested in anything in between; I am not interested in all those films that do not pulse.
I believe a work is good to the degree that it expresses the man who created it.
These books were alive and they spoke to me.
HENRY MILLER, The Books in My Life
Truffaut, François. The Films in My Life
In a decade where reality and fiction blurred, these movies showed us who we really are.
20. Dawson City: Frozen Time (2017)
To make Dawson City: Frozen Time, director Bill Morrison — who often works with old footage — reused hundreds of reels of nitrate film shot in the 1910s and 1920s and unearthed in 1978 in Dawson, a town on the Yukon River in northwestern Canada. The reels had been presumed lost, and Morrison stitches them together to reconstruct the history of the town, which is loaded with wild stories of fortunes made and lost, with twists and turns as exciting as any fictional film. It plays like a silent film, at times, but one with an eye toward the present, and toward the way old stories shape the future.
Alissa Wilkinson, Vox
A shot where the camera is fixed in one position while the action continues off-screen. It says life is messy and can not be contained by a camera. Beloved by Woody Allen and the dolly grips who can take the afternoon off.
Another interpretation I read: It says the world goes on without us. I think this take was from Andrew Sarris and he was referring to Robert Bresson. But I can’t find the specific reference. Could be wrong. *
Film Studies 101: The 30 Camera Shots Every Film Fan Needs To Know Empire Online, By Ian Freer, illustrations by Olly Gibbs Posted 02 Oct 2015
* Quote found:
“Bresson has been criticized on at least one occasion for showing a place a beat or two after the people have departed, thus fading out on geography rather than humanity. Far from being a flaw, this Bressonian mannerism expresses an attitude of man’s place in the universe. For Bresson, place precedes and transcends person, since the world was here before we came and will be here long after we are gone.”
The Trial of Joan of Arc, review by Andrew Sarris. Originally in The Village Voice, quoted here from Confessions of A Cultist: On the Cinema, 1955 – 1969