Experimental Narrative the Lyrical Film as Pointed Essay

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Experimental Narrative

The Lyrical Film

As pointed out in Chapter 21, "Documentary and Experimental Cinema in the Post War Era: 1945 -- Mid -- 1960's," at the end of World War II in 1945, documentary and avant-garde filmmaking "underwent enormous changes around the world" (477), due in part to the rise of new technologies related to more sophisticated and easier to handle cameras and the creation of institutions dedicated to the creation of experimental film techniques. Overall, filmmakers were seeking new and innovative ways to express not only themselves but also how they viewed the world and its various cultural systems following the horrors and genocide of World War II at the hands of Nazi Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union. This new trend toward personal expression, closely linked to an increase in interest in the artistic style known as Abstract Expressionism, "was also visible in experimental film" and in documentary filmmaking, both of which became important vehicles "for the filmmaker's beliefs and feelings than had been usual" before the end of the war (477).

Before 1950, most documentary filmmakers "had sought to control chance to a great degree," meaning that when filming a documentary, the director and/or author would make sure that everything fit nicely into the overall structure of the film being made, even casual actions which would be "smoothly absorbed into a larger structure of meaning" (477) via film editing and what is known as voice-over commentary, a form of narration in which an off-screen person describes and/or speaks about what is occurring in the film.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Essay on Experimental Narrative the Lyrical Film as Pointed Assignment

Some documentary filmmakers like Robert Flaherty, considered as one of the founding fathers of documentary film and as an integral part of the "mythology of the burgeoning world-wide documentary movement of the 1930's" (Williams, 2002, Internet), and Humphrey Jennings, the "quintessentially English filmmaker" often referred to as the "only real poet the British cinema has yet produced" as of 1954 (Danks, 2006, Internet), "resorted to... more strongly controlling techniques" when filming a documentary, even going so far as to stage scenes for the camera, something closely akin to traditional narrative filmmaking. But when Cesare Zavattini brought to the forefront his film work based on Neo-realism, most documentarians quickly realized the power of the uncontrolled event, or in other words, capturing "the spontaneous moment" on film which often led to very surprising results (477).

Some documentarians took things even further along the road to free expression in film by tuning in to the growing interest in Dadaism, most closely associated with Salvador Dali, and specific surrealist conceptions and ideas which hopefully would result in some type of "revelatory accident" on film (477), much like Dali's well-known painting the Persistence of Memory with its dripping watch hanging in the limbs of a tree. This soon led others to experiment with the idea of incorporating accidents into a film as part of their own personal expression, such as stumbling across "lucky aberrations of light or color" which added surrealistic concepts to the film (478). When the avant-garde artistic movement of the late 1950's and early 1960's, led by American artist extraordinare Andy Warhol, took off, many documentary filmmakers on a global scale "invited the spectator to scrutinize a process or witness an improvised scene" on film which in a way forced audiences "to accept a cinema that refused to arouse and fulfill the narrative appetites to which Hollywood catered" (478), a reference to traditional narrative techniques which tell a story through imagery and dialog.

One highly important approach which came about after World War II is known as experimental narrative filmmaking which was very different from many traditional approaches to creating films for the cinema, especially related to mainstream or commercial filmmaking techniques as found in Hollywood. The term avant-garde is most often used to describe these type of films and were mostly shot by directors working outside of mainstream cinema as "underground" experimenters. Basically, experimental narrative films do not exhibit a linear narrative, i.e., moving from a to B. To C. Or with a beginning, a middle and a conclusion, and often utilize specific film/camera techniques, such as blurring, adding any number of abstract elements to each film frame and using innovative editing techniques in the cutting room. Also, the soundtracks were often disrupted, taken out of sync, or transformed in some way or in some cases was left out… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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