Universiteit Leiden

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Film Language: A Matter of Form

  • Blandine Joret (Media Studies, University of Amsterdam)
Wednesday 17 February 2016
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

In the conclusion to his seminal essay on the ontology of film, André Bazin writes, “on the other hand, cinema is also a language” (1958). Given his insistence on cinema’s immediate access to reality, this recourse to language raises the question whether this late admission should be understood as a reversal of the position he had defended throughout his essay.

Taking Bazin’s prescient views from the 1950s on three-dimensional cinema as its starting point, Joret in this talk demonstrates how Bazin’s acknowledgement of film as language, ultimately, surpasses the traditional distinction of content over form. If realism is often understood as the polar opposite of formalism, she claims, the “imaginary image” of 3-D cinema, as Bazin termed it, offers a synthesis of these two diverging views. Looking at recent 3-D films, such as Adieu au langage (Godard, 2014), Every Thing Will Be Fine (Wenders, 2015) and Love (Noe, 2015), Joret elaborates on the possibilities of a “realist grammar” in cinema. 

Dr. Blandine Joret received her PhD with highest honors (ASCA, 2015) on a dissertation entitled Today, Icarus: On the persistence of André Bazin’s myth of total cinema. Currently, she works as an assistant professor at the department of Media Studies in Amsterdam. 

dr. Blandine Joret

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