Thursday, August 22, 2013

La rampe - V. Vanishing points (1977-1981)

Serge Daney's introduction to the fifth chapter of La rampe.
V. Vanishing points (1977-1981) - The language-bodies (It speaks)
Last chapter. Too close to us to be contextualised. I was saying: the human body is an enigma? Quite, but sonorous too, especially at the cinema. It speaks endlessly and sometimes even with the voice of another. French cinema, more than any other, is the story of a word-by-word rapidly turning into a body-by-body (and vice versa). That’s its strength (and its weakness), the sign of its modernity, its originality.
The dialogue of cinema (among all sounds) is a paradoxical object. It’s difficult to study it without studying at the same time the one who pronounces it: the actor of course. And, late, emerges the great loser of modern cinema, repressed from our cinephilia and from this book. A modest emergence: Bresson’s “model,” Biette’s living riddles or Truffaut’s mascots are some distance from Errol Flynn or Rock Hudson in a Walsh film, and yet…
The actor of cinema (among all sound sources) is a paradoxical object. One cannot dissociate the image of the actor from all the films where he played, “where he has been.” For today’s filmmakers (Wenders), he is a sort of legitimising emblem, the proof that they belong to the History of Cinema. He’s the bit of the film that belongs to other films, a precious impurity, a waking dream. Not only is he saying his text, but he is himself text, from head to toe.
This text introduces the following articles:
Translation by Laurent Kretzschmar and Otie Wheeler, 2013.

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