Chapter 1 – Part 3 – Understanding the arts in order to understand the look of the cinematic image builder


I.3. Understanding the arts in order to understand the look of the cinematic image builder

The first experience of art was probably to be faced with a phenomenon of enchantment and magic. The first theory instead, that of the Greek philosophers, argued that it was therefore substantial mimesis and imitation of reality. Now arose the curious problem of its value, because the mimetic theory, by the terms in which it was proposed, called for the work to justify. After all, "art is useful", Aristotle insisted, medically exploitable, purifying as compared to dangerous passions.

The discourse on cinema, as also claimed Canudo[1], develops within a broader debate concerning the entire system of the arts, constantly questioned and redefined on the basis of formal and structural changes occurring in the aesthetic communication. In the film show aspects interact mediological, aesthetic and linguistic companies.

Balázs il cinema definition one medium, that is, a machine that can translate and spread on the ground plane view of the world and a tool that works, modifying, on the collective psychology, therefore a form of communication that not only produces texts, but also behaviors, ways of thinking and looking. The cinema (and the film as its product) he thought was a simultaneous conception of the world and thus an object of the theoretical discourse, before aesthetic, a language, to invent, perfecting and mastering in all its components and un'arte social, that the public should not be subjected to the creation of which should be actively involved[2]. That cinema is an art form that is gradually coming to occupy the role once played by the story and folktale, in which modernity continues to produce behaviors and collective mythologies, and is an invention comparable perhaps only, importance as, to that of the printing. However the cinema as a technique, ie machine that translates a certain vision of the world, is first and foremost a tool capable of reorienting the cultural dynamics to the visual element, interrupting the primacy of the verbal dimension and abstract, inaugurated the invention of printing. In fact, the man on the screen becomes visible, whole, in all its body, to whose destinies, caratteri e sentimenti possono essere comunicati senza la mediazione della parola, even through the language of gestures and expressions, then reunited, in a work of further completion, the spoken language.

The film is applied art, determines and is determined by attitudes and forms of everyday life, acting simultaneously on it as a mirror and model. As more and more of the photograph it is art surface, where there is no distinction between form and content, thought and expression, text and performance: its ability to be art lies precisely in this interplay between body and look, mime and point of view. That the cinema is a structure that is formalized language, in order to build the dictionary of gestures and behaviors through which the viewer learns and communicates. The man becomes visible only when a technique that makes it: a close-up as necessarily linked to insight; each procedure adopted refers to an individual look on the world. Also use a purely mechanical and not expressive of cinema, to look good, reveals a particular state of being and the process of construction of the film is inevitably anchored to look intentional of a subject, which is not always just what the director, but that is too often the result of the more eye work on the same object, although undoubtedly traced on a single main axis from predominate of one of these.

Represent the most often times does not mean record, but to build a speech, a vision of things, in order to give new form. The appearance designates the state of the relationship between vision and reality, and operates necessarily every time a blind person acts, in any case in which the image takes shape and from this point of view a configuration without visual significance could not exist. The techniques and procedures of film language are nothing more than the means by which the director and screenwriter with it, director of photography, editor, do mean things visible preventing their sense items in chaos. At the same time, however, what appears to delivery to the technique and the proceedings of the cinematic language shape their own inner. If the shot is essentially an intimate selection, it is at the same time a place of synthesis and relationship between a object and a look, largely managed by its director of photography. If the assembly is the fundamental factor rhythmic and creative film, its productivity can not be exercised regardless of the appearance of the visible represented. The intention is then pursued training at all levels and within the discourse of images makes figurable what apparently would not be: concepts, idea, abstract feelings and thought processes.

Often discussions on cinema essentially concern the power of vision. Luigi Chiarini in 1962[3], talking about the film said, reflecting on his definition, that the film is certainly the work of narrative, but not fiction, show but not theater, primarily visual art but painting, that has rhythms in time, but that is not music and at the same time has drawn and inspired, food and teaching all these art forms. Therefore affirm the existence of a close relationship between cinema and visual arts is not new, and the search for sources iconic often used to reconstruct the personality of the director or, in an even more specific, director of photography. The institute, however, mechanical parallels between painting and frame could become a mechanism misleading. There is now no doubt that the film is an essentially visual in which music, speech, noise, are unitary body with the image and for this, to dwell on the analysis of single frame, to discover relationships with painting, is methodologically wrong, although often one can not make instrumentally less. For film obviously refers to any type of recording motion pictures, possibly accompanied by sounds, of any existing support, or invent[4]. The camera can not be isolated, being closely connected with the rest of the film, which of course is not simply a sum of beautiful photographs, but a unitary structure in which movement and durability are crucial. Most significant relationships may, however, be sought among the sources of training figurative representation of a director or an operator[5] and the way to turn, that is, to look at and interpret reality in all its aspects, outer and inner. Many directors, such as Bellocchio, but is only one of the hundreds of examples that could be done, have been tireless creators of images, great displays of spiritual sensations, personal dramas, of disappointments and victories, but equally important characters have actively and in an essential, worked with them in the research and development of certain atmospheres: these are in most cases the great screenwriters, but most of all directors of photography.

The true author of a film at the end of accounts is in most cases the director, who announced his point of view, its vision and subjective experience, but it does very often through the eyes of these humble workers who put all their cultural and figurative, and the personal sensitivity (using the medium of film), the service of the story you want to tell and dreams or primary views of the director himself. No coincidence that the term director of photography was and is replaced by the equivalent in other languages Cinematographer, or "writer with moving images".

The history of photography, like all stories, is an event that takes place and creeps along a route that should lead to the identification of its identity, as well as opportunities, that of his own existential necessity, without which, on the other hand, there would have been no Niepce-Daguerre's invention Talbot-, born premesse che, over time, have suggested and permitted. In the history of photography, as noted in a very precise even Zannier[6], we tried gradually to perfect every result as a function of high fidelity, which determined its specific likelihood, but in the meantime it was discovered as this quality is not atro that one way or means to identify an unknown hand and then paradoxically unlikely. From the development of the collodion, first wet, from 1851 and then dry, with a greater ease of production, the photograph took on a new identity, much more related to the sphere of aesthetics and less than that of the sciences, which is then exasperated the pictorialism of the end of the century, directly addressing the ever deltutto competition ended with painting. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the field of photography through and resolved in some ways his technological crisis of origins and that due to issues of aesthetic and artistic, for lead in the search for a linguistic identity. Each image in the bottom informs and explains at the same time, by the way he, ie its aesthetics and vice versa. Even Benedetto Croce expressed on, stating in 1909, with its well-known ambiguous and suspicious availability, that the photograph had as its artistic side intuition and point of view of the photographer himself, cioè la maniera di accostarsi all’atteggiamento che egli era intenzionato a cogliere[7], adding that if this was not all art was because she could not get rid of the natural: that is, which reflects the light with which it writes the image, remained just unavoidable and insubordinate.

It became increasingly clear, with the spread of the medium among a bunch of amateurs, informed by a publishing specialist who was born already in the late nineteenth century, filled their houses and slabs of chemical concoctions of all kinds, that the photograph was intended to be seen increasingly as a branch of art, as clear personal transfiguration of reality and, as an artistic object, it was entitled to the same protection as that accorded to intellectual property, defending copyright and artistic property[8]. He was born at that time even the generic concept and complex producer, as the one who would be entitled to declare his photographic production, because out of his company, work of his person or of his staff, or according to their means.

And 'now clear that a portrait is not, as it was believed in the past, picture natural and spontaneous, Bensi una conventional representation of the subject, constructed on the basis of a model. If, therefore, the photograph captures a lot less than any other form of art, the soul and the truth of his subject, it can, however, reconstruct a semblance, a model of individuality: waxing essentially another form true, although from what we consider real. Very often, then the photo is not a formal organization that produced from a multiple reality: the social circumstances, technical and aesthetic of its own processing.

As also claimed Peter Masoero, one of the most important intellectuals who dealt with photography in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, it can be considered an art in all respects, but with special characters, dissimilar from those that animate for example the painting, because fewer people this, but much more extensive, universal, shallower, but certainly more encyclopedic. The photograph touches vast borders, what urban art can not achieve and why it is exercised in a convenient, requires a thorough knowledge; it is certainly a product of science, of which the artistic branch is one of the manifestations.

The professional who supplies its products to the society is himself a member, interprets the needs and philosophies after having absorbed implicitly emphasizing, with the production of their works, the relationship of mutual respect that binds society. The film thrives on ambivalence, that is, of a dualism between art and referentiality that is typical of his whole story, as well as of that of the photo. In the first place the amateur photographer test the desire to document, that is, in a gesture to stop their impressions and emotions, to verify in an objective fact that we are accustomed to see with the eye of his own sensibility: the singular image of a well known. The twist is what you want, photography is not recountable, nor of any proportion to its true eternal rival, that basically is painting, but writing, evoking, with the same ambiguities, situations, faces, actions and landscapes. The photograph is an amazing suction illusory likelihood, is the reckless pursuit of the desire to stop something; a book as a photograph are just trying to make palpable and therefore controllable, how much is impossible to have: the abstractness of feel and see the ambiguity of the. That image of photographic matrix is ​​a universe made up, such as literature. From the time of Giambattista Della Porta[9], inventor of the camera obscura in the sixteenth century, è noto che la fotografia è “scrittura della luce” e non a caso a livello etimologico la si è sempre accostata alla radice grapho, from the greek "write", and produce speech through the signs.

The screen in the same way is a great page, a catalyst of the immediate evocations collective. A movie, as common work, is actually like a symphony played by a group of soloists and, therefore, a text written by various hands: while having each its own sensitivity, all try to express themselves in the same score, directed by a man, intent to achieve the same image. As also stated Storaro[10], perhaps the film stock is able to record even the emotions of the people involved in the making of the film. Do not forget that one of the few characters in the film are not only domestically and abroad on holiday, there are at most technical of the highest level and among them the primacy have always had directors of photography.

There is an underlying momentum is undeniable that the photo writes with light the significant, but soon, through a well-known reversal, it decrees as worthy of attention that photographer and the same thing happens in the movies, passing through the grammar of the image.

[1] Grignaffini, G., "Knowledge and theories of cinema. The silent period ", Bologna, Clueb, 1989, the. 59

[2] Grignaffini, G., "Knowledge and theories of cinema. The silent period ", Bologna, Clueb, 1989, the. 79


[3] Ferrucci, R., Turini, P., "Paolo and Vittorio Taviani. The poetry of the landscape ", Rome, Ed Gremese, 1995, the. 27

[4] International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF),

[5] Understood here right now as a synonym, from the history of the origins of its role, of "Director of photography" (N.d.a.)

[6] Zannier, I., "From the collodion bromoil in search of an identity", in Zannier, Italo, "Signs of Light. The photograph Italian at the age of Collodion pictorialism ", Flight. II, Ravenna, Longo Publisher, 1993, the. 8

[7] "... Even if he has anything artistic photography, it has as it transmits, at least in part, the intuition of the photographer, his point of view, the attitude and the situation that he is industriato to take ... ", in Zannier, I., "From the collodion bromoil in search of an identity", in Zannier, Italo, "Signs of Light. Italian photography the age of the Collodion to pictorialism ", Flight. II, Ravenna, Longo Publisher, 1993, the. 10

[8] Costantini, Paul, "The national photographic convention, places of intellectual exchange ", in Zannier, Italo, "Signs of Light. Italian photography from the age of Collodion to pictorialism ", Flight. II, Ravenna, Longo Publisher, 1993, the. 56


[9] Beltramini, Maria, "Magazines photographic Milan nineteenth and twentieth centuries", in Zannier, Italo, "Signs of Light. Italian photography from the age of Collodion to pictorialism ", Flight. II, Ravenna, Longo Publisher, 1993, the. 164; Giovanni Battista della Porta was a natural philosopher, alchemist and playwright, lived in Naples from 1535 to the 1615, who cared a lot even optical, wrote an important treatise on the refraction of light.

[10] Bernard, Mario, "40th anniversary AIC", Rome, And. AIC, 1990, the. 157