sexta-feira, 15 de abril de 2016

Poetics of Cinema: teaching Cinematography



Thinking about how to teach cinematography to my students and how the meaning changes when you place the camera in other angle and/or movement and/or light etc., I developed a strategy to make them realize the importance of the syntax of the elements in front of the camera, the forms and the variety of meanings of the shots and of course the system of images created to emphasize the narrative and thus the cinematographic discourse.
All the theoretic part presented in the first four classes were applied in the filmmaking of a short length film. Based on the silent expressionist film Nosferatu (F.W. MURNAU/1922/GER), I wrote the script called “Jugular” and I gave it to them to shoot using Canon 5D Mark II and a row of lenses: 50mm, 24-70mm and 70-200mm. Two groups were formed and each one did different ways to articulate the compositions. The results were two different short length films from the same script, both performed with DSLR cameras in 2013.

Group 0ne:


Group Two:



quinta-feira, 17 de dezembro de 2015

Direção de Cinema: sobre complementariedade, direção e método no processo de criação



RESUMO: 
O presente artigo tem como objetivo analisar e compreender a ontologia sistêmica encontrada na criação e produção cinematográfica. Partindo da junção da Semiótica peirceana com teóricos dos sistemas. Edgar Morin e Jorge Vieira, o texto se propõe a esclarecer o processo de autoria colaborativa no cinema, a importância da idéia nucleadora e o conceito de complementariedade. O artigo conclui observando o papel do cineasta como líder nucleador, a relevância da autocrítica e do método na consolidação de seu discurso autoral. 
  

ABSTRACT:
This article aims to analyze and understand the systemic ontology found in the cinematographic creation and production. Starting from the junction of Peirce's Semiotics with Systemic theorists Edgar Morin and Jorge Vieira, the text proposes to clarify the collaborative authorship in movies, the importance of nucleator idea and the concept of complementarity. The article concludes by noting the role of the filmmaker as a nucleator leader, the relevance of self-criticism and the method to consolidate your authoral discourse.

Publicado na Revista Científica da FAP-PR dedicada ao tema: Teoria dos Cineastas.

Link de acesso: http://www.fap.pr.gov.br/arquivos/File/Cientifica12_ArtigoMarceloSantos_IndependenteCompleto.pdf

quinta-feira, 7 de maio de 2015

Poetics of Cinema: toward a Semiotics-Systemic approach

 




Abstract: 

This work departs from the presupposition that Cinema is a hybrid form of representation and communication, resulting from the communion of three indissoluble, mixed, though distinct signic processes: the sound, the visual and the verbal ones. The construction of this communion involves a poièsis developed by an authorial collectivity in areas such as script, direction of photography, direction of art, cenography, sound design, direction, etc., which are engendered and articulated in a synthetic plot of intersemiotic relations that demand from the film sign the potentialities of signification. We have taken as our theoretical references the Semiotics of Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914), as well as the proposal of the matrices and modalities of the sound, visual and verbal signs developed by Lucia Santaella (2001), both allied to the analytical incorporation of systemic parameters, having in mind the discrimination of the complexity of the hybrid film language and its ontology permeated by collaborative authorship.


1. Intersemiotic Triad: the Morphology of a Hybrid Sign

The construction of the cinematographic hybrid sign processes itself in a triad which grounds it: the syntax, the form and the discourse, which, according to what has been developed by Santaella (2001), are the axis corresponding to the sound, visual and verbal matrixes, respectively. Transposed to the Cinema, the logic of sound, which is made up of the syntax, will deal, in the film, with the combination of various elements such as cenography, costumes, dialogs, actors, lighting, colors, texture, reliefs, sound, sound track, etc. By building such elements into a composition, the film acquires a form. The latter is nothing but the harmonization of the syntax of the parts that are contained in the action/drama as they are transferred to the shots, creating thus images in movement and giving them a narrative which, through the assemblage, constitutes its discourse or argument.
So as to explicit it in greater detail, what first calls our attention when one talks about Cinema is the visual language, that is, image in movement. But, while the visual field of the plan/shot has borders, the visual world does not have them (SANTAELLA, 2001: 185). Therefore, the first challenge imposed to movie makers is to adapt it to the rectangular space of the photogram/movie camera, that is, to choose what to take and what to select from the visible.
Thus, the vision of the camera is a cut out of the visible determined by the rectangular space of the photogram (or of a series of photograms). The direct relation between the camera and the visible is made by means of a fragmented form; therefore, it cannot be seen. It is exactly to overcome this fact that the movie director, along with the photographer and lighting specialist, learns how to capture the reality through the delimitations of the plan/shot; thus, the “selecting” of an object requires a refinement of a fragmented look, of a reduced limited space, making this “look”, amid the immensity of possible images that reality presents all the time, distinct, and particular. This happens to the extent that we distinguish a movie director from another by the way he “shots” and articulates a story. It is not by chance that we have the classic image of the director with extended arms, the tip of his thumbs together and the index fingers in parallel, for that is precisely analogous to the cutting work of the camera shooting.
Thus, visual language will deal with the composition of the objects within the shots, conferring form to the moving image. However, to know how to compose a shot that is able to represent the action in front of the camera, requires a poetic look which, by a fragment of an angle and a split of time, forms, in an image, or a sequence of images, the whole of the argument, the concept or the general idea involved. Therefore, it is a look with the character of a synthesis, mediated by the movie maker. What there is behind this mediation is an important concept that one gets from the logic underlying the sound language, that is, the concept of syntax which, when transposed to the Cinema, is able to explain it adequately through the composition of the plan/shot.
According to Santaella (2001), the primordial characteristic of sound language is the syntax which arranges sounds, instruments, elements of different origins and their possible arrangements, inserted in a temporality, where relations take place, ones that are evaluated by the resulting quality of such mixtures, by the tones that amalgamate, in a genesis of possibilities that interlace, thus producing various sounds. That way, “[...] the syntax presupposes the existence of elements (objects) to be arranged.” (SANTAELLA, 2001: 112)
In the case of cinema, the temporality of the movement of the objects and the temporality of the shot, and, many a times, of its movement along with action, knits a lace, in which the look/shot tries to capture all the elements present to the action in a synthetic form: environment/scenario, costumes, objects of the scene, actors, lighting, shadows, textures, colors, sounds, etc. The syntax of these elements looks like the work of the composer who tunes the instruments into music. The resulting image depends on the capacity of objectifying a syntax within a shot, for there is a rhythm, a shifting, a passing of things in front of the camera, a timing, a transcourse – though a rehearsed one -, everything has its flux converging, arranging itself, composing an image or a plurality of images in a sequence.
On the other hand, the shots are only fragments; they are cut outs with which the assemblage outlines an order, thus giving them a meaning. It is in the assemblage, therefore, that the characteristics of the verbal discourse seem more evident in their hybridization with the cinema, for the “[...] most characteristic trait of the linguistic sign is in its arbitrariness and conventionality” (SANTAELLA, 2001: 261). The arbitrariness of the assemblage, by associating one image to the other, is what supports the construction of a discourse, which gives Cinema a self language, for without the rule of law, facts and actions are brute and blind (SANTAELLA, 2001: 262). Thus, without the arbitrariness of the assemblage, the shots are isolated images which can have or not have any relation among themselves; they are but brute facts, particular events.
Thus, the sign hybridism occurs in the cinema through an intersemiotic exchange between the logic principles that rule the three matrixes of language: the sound, the verbal and the visual. The sound brings to the cinema the characteristic of the syntax of the elements and their transcourse in time, the visual brings the characteristic of the image, of the form, and the verbal the characteristic of the development of the discourse.

2. Complexity: Intersemiotic Unity and Collective Authorship



This hybrid complexity of the cinematographic language, formed by means of a dynamic intersemiotic diology, by making effective the arrangement of the elements contained within each image/plan worked along with the inter-relations that are created, articulated and plotted by the assemblage, composing thus an internal logicity toward the construction of meaning, is marked by an intense process of intersemioses, of exchanges and interfaces that demand an organization or sign unity that is able to harmonize all the elements and processes involved in the creation and development of a film.
Among the most common problems found in movie making, are the mistakes during the course during the production of a movie, the loss of harmony of the parts and elements that make up the film, the loss, therefore, of its signic unity. In fact, Cinema is an art made by various professionals, each one with a specific function. That mixture, which is inherent to it, given its intersemiotic nature, depends on a tuning that leads them all toward the same target to the extent that that which is targeted as concept, idea, aesthetics, theme and argument of the film, is externalized in each part, producing a whole, a unity.
This reflection leads us to raise some questions as to how the signic unity of a film is generated. And, on the other hand, how such questions concerning that filmic unity emerge – regarding those three intersemiotic processes: syntax, form and discourse – concerning the morphology of the hybrid cinematographic language, some systemic problems call our attention.
For, the making of the filmic sign, which involves the properties of the sound language (logic axis of the syntax), the visual language (logic axis of the form) and the verbal language (logic axis of the discourse), articulating them and plotting them into a whole guided by interchanges and interfaces that add themselves, implying the integration and interaction of a set of agents who are specialized in areas in which such appear as dominant, but which, in the case of Cinema, are co-participants.
The theory of the author, debated in the Cahiers du Cinéma in the 1960 decade, brought some contribution to that question, but unfortunately reserved to the director or the movie maker the laurels of the analogy with the poet, the painter, the sculptor, the writer, etc., leaving aside the authorial co-participation of the other components in the realization of the work. The confrontation is between the movie director, as the thinking agent, on the one hand, and the script writer, the director of photography, the director of art, musical composer, etc., on the other hand, as agents of technical profile.
The fact that the movie director has to make the crucial decisions in the making of the film does not eliminate the co-authorship of the other agents, nor the poetical character of their functions regarding the making of the filmic sign. Following this perspective, what one realizes is that the intersemioses of the filmic unity configures itself as systemic, that is, there is a set of semiotic agents with specific abilities that interact and integrate themselves in the making of the work. This ontological complexity, made up of creators working together, in a clear dialogic exchange between their functions and specializations, and supports the adoption of the general theory of systems and its main theoreticians – Mário Bunge, Edgar Morin and Jorge Vieira –, in an articulation with Peircean semiotics, with the aim of understanding the collective authorship leading to intersemiotic unity.
According to Vieira (2008: 89), there are three fundamental classification parameters to observe the system: its capacity of permanence, its environment, and its autonomy. Still within this perspective, for a system to consolidate itself as such, there are so called hierarchical or evolving parameters outlined as such: composition, connectivity, structure, integrality, functionality and organization, all of them pervaded by a parameter that can appear from the first stage: complexity. Thus, a system is characterized by its temporal process and its capacity to grow. The complexity of such movement occurs through the diversity of connections that are brought about toward the survival of the system.
In the case of Cinema, a similar process can be seen in the realization and production of the filmic sign. Given the need for specialized agents, who are grouped together so as to work toward the making of a film, what there is in this environment is a temporal process that demands one to evolve through each hierarchical parameter indicated above, a one which reflects in the capacity of permanence, that is, in the capacity to reach a regularity in filmic construction, which can be seen in the finished film. For, after all, the film has to present an autonomy, wherein everything connects cohesively and coherently: direction of art, direction of photography, cenography, costumes, script, direction, plans, assemblage, etc.
By the way, the parameters of cohesion and coherence are also parameters of consolidation of a system. Cohesion deals with the syntax between elements, their articulation and effectiveness. Coherence, like semantics, evolves in an intersemiotic diology of its elements for the construction of meaning between themselves, into an integrated, complex, and meaningful whole.
There is still another pertinent issue regarding the systemic complexity which is important for an ontological cinematographic analysis, that is, nucleation. According to Vieira (2007: 109), nucleation is a kind of process that is more common in psychosocial relations, where the figure of a leader interposes itself over a group. In Cinema this nucleation is brought about by the figure of the director and his responsibility falls upon the orchestration of those specialized agents, many times from dissimilar areas, integrating them, though each one keeps his/her functions.
What one observes is that such signic unity, which is necessary for the construction of the parts into a whole, will reflect itself both in the process of the realization of the film and in the process of its interpretation. There is, to a large or minor degree, the risk of that combination between agents and specialties to enter into a process of dissipation, losing thus its synthetic cohesion and its semantic coherence, jeopardizing the interfaces and intersemiotic interchanges between its various layers of meaning. Such layers of meaning are coined and entwined by the integrality and organization of the director of photography, director of art, costume designer, cenographer, music composer, scriptwriter, director, etc., within a whole, the film. The result of an intersemiotic untimeliness, if it indeed occurs, seems to affect the potentiality of interpretation and communication of a work.


Conclusion

By proposing a semiotic-systemic perspective as a methodology of critical analysis to understand the construction around the hybrid cinematographic sign, what one has in mind is to understand how the poièsis of cinematographic art structures and engenders itself, that is, 
1) what the hybrid signic characteristics which consolidate its language are?; 
2) How is this systemic ontology marked by collective authorship?;
3) And, consequently, how its complex process of semiosis and communication to interact with the spectator is articulated?
In this context, what one ought to observe are the organizational principles operating within such heterogeneity marked by specific and dissimilar areas, but which operate together within the cinematographic art in a kind of synergy, a diology amid the parts in both intersemiotic and systemic levels. The filmic unity, therefore, has to be seen as an organizing parameter of the ontological and signic complexity of the language of the Cinema.
Last but not least, what one aims at in this semiotic-systemic perspective in the Cinema is to make the process of semiosis, of the action of the sign, clear; that is, that of meaning and communication between film and interpreter. Thus, by looking into the intersemiotic complexity in the construction of its language, what one expects is to understand the interpretative processes through which the filmic sign is able to trigger.
For, what evolves in this intersemiotic diology is an entanglement of intersemioses, a chaining of signic interchanges of the elements of the syntax together with the making of the form (shots) which leads to their organization through the assemblage, the discourse. To what extent a costume of a character interacts with the sound track and co-substantiates it, owing to the manner it is arranged and lighted within a shot, and how this element shifts toward the images in sequence, justaposed. Something like this can be seen in the film Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958), in the sequence in which Scottie meets Madeleine in Ernie's restaurant.



To understand this intersemiotic complexity and how this interacts with the spectator is the focus of this study proposal.   

References

Aumont, Jacques. (2004), The Theories of Movie Makers. Campinas: Papirus Editora.
Aumont, Jacques et al. (2002), The Aesthetics of the Film. Campinas: Papirus Editora.
Bürch, Noel. (1969), The Práxis of the Cinema. São Paulo: Editora Perspectiva.
Eisenstein, Sergei. (2002), The Form of the Film. Rio de Janeiro: Zahar Editora.
_______________ (2002), The Meaning of the Film. Rio de Janeiro: Zahar Editora.
Feldman, Joseph e Harry (1952). Dynamics of the Film. New York: Hermitage House, Inc.
Peirce, Charles S. (1992), The Essential Peirce - Volume 1. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
________________ (1998), The Essential Peirce - Volume 2. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Santaella, Lucia. (2001), Matrixes of Language and Thought – Sound, Visual and Verbal. São Paulo: Editora Iluminuras.
_________________ (2000), General Theory of Signs. São Paulo: Editora Pioneira.
_________________(2000), Aesthetics – From Plato to Peirce. 2nd edition. São Paulo: Editora Experimento.
Stam, Robert. (2000), Introduction to the Theory of the Cinema. Campinas: Papirus Editora.
Truffaut, François. (2004), Hitchcock/Truffaut: Interviews. São Paulo: Editora Companhia das Letras.
Vieira, Jorge de Albuquerque. (2007), Science – Means of Knowledge: Art and Science – A Vision From Complexity. Fortaleza: Gráfica e Editora.
__________________________ (2008), Theory of Knowledge and Art – Forms of Knowledge: Art and Science – A Vision From Complexity. 2nd edition. Fortaleza: Gráfica e Editora.

domingo, 1 de fevereiro de 2015

Noroeste / Northwest (Curta-metragem / Short Film)




Elenco: Renan Augusto Vieira e Beatriz Miranda

Roteiro, Direção, Direção de Fotografia e Montagem: Marcelo Moreira Santos

Produção, Direção de Arte e Assistente de Direção: Roberta Santos

Trilha Sonora Original: Orlando Zório Fernandes

Técnico de Som: Leonardo Copetti

Produzido por Cateto Filmes

sábado, 20 de dezembro de 2014

Arapuca / Bird Trap (Curta-metragem / Short Film)


Logline: Um jovem é atraído por uma garota misteriosa e acaba caindo em uma arapuca. / A young man is attracted by a mysterious girl and ends up falling into a bird trap.

Ficha Técnica:

Roteiro, Direção, Montagem e Edição de Som: Marcelo Moreira Santos

Direção de Arte e Produção: Roberta Santos

Direção de Fotografia: Matheus Ragalzzi

Trilha Original: Orlando Zório

Elenco: Alan Guedes, Beatriz Miranda e Letícia Assis

segunda-feira, 8 de dezembro de 2014

A Poética do Cinema e o exemplo de Alfred Hitchcock




Foi publicado pela Novas Edições Acadêmicas o livro A Poética do Cinema e o exemplo de Alfred Hitchcock. Com o prefácio escrito por Lucia Santaella, o livro é um estudo que trafega à luz do pressuposto de que um filme é o resultado de intensa reflexão do cineasta e de sua equipe capaz de unir as múltiplas competências do roteirista, diretor de fotografia, diretor de arte, cenógrafo, figurinista, músico, diretor, para extrair delas o máximo de seu potencial semiótico, com a finalidade de compor uma unidade sígnica complexa. Portanto, o objetivo desta pesquisa é abrir uma linha de reflexão e análise, visando compreender a confecção semiótico-sistêmica própria ao desenvolvimento da semiose cinematográfica, quer dizer, sua ação como signo híbrido em seu processo de comunicação. O que se almeja é compreender como se estrutura e se engendra a poética do cinema: (a) as características sígnicas que constituem a linguagem híbrida do cinema, formada pela integração e complementação dos princípios semióticos das linguagens sonora, visual e verbal; (b) sua ontologia sistêmica marcada pela autoria colaborativa; (c) e, consequentemente, seu complexo processo de semiose e comunicação. 

Informações no link:
https://www.nea-edicoes.com/catalog/details/store/gb/book/978-3-639-68603-6/a-po%C3%A9tica-do-cinema?search=po%C3%A9tica%20do%20cinema

segunda-feira, 8 de julho de 2013

Cinema and Phenomenology: Toward a Reflection on the Phenomena of Modernity as the Kingspin for the Origin of Cinematographic Language.

The development of cinematographic language is harnessed to the environment of the metropolis, but to what extent? 


Before embarking on the experience of the metropolis, though, we believe that we ought to understand the issues related to Peirce’s Phenomenology and the Normative Sciences. Phaneroscopy, or Phenomenology, will design itself as a science that aims at making an inventory of the characteristics of the phaneron or phenomenon (...)” (IBRI, 4). By “(...) phaneron I understand the total collection of everything that is somehow present in the mind, without any consideration whether that corresponds to anything real or not.” (PEIRCE apud IBRI, 4).

To Peirce, Phenomenology, the first branch of Philosophy ‐ in his classification of the sciences ‐ would be a science of appearances, how one has access to things in themselves, for it is through phenomena and their diligent observation that one has access to one’s knowledge about the world. The phenomenon appears to the mind, whether it is an external or an internal one. Thus, since one has no access to the essence of things, the manner one can mediate them is through their external side, through the phaneron. However, Peirce, as it has already been seen, is emphatic in what is related to the observation of the phenomenon, for it is exactly through its observation that one can understand, learn and acquire knowledge about it: seeing, paying attention to and generalizing.

It is after Phenomenology that Peirce arrives at the three categories: Firstness, Secondness, and Thirdness. Firstness corresponds to that which is first and, for that very reason, does not possess any relation or similarity with anything else; it is free “(...) in the sense that there is no other behind it determining its actions (...)” (Peirce apud IBRI, 10); it is original, possesses the freshness of novelty, of life. 

Secondness corresponds to the Other, the non‐ego. It possesses the character of alterity, of negation, of opposition to the self; it is thus a second in relation to. From Secondness comes the idea of action‐reaction, here and now, brute force. We are continuously colliding with hard facts. We would expect something or we passively took it for granted and we had its image in our minds, but experience throws this idea to the ground and compels us to think otherwise. (Peirce apud IBRI, 7). Thirdness corresponds to order, regularity, permanence, habit and law. There is order and regularity in reality which makes it intelligible, in the sense that one can observe the conduct of the phenomenon and understands it after the features and facts with which it is impregnated, favoring the experience of synthesis, mediation, concerning the phaneron, making it possible to foresee the future conduct of that phenomenon.

After this very brief (and summed up) explanation on Peircean Phenomenology, I believe we are ready to observe the characteristics of the phenomenological experience of the metropolis and, with it, to bring those general and abstract categories to the modern environment.


The metropolis inaugurates an environment saturated with phenomena; walking about in a large city is a rich experience and, at the same time, a confusion of sensations, feelings and thoughts. Everything gets mixed up: words, images, sounds, bodies, clothes, windows, stores, street‐cars, streets, colors, tastes, odors etc. in a discontinuous and accelerating rhythm. The Industrial Revolution objectified a heated kind of capitalism, burying once and for all, all the inheritance of Feudalism, which had lasted for more than a thousand years. In this new historical moment, there is a radical change in the productive poles: people left the countryside and concentrated in the industrial cities, which, quickly got swollen, due to a heavy rural exodus, with field workers swarming into the cities in search of jobs, once, in the fields, there were no more job opportunities. That ended up bringing about an environment of: "... quick industrialization, urbanization and population growth; a proliferation of new technologies and means of transport; a saturation of advanced capitalism; an explosion of a mass consumption culture and so on and so forth." (SINGER, 95).

The crux of the matter is that, before the coming about of the metropolis, the forms of interaction and mediation had a time and a rhythm which were more contemplative, if compared to the one of this new environment. They were characterized by the seasonal periods which were, in turn, related to the sowing, caring and harvesting in the fields. On the other hand, in the big cities, this rhythm was dictated by the industries and by the circulation of merchandize. As Georg Simmel highlights: “The modern vision of life leans on money, whose nature is fluctuating and which presents the identity of the essence in the major and more interchangeable variety of equivalents.” (Simmel apud Gunning, 36).

This interchangeable variety of equivalents and that fluctuating nature of money Simmel points to, ends up impregnating and consolidating all phenomena of modern life, the mixture and promiscuity of these objectify a revolution in the form of mediation in big cities. The first to feel this context were the poets, writers and painters. The esthetic experience of the metropolis ends up influencing movements like Expressionism and Dadaism, and writers like Allan Poe and Baudelaire, besides creating a new poetics: the flanerie and the so called Panoramic Literature. This roaming and fluctuating within the metropolis, capturing its original details, full of life, freedom and freshness, is the experience of Firstness, which is so important to Art and to the new forms of communication that appeared in that time. It is, also, the scenario of the flaneur, who fights to be always engulfed by the esthetic experience.


To embark on the phenomenological experience of Secondness in the metropolis, one must make use of philosopher Walter Benjamin, who dedicated his life to its analysis – a kind of archeology of those phenomena of modern life ‐, for, besides that poetics of the metropolis, he points to a harsher experience of the big city: the shock. The experience of shock and rupture is punctuated by action and reaction, brute force, non‐ego and pure alterity, which the pedestrian in the crowd is obliged to undergo, is forced to adapt to, in a fast manner and in the rhythm dictated by the movement in the streets and avenues, so he may be able to survive in such environment. The fragment imposes itself as phenomenon, for there is no time to see the whole, there is only the instant to pay attention to the small parts of the environment and to generalize in fractions of seconds, swerving from a street‐car, a car, from people, while crossing the street.

However, what allows generalization, even amid the shock, is that there is order and regularity in the metropolis, which configures itself in the organization of the streets, avenues, districts, squares, trade and public buildings. There is, therefore, a whole spacial ordination, along with norms and laws, such as traffic signs, legislative codes of conduct for the citizens, as well as timetables for public transport, to enter and leave work, leisure etc. Even in the speed of cars and street‐cars, there is regularity, and that propitiates a familiarity with this new environment which ‐, through collateral experiences in this roaming in the metropolis ‐, allows the pedestrian to have mediation. If the metropolis were only shock, there would be no chance to mediate it. The fact that there is regularity in such environment allows one to foresee the shocks and, who knows, to avoid them. It is through regularity and the permanence of the objects, that is, through the future observation of the phenomena, that knowledge is possible, making, thus, intrinsic to it, the predictable character of how these events will occur (IBRI, 32). 


But, it is important to observe that nothing is totally predictable, for there is a very intense phenomenological game brought about by indeterminism, by Chance (Firstness), and by order, by Law (Thirdness), while the shock, the here and now, action‐reaction (Secondness), the tougher experience of the metropolis, occurs in the point in which Chance and Law meet, operating new reorganizations, new mediations, propelling the evolution of the organization in that environment. Therefore, it is through these phenomena, common to the metropolis, that new habits and new processes of learning were configurated; it was through these intense and dynamic fluxes that a new order and the phenomenological continuity ended up getting embodied, which made, thus, mediation or Thirdness, possible.

According to Peirce, all knowledge comes from perception, and it is through such mediation of reality that we develop language, in a process of understanding and learning about the surrounding world. It is important to understand that such world of appearances, of phenomenology as experience, forces itself and makes possible the cognitive process, it makes man think, and therefore, it is a cognitive result of living (IBRI, 13). These phenomena of modern life enter consciousness through perception, inseminate it with the forms of representation and conduct in this new environment.


Collateral experience and the various accesses that perception seeks to understand the surrounding environment and touch the core of the question of adaptation to the metropolis. Peirce denominates Percept to all the physical phenomena which a mind encounters; in the case of modern life, these percepts multiply themselves, get all mixed up, are all in constant circulation, transforming themselves, without any control of the pedestrian. It was no longer possible to have a vision of the whole, of everything that surrounds the pedestrian, in case he stopped and desired to have such experience, probably he would be literally run over. What has changed in this environment? 

One needed a form of relation and communication which could correspond to such reality; what one saw more and more, however, were forms and formats of organization that could be organized in fragments, in the instant of the blinking of the eyes to transmit a piece of information, to focus, select, cut... so, the perceptive judgment ended up getting used to it, got the habit, it became a language in signic juxtapositions, ever more articulated in newspapers, in products, in ads, in signs, in buildings, stores, galleries, windowshops, cars, in work environments, in houses, squares, and even in clothes.
There is a game, therefore, of the common daily perception of the city, one that structures itself at every moment, everyday: representations that are being created at every instant, with news and phrases thrown at random, with billboards and ads, transiting between cafés, bars and amid the crowds. At the same time, there is the occult, the unknown, the mystery, that is, unknown places, districts, territories, streets and avenues, that have not been experienced, but are spoken of in the news, in newspapers or in a chat in a street‐car; representations collected without one ever having passed by or been in those places, everything adds up to a poetics of the mixture, to the collage, in that reality of the fluctuating circulation of novelty. 

This means that this modern subject is immerse in that language; he starts dealing with it as the phenomena arrive at his mind and, in his mind, he is obliged to make a synthesis of that reality, that is, he is obliged to weave and assemble these moving fragments, everything being mixed up, everything going on at the same time, the shock, the rupture, the dislocations of time and space, sounds, odors, texts, ads etc. By observing this environment, it becomes easier to understand why language is not in the mind, but that mind is in the language.


So as to better understand these representations of the modern environment, it is necessary to approach the second order of Philosophy. According to Peirce: "(...) the Normative Sciences aim at clarifying the ultimate motivations of rational conduct, immersed as they are in the multiform universe of phenomena (...) at collecting from the phenomena the data for its elaborations, depending on Phenomenology to characterize such phenomena and to be able to represent them. (...) They aim at understanding what, in everything that appears, motivates, ultimately, the conduct.” (Silveira, 212 and 213)

This second order of Philosophy is made up of the three suborders: Esthetics, Ethics and Logic or Semeiotic, and it depends thoroughly upon Phenomenology, and it is directly linked to the representations, beliefs and the conduct that refer to that phenomenical reality.

Influenced by the flanerie and by this esthetic of the fragment in the metropolis, what appears are the so ‐ called micronarratives, or as Benjamin called them, the Panoramic Literature. Those are narratives that hold on to the detail, the information about the character and his environment is made up slowly during the reading, where the visuality gives the tone and is suggested by the text, exploring and conversing with an imaginary of the metropolis. Each author depicts an angle of the metropolis; the book was a compilation of stories about one same space, made up of a fragmentation of the dramatic action of the city, through various points of view. This understanding about the fact that reality has become too complex to be able to be seen from one single point of view strengthens the sense of the fragment as phenomenon, once, for the text to have the effects of reality it also has to possess the same kind of Esthetics and Language that is found in the metropolis.

In the following excerpt by Georg Simmel, it is important to highlight the silence of the eye: "Before the invention of the buses, trains and street‐cars in the XIX century, people had not come to the point of being obliged to face each other for long periods of time, without exchanging a word. (Simmel apud Benjamin, 142). It's worth emphasizing, following the dislocations for long periods of time, looking at a person without exchanging a word. Another excerpt by Margaret Cohen could be added to this one, to emphasize the so called Panoramic Literature: "The heterogenerality of this panoramic kind only highlights the hermeneutical complexity introduced by the lack of a point of view that is able to impose authority". (Cohen in Charney and Schwartz, 267)


That is, the narrative is no longer composed from one point of view, but from various angles. These two excerpts are important for one to understand the act of filming, the silence of the plan and the fragmentation of action in several plans, a sensation that is described by Baudelaire in this excerpt concerning the flaneur: “(...) to see the world, to be in the center of the world and to be hidden in the world.” (Baudelaire apud Benjamin, 487) These passages draw ones attention by corresponding to the way of filming, by telling a story of the movies and, at the same time, by being in tune with the modern perceptive environment. Another important excerpt that is worth mentioning is the poem by Baudelaire: "The poet enjoys this unsurpassable privilege of being able to, when he so pleases, to be himself and another. Like those erring souls that seek a body, he enters, if he so pleases, in someone else’s persona.” (Baudelarie, 41)

This poet narrates the point of view of the other, or of various characters, but is still himself, however in possession of the capacity of exploring different angles; so, this artist enjoys an incomparable privilege of being able to be and take part of other looks. All these passages are connected to a Language; yet, besides that, there is an Esthetics of the fragment, that is, the freedom to explore the phenomenon of the fragment, the poet feels this incredible possibility of being able to have various eyes, moving in various directions, through details to reveal a place, a character, to make up a story. No wonder that, decades later, the theoretician Béla Balazs would point out:

"The camera looks at the other characters and to their environment from the point of view of a character. It can look at the environment from the eyes of a different character at every instant. By means of such takings, we see the space of action from the inside, with the eyes of the dramatis personae, and we know how they feel in it. The abysm the hero falls into opens itself up at our feet and the heights he has to climb lie toward the heavenly space before our eyes." (Balázs in Xavier, 2003, 97)

Walter Benjamin emphasizes another characteristic of the flaneur: "For as the flanerie can transform all of Paris into an interior, into a house whose rooms are the blocks, not neatly divided by doorways such as the rooms in a house are, on the other hand, the city, too, can open itself up before the pedestrian, like a view without doorways." (Benjamin, 192) 

To transform all of Paris in an interior and the city may open itself up before the pedestrian like a view without doorways, are characteristics of the cinematographic narrative in its dislocations between interiors and exteriors, showing a diversity of dislocations, transforming the film in an environment without doorways, accessing everything as if this everything were a place, a house whose rooms did not possess barriers or walls. To penetrate, through various angles, the space and time of the characters, to follow, in silence, the fragments of these stories, to relate, but from afar. To look and to be looked at as a narrative seems to send to the multiplicity of the point of view, to the plan, the profundity of field and its continuity, and the assemblage of the plans from a diversity of angles. Another important factor is that the direction of the narrative changes according to the change in the point of view; the reader discovers other stories within Paris, within the same space, at every point of view, plots about the city are retold under new looks, as if through these fragments he were able to bring new senses, new meanings.


These excerpts that were brought up here are examples of representations coming from phenomena in the metropolitan environment, such as: the hybridism of the languages, the ephemeral and the transitory, the fragmentation and the assemblage/collage, the micronarratives, the mixture of genres and styles, the circulation and the movement, all these signic relations developing as a Esthetics and a Logic of modernity. At the same time, embodying an Ethics of the big city, we have the multiplicity of the eye, its silence and its dislocation, and the confessing curiosity. The Movies is an updating of that modern thought; it is the external side of that which is internalized as the Language of the metropolitan quotidian. The cinematographer made the pragmatic consolidation of this thought possible.

Published in Signs - International Journal of Semiotics: http://vip.db.dk/signs/Articles.htm

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