terça-feira, 18 de abril de 2017

Os Oito Odiados: uma análise semiótico-sistêmica-psicanalítica

Publicado pela revista Famecos (PUC-RS) meu mais recente artigo sobre o último filme de Quentin Tarantino.

Resumo: O presente artigo tem como objetivo analisar a organização dos feixes semióticos ou rede de signos dispostos entre o plano e a mise-en-scène no recente filme do cineasta e roteirista Quentin Tarantino. O que se propõe é observar como tais nuances e gradações dos signos são manejados em fluxo e como isso dialoga com o espectador. Tomamos como base de análise a Semiótica de Charles S. Peirce em junção com as Teorias Sistêmicas de Edgar Morin, Jorge Vieira e Ilya Prigogine, e a Psicanálise de Jacques Lacan. Ao final é explicado como tais interações e intercâmbios entre os signos evoluem por atratores legaliformes que funcionam como parâmetros organizativos de sentido.

Link de acesso:


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

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. 

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



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.


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.   


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Aumont, Jacques et al. (2002), The Aesthetics of the Film. Campinas: Papirus Editora.
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Eisenstein, Sergei. (2002), The Form of the Film. Rio de Janeiro: Zahar Editora.
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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: