Friday, 26 February 2010

Theory, theory, theory.

After yesterday coming to some sense over the responsibility the artist should take when exploring and understanding the meaning of their work I now feel weighed down by all the possible avenues of interpretation and meaning when it comes to making films.

I've been trying to read up on some theory about semiotics and narration. I find it hard to concentrate on reading any large amount of text and the books I'm looking at may as well be written in Latin.

Semiotics, narrative, narratology, fabula, the gaze, semantics, discourse, point-of-view, focalization, intradiegetic, homodiegetic, heterodiegetic, extradiegetic, intrinsic, invoking, fundamental, third-person, primary, character, camera narrators, voice-over, psychoanalysis. It goes on and on. 

There's so much to learn and know. I don't expect to understand all of it or know whether I'm incorporating any of into my work but I feel I should know a fair amount and why I'm doing things.

My ideas so far revolve around a sort of first person character-camera view. The optics of the main character who narrates/tells his short story/performs his monologue as an off-screen voice over. The off-screen narration reminds me of documentary and I think this will work as I like the idea of the films being a short documentary of someone's experience in which the viewer shares through the character-camera view. Within this setup the gaze is that of the character, but also the viewer as well as the camera or director. How does the meaning alter if I introduce interaction with other characters? Obviously camera angles and what I film are very important, I've thought about this slightly, pointing the camera down or upwards can alter the impression. The scene can change the mood of the film. It seems difficult to cover all the bases though. I find psychoanalysis quite daunting. I am trying to understand how what I do may be perceived if psychoanalysised but I don't think I'll ever be able to understand it fully and I'm worried about what I film being read in the wrong way. Is there even a wrong way? I guess if a psychoanalysis of my film contradicts what I was going for then I have gone wrong.

It's all so confusing and difficult to get to grips with. I think I may try to start with the basics and develop from there, introducing more signs as the work progresses. 

I've got so smothered in theory that I can't remember what else I was going to write. I'm drowning.

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