Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Micro-Editing Difference in Time

From an interview with Chantal Akerman:
MR: The text is like a mark in time, while someone's reading, and afterward.

CA: When you read a text, you're on your own time. That is not the case in film. In fact, in film, you're dominated by my time. But time is different for everyone. Five minutes isn't the same thing for you as it is for me. And five minutes sometimes seems long, sometimes seems short. Take a specific film, say, D'Est: I imagine the way each viewer experiences time is different. And on my end, when I edit, the timing isn't done just any way. I draw it out to the point where we have to cut. Or take another example, News from Home: How much time should we take to show this street so that what's happening is something other than a mere piece of information? So that we can go from the concrete to the abstract and come back to the concrete--or move forward in another way. I'm the one who decides. At times I've shot things and I've said, "Now this is getting unbearable!" And I'll cut. For News from Home it's something else, but I have a hard time explaining it. I'm in the middle of writing a book about all this, and I'm finding it very difficult to explain. Today I'll write about time--I write more or less every day because I have very little time to do it--and it's too soon.
Akerman's sense of measure as it relates to cinema, writing and time, resonates with some of the strategies explored in Immobilité and reminds me of how much Agnes Varda also is able to time-trip through cinematic forms of writing or what she calls cinécriture. I have explored similar themes in a different (new media?) context in META/DATA, especially in relation to what I refer to as image écriture.

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