cause to start burning
I believe this is what
ignited in me the wonder of cinema, and the obsession—with watching movies, making them, inventing them.
a person who is very poor
Friese-Greene gives everything of himself to the movies, and he dies a
displaying incongruity between what is expected and what is
If you know the full story of his life and its end, the line in the film about the invention of the movies—“You must be a very happy man, Mr. Friese-Greene”—of course is
ironic, but in some ways it’s also true because he’s followed his obsession all the way.
a prayer asking God's help as part of a religious service
Of course it’s not life—it’s the
invocation of life, it’s in an ongoing dialogue with life.
a brief or incomplete view
You’d go through the doors, up the thick carpet, past the popcorn stand that had that wonderful smell—then to the ticket taker, and then in some of the old theaters there would be another set of doors with little windows and you’d get a
glimpse of something magical happening up there on the screen, something special.
a consecrated place where sacred objects are kept
And as we entered, for me it was like entering a sacred space, a kind of
sanctuary where the living world around me seemed to be recreated and played out.
a figure of speech that suggests a non-literal similarity
Metaphors—seeing one thing “in light of” something else.
beyond ordinary understanding
I think this need to recreate movement is a
a following of one thing after another in time
He would set a number of still cameras side by side and then he’d trigger them to take photos in
succession, of people and animals in motion.
impossible to come to understand
The deeper we sound, the further down into the lower world of the past we probe and press, the more do we find that the earliest foundations of humanity, its history and culture, reveal themselves
so surprisingly impressive as to stun or overwhelm
He created trick photography and
astonishing handmade special effects, and in so doing he remade reality—the screen in his pictures is like a magic cabinet of curiosities and wonders.
the choicest or most vital part of some idea or experience
essence they were both heading in the same direction, just taking different roads—they were taking reality and interpreting it, reshaping it, and trying to find meaning in it.
place or situation affording some benefit
Who made the first cut from one image to another—meaning a shift from one
vantage point to another with the understanding that we’re still within one continuous action?
the act of making amends for sin or wrongdoing
Griffith made a picture—an epic—called Intolerance, in part as an act of
atonement for the racism in The Birth of a Nation.
reach a final or decisive stage
At the end of the picture, Griffith cut between the different
climaxes of these different stories—he cross-cut through time, something that had never been done before.
an unproved statement advanced as a premise in an argument
He tied together images not for narrative purposes but to illustrate a
thesis: in this case, the
thesis was that intolerance has existed throughout the ages and that it is always destructive.
sticking together pieces of paper or photographs to form art
Eisenstein later wrote about this kind of editing and gave it a name—he called it “intellectual
the process of formulating general concepts
That language has taken us in many directions, from the pure
abstraction of the extraordinary avant-garde filmmaker Stan Brakhage to a very well done commercial by the visual artist and filmmaker Mike Mills, made for an audience that’s seen thousands of commercials—the images come at you so fast that you have to make the connections after the fact.
radically new or original
That language has taken us in many directions, from the pure abstraction of the extraordinary
avant-garde filmmaker Stan Brakhage to a very well done commercial by the visual artist and filmmaker Mike Mills, made for an audience that’s seen thousands of commercials—the images come at you so fast that you have to make the connections after the fact.
of outstanding significance
Or consider the famous Stargate sequence from Stanley Kubrick’s
monumental 2001: A Space Odyssey.
a long wandering and eventful journey
Or consider the famous Stargate sequence from Stanley Kubrick’s monumental 2001: A Space
adapt something wild to the environment
In the dialogue with Phaedrus, Socrates worries that writing and reading will actually lead to the student not truly knowing—that once people stop memorizing and start writing and reading, they’re in danger of
cultivating the mere appearance of wisdom rather than the real thing.
move or draw apart
And at a certain point—exactly when is “unfathomable”—words and images
diverged, like two rivers, or two different paths to understanding.
a mental disorder characterized by delusions of persecution
It was made in 1951, in the early years of the cold war, and it has the tension, the
paranoia, the fear of nuclear disaster and the end of life on planet earth, and a million other elements that are more difficult to put into words.
Someone born today will see the picture with completely different eyes and a whole other frame of reference, different values,
uninhibited by the biases of the time when it was made.
express or state clearly
Same film, same images, but in the case of a great film the power—a timeless power that really can’t be
articulated—is there even when the context has completely changed.
suitable to be used up
Archaeologists have made many discoveries by studying what we throw away, the refuse of earlier civilizations, the things that people considered
expendable and that accidentally survived.
conducting business within or between groups
For example, there’s a Sumerian tablet that is not a poem, not a legend, but actually a record of livestock—a balance sheet of business
flammable substance used in motion-picture and X-ray film
Until recently it was all made of
celluloid—thin strips of nitrocellulose, the first plastic compound.
enclose in a place of worship
We have to look beyond the officially honored, recognized, and
enshrined, and preserve everything systematically.
not established by conditioning or learning
When the idea of film language started to be taken seriously, so did Hitchcock, who seemed to have an
innate sense of visual storytelling.
an elaborate and systematic plan of action
scheme of Vertigo is extremely unusual, and this was a major disappointment.
subject to change in direction of a propagating wave
Vertigo is a matter of mood as much as it’s a matter of storytelling—the special mood of San Francisco where the past is eerily alive and around you at all times, the mist in the air from the Pacific that
refracts the light, the unease of the hero played by James Stewart, Bernard Herrmann’s haunting score.
cause to move, usually with force or pressure
Last year, it was
displaced by a movie that came and went in 1958, and that came very, very close to being lost to us forever: Vertigo.