Monday, 2 November 2009

The Close-Up: Studies of Cinematic Attention, Emotion, and Intersubjectivity

(Carl Theodor Dreyer, France 1928)
'The close-up has objectified in our world of perception our mental act of attention and by it has furnished art with a means which far transcends the power of any theatre stage', Hugo Münsterberg, The Photoplay: A Psychological Study (1916), p. 56

'Good close-ups are lyrical; it is the heart, not the eye, that has perceived them', Béla Balázs, ‘Theory of the Film’ in Gerald Mast & Marshall Cohen (ed), Film Theory and Criticism, Oxford: Oxford Uni Press (1979), pp. 288-298. p. 289

'[T]he close-up does not tear away its object from a set of which it would form part, of which it would be a part, but on the contrary, it abstracts it from all spatio-temporal co-ordinates, that is to say it raises it to the state of Entity', Gilles Deleuze, Cinema 1: The Movement-Image. Trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1986, pp. 95-96

'[T]he space of the narrative, the diegesis, is constructed by a multiplicity of shots that vary in terms of both size and angle- hence this space exists nowhere; there is no totality of which the close up could be a part', Mary Ann Doane, 'The Close Up: Scale and Detail in the Cinema', differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies, September 22, 2003 p. 108

Film Studies For Free gets inexorably drawn in to, and then engulfed by, the close-up today. In other words, it brings you lots of links to high quality and openly-accessible scholarly or critical studies of the history and theory of this particular cinematic (and televisual) shot-choice and its reception.

1 comment:

AJ Christian said...

Wow, thanks! I'd been looking for a bibliography of the close-up. What a resource.