Image and Identity
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What do images of the body, which recent poets and filmmakers have given us, tell us about ourselves, about the way we think and about the culture in which we live?

In his new book A Body of Vision, R. Bruce Elder situates contemporary poetic and cinematic body images in their cultural context.

Elder examines how recent artists have tried to recognize and to convey primordial forms of experiences. He proposes the daring thesis that in their efforts to do so, artists have resorted to gnostic models of consciousness. He argues that the attempt to convey these primordial modes of awareness demands a different conception of artistic meaning from any of those that currently dominate contemporary critical discussion. By reworking theories and speech in highly original ways, Elder formulates this new conception.

The works of Brakhage, Artaud, Schneeman, Cohen and others lie naked under Elder’s razor-sharp dissecting knife and he exposes the essence of their work, cutting deeply into the themes and theses from which the works are derived. His remarks on the gaps in contemporary critical practices will likely become the focus of much debate.



Publié par
Date de parution 01 janvier 2006
Nombre de lectures 5
EAN13 9781554586776
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0080€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Image and Identity
Image and Identity
Reflections on Canadian Film and Culture
R. Bruce Elder

Wilfrid Laurier University Press in collaboration with The Academy of Canadian Cinema Television
Canadian Cataloguing in Publication Data Elder, Bruce (R. Bruce) Image and Identity: reflections on Canadian film and culture Co-published by the Academy of Canadian Cinema Television. Bibliography: p. Includes index.
ISBN 0-88920-956-1
1. Motion pictures - Canada - History and criticism. 2. Motion pictures and the arts - Canada. 3. Experimental films - Canada - History and criticism. I. Academy of Canadian Cinema Television. II. Title. PN1993.5.C3E48 1989 791.43 0971 C89-093692-7
Copyright 1989 Wilfrid Laurier University Press Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L3C5 89 90 91 92 4 3 2 1

Printed in Canada Cover design by Vijen Vijendren Blue Blazes, colour photograph, 34 x 28 , by Michael Snow, 1979, reproduced by permission, Isaacs Gallery, Toronto. Photo, T.E. Moore
Typeset by Mary Scally and Nelson Adams at The Coach House Press, Toronto
No part of this book may be stored in a retrieval system, translated or reproduced in any form, by print, photoprint, microfilm, microfiche, or any other means, without written permission from the publisher.
for my parents Edrie M. Elder David M. Elder
But that which most I wonder at, which most I did esteem my bliss, which most I boast, And ever shall enjoy, is that within I felt no stain nor spot of sin.
No darkness then did overshade But all within was pure and bright; ... A joyful sense and purity Is all I can remember
Whate er it is, it is a light So endless unto me That I a world of true delight Did then, and to this day do see.
PART ONE Introduction
In Reality, Who Are We?
CHAPTER 1 A House Divided
Three Primal Experiences
The Garrison Mentality
A Tragic Vision
CHAPTER 2 Two Schools of Thought
American-Style Liberalism
The Epistemology of Empiricism
Common Sense
Dualism and Representation
Common Sense and Calvinism
Absolute Idealism
The Absolute
The Nation-State
Absolute Idealism in Canada
CHAPTER 3 An Aesthetic of Reconciliation
PART TWO Introduction
CHAPTER 4 The Documentary Film in Canada
The Legacy of John Grierson
The Influence of Grierson
The Candid-Eye Movement
The Crisis Structure of American Cin ma-v rit
The Observational Structure of Candid-Eye Films
Two Journalistic Influences
The Empirical Character of the Candid-Eye Films
Not a Love Story
CHAPTER 5 Narrative Transmission in American Direct Cinema Films and Canadian Candid-Eye Films
Narrative Modes of Transmission
Agents of Narrative Transmission
Cin ma-v rit as the Mimesis of a Mimesis
Imagery as Illustration: the Literary Quality of NFB Documentaries
The Days Before Christmas
Candid-Eye Films and Common-Sense Philosophy
Blood and Fire
CHAPTER 6 The Reality Principle: Goin Down the Road
What Do Pete and Joey Want?
Ideas and Actions
The Repressions of the Reality Principle
The Non-Empirical Cinema of Quebec
The Problems of the Empirical Style
The Limitations of the Reality Principle
CHAPTER 7 Modes of Representation in Cinema
The Cinema of Presentation, the Cinema of Illustration, the Cinema of Construction
A Paradigmatic Contrast
A Contrast of Epistemologies
The Search-and-Discovery Structure in the Cinema of Presentation
Some Historical Background
Classical and Post-classical Art
The Telos of Total Realism
PART THREE Introduction
CHAPTER 8 Michael Snow s Wavelength
A Minimal Film
A Phenomenological Film
A Durational Film
A Dramatic Film
An Experiential Film
Drama, Space and Time
Drama, Light and Sound
Dramatic Form as a Narrowing of Possibility
Drama and Temporal Continuity
Remarks on the Zoom
A Film of Purity
The Achievement of the Film
CHAPTER 9 From Painting into Cinema: A Study of Jack Chambers Circle
Two Tendencies in Twentieth-Century Art
Chambers Painting as a Prelude to Filmmaking
Perceptual Realism and Romanticism
Perceptual Realism and Photography
Circle: Section One
Circle: Section Two
Circle: Section Three
CHAPTER 10 All Things in Their Time: On Michael Snow s
The Background of the Film
Snow s Multifaceted Work
From Modernism to Postmodernism
Experiencing Snow s Films
Snow s Transcendental Self
Snow s Postmodernist Associates I: David Rimmer
Snow s Postmodernist Associates II: Joyce Wieland
CHAPTER 11 The Photographic Image in Canadian Avant-Garde Film
Postmodernism vs Modernism
The Paradoxes of Photographic Representation
Postmodernism and Otherness
Camera Movement and Highlighting Absence: the Case of Chris Gallagher
The Frame and Absent Space: the Cases of Epp and Snow
Representation and Presentation: the Case of David Rimmer
The Single-Shot Film
The Relation of Text and Image: Postmodernist Strategies
The Duality of Photography
CHAPTER 12 Michael Snow Presents Presents
Ut Pictura Poesis
Modernism and the Metaphysics of Presence
Presents and the Challenge to the Metaphysics of Presence
Presents in the Light of Language Theory
The Architecture of Presents
So Is This in the Light of Language Theory
Presence, Time, Language and Knowledge
Reprise: Ut Pictura Poesis
CHAPTER 13 Idealism, Photography and the Canadian Avant-Garde Film
Graphic Cinema
Peter Kubelka s Theory and Practice
Eisenstein s Theory
Germaine Dulac
Sydney Peterson s Views
Against the Petersonian View: Maya Deren
Romanticism, Hegel, and the Underpinnings of a Canadian Attitude Towards Photography
Self and Other: The Undergirding of Romanticism
Chambers Art: The Amalgam of Subjectivity and Objectivity
The Rhythms of Life and Death: Chambers Films
Nature, Idealism and the Photograph in Canadian Thought
CHAPTER 14 Forms of Cinema: Models of Self
Image and Identity
Hart of London
La r gion centrale
The Transcendental Self, La r gion centrale, and Idealist Thought
Appendix: Filmographies
The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television is very proud to have played a role in the publication of this important work on Canadian film and Canadian identity, written by one of Canada s internationally acclaimed filmmakers. During the past several decades the Canadian film industry has established its reputation both at home and abroad as the producers of world-class film productions, attracting wide critical recognition and international awards, as well as achieving box-office success. Bruce Elder provides us with new perspectives on the growth and development of this important cultural industry.
Several years ago, a large package containing unbound papers arrived at the Academy s new Publications Department. To become known by all who read it as the Bruce Elder Manuscript, it caught the admiration and attention of the Academy, Francoyse Picard at the Canada Council, Ian Birnie and Wayne Clarkson at the Ontario Film Development Corporation, Sandra Woolfrey at Wilfrid Laurier University Press, and a number of impressed readers.
With financial support from the Canada Council and the OFDC, and the guidance and commitment of Sandra Woolfrey and her staff, the manuscript slowly but surely evolved into Image and Identity: Reflections on Canadian Film and Culture. For Bruce Elder, nothing could have been closer to a labour of love. For the Academy, this publication strengthens and complements our publication program. With several successful reference books, student texts and books for film buffs to our credit, Image and Identity is a prestigious work reflecting our commitment to the artistic and cultural concerns of the Canadian film industry.
Our sincere thanks to all who made this possible. We are all proud of it. Congratulations, Bruce!
Andra Sheffer Executive Director Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television
During the past several years, a number of studies of Canadian film have appeared. Martin Knelman s This Is Where We Came In provides a popular introduction to Canadian cinema, while his later Home Movies is an odd mixture of gossip and business journalism. John Hofsess Inner Views presents profiles of a few of the most important Canadian directors. David Clandfield s book, Canadian Film, offers a neatly drawn map of the cinemas of English Canada and Quebec, charting with nearly unfailing accuracy the major styles and forms and filmmakers. The CFI monograph series gives indepth studies of Canadian auteurs (Jean-Pierre Lefebvre, Don Shebib, Norman McLaren, etc.). Peter Morris Embattled Shadows is a painstakingly careful history of Canadian film up to 1939. All of these works have been valuable in their own way, but none of them has considered Canadian film against the background of Canadian thought and Canadian art. Many of the most common attributes of the Canadian cinema reflect features prevalent in other forms of art in Canada, and these features reflect beliefs that are deeply embedded in the Canadian consciousness. It is in our major philosophical tradition that these beliefs are most explicitly formulated.
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