Tuesday, March 1, 2011

CINEMA: La Linea Generale .............Oleg Tcherny

Palazzo Dona'
Events in Venice have something to do with the past...as perhaps most events do in a way. This new
 movie, la linea generale  is totally of the present, while the dialogue
 was written in 1630  by Galileo Galilei from his works 
and read, in italian by Giorgio Agamben.
 The movie was presented by the Signum foundation Palazzo Dona', and there was a
 conversation with Daniel Heller-Roazen, Ernesto Rubin de Cervin
 and P. Adams Stiney after the showing.

A premovie discussion with Oleg Tcherny in the foreground 
setting up the audio...

Just about ready to begin.

..."If the nib of a writing pen which was 
in the ship during my voyage direct from 

Venice to Alexandria, had had the power 
of leaving a visible mark of all its path, 
what trace, what mark, what line would 
it have left? "Simplicio. It would have 
left a line stretched out thither from 
Venice not perfectly straight, or to speak 
more correctly, not perfectly extended in 
an exact circular arc, but here and there 
more and less curved accordingly as 
the vessel had pitched more or less ; but 
this variation in some places of one or 
two yards to the right or left, or up or 
down in a length of many hundred miles, 
would have occasioned but slight altera- 
tion in the whole course of the line, so 
that it would have been hardly sensible, 
and without any great error we may 
speak of it as a perfectly circular arc. 
Sagred. So that the true and most 
exact motion of the point of the pen 
would also have been a perfect arc of a 
circle if the motion of the vessel, ab- 
stracting from the fluctuations of the 
waves, had been steady and gentle ; and 
if I had held this pen constantly in my 
hand, and had merely moved it an inch 
or two one way or the other, what alter- 
ation would that have made in the true 
and principal motion? Simpl. Less 
than that which would be occasioned in 
a line a thousand yards long, by varying 
here and there from perfect straightness 
by the quantity of a flea's eye. Sagred. 

An accurate view of the film.

If then a painter on our quitting the 
port had begun to draw with this pen 
on paper, and had continued his draw- 
ing till we got to Alexandria, he would 
have been able by its motion, to produce 
an accurate representation of many ob- 
jects perfectly shadowed, and filled up on 
all sides with landscapes, buildings, and 
animals, although all the true, real, and 
essential motion of the point of his pen 
would have been no other but a very 
long and very simple line ; and as to the 
peculiar work of the painter, he would 
have drawn it exactly the same if the 
ship had stood still. Therefore, of the 
very protracted motion of the pen, there 
remain no other traces than those marks 
drawn upon the paper, the reason of this 
being that the great motion from Venice 
to Alexandria was common to the paper, 
the pen, and everything that was in the 
ship; but the trifling motion forwards 
and backwards, to the right and left, 
communicated by the painter's fingers 
to the pen, and not to the paper, from 
being peculiar to the pen, left its mark 
upon the paper, which as to this mo- 
tion was immoveable. Thus it is like- "...

The three had an animated and clear discussion of movie making, incorporating comments from the audience and related thoughts as to philosophy, semiotics, and the making of meaning in film.

The film was shot with a long telephoto lens in one take, aboard a ship leaving Venice.  It was then digitally edited to adjust time. One of the effects was that the Alps loomed large and fixed over Venice while the foreground- Venice itself- began to blur.

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