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Thread: Swimming Pool: two takes

  1. #16
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    Wimsatt and Beardsley's concept of intentional fallacy in literary criticism is important and to some extent applicable to all the arts. I think that in the context of cinema (and given the nature of the industry), it sometimes becomes imperative to consider a director's intentions. Consider for instance what can happen to a film after the director has delivered a final cut. The following list is not exhaustive: a) scenes from a film can be cut to achieve a given rating to make the film more profitable, b)scenes may be cut to comply with censorship boards (which vary widely), c)portions of an image may be hidden for the same purpose (like in Eyes Wide Shut), d)producers or theatre owners may cut a film to reduce its playing time, e)a film may be altered to fit a particular audience (European films shown in US), f) a film's ending may be changed based on test marketing (like Fatal Attraction) g) a film deemed too long can be shown in two parts (Kill Bill) h)many older films have been re-edited(butchered) by producers/studios i) films are sometimes formatted for television or even colorized. Because of these events, the concept of "director's cut" has become a type of "seal of approval" and a tool when selling films to those who really care.

  2. #17
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    Wimsatt and Beardsley's concept of intentional fallacy in literary criticism is important and to some extent applicable to all the arts. I think that in the context of cinema (and given the nature of the industry), it sometimes becomes imperative to consider a director's intentions.
    I don't think it's a question of distinguishing between the arts, though of course they differ and Beardsley and Wimsatt were talking about literature. It's of value to consider the artist's intention in all the arts. Beardsley and Wimsatt didn't deny this. You don't have to make a special argument that "it sometimes becomes imperative to consider a director's intentions." Of course it does, more than sometimes, supposing the author's/artist's/filmmaker's intention is known. And in the movies one should look for the director's "intention" in the form of his version, or his "final cut." But why he made his "final cut" doesn't necessarily change how we judge it. Sure, we should look for the version of the movie that the director wanted and that should take precedence over some hatchet job to please censors or some $$$ obsessed producer. But we should not assume that the director is always right, either. I personally like the voice-over version of Blade Runner. And since that's the way most people saw it, it has a kind of validity. But this is probably an exception to the rule that we want to see the movie the way the director wanted it to look -- and sound. I prefer the recently reedited version of Touch of Evil with the sound track Welles wanted. He was right, and the producers were too timid and too conventional.

    But we're getting a bit lost in detail here. The point is that the director's/artist's/writer's intention isn't the final arbiter. The movie isn't a success because it's the way the director intended it to be but for external reasons. The intentional fallacy states that we should not base our evaluation of a work on the success or failure of an artist's intentions. If his or her intentions can be known we should seek to know them, and not just in some but all cases. That's my interpretation of the concept anyway. We should not fail to know, but set aside, his intention when forming our critical judgment.

    If I say I don't like Ozon's tricky tinkering around with mystery story conventions at the end of Swimming Pool and somebody comes along and says But it's the way the director intended the movie to be, that's not convincing to me. It's not that I don't understand what he was trying to do, it's that I don't like what he was trying to do.

  3. #18
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    fin du Knipp?

    All of that dialogue just to come to fact that you don't like Ozon's methods?

    I've learned a lot about the mind of Chris Knipp.....
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  4. #19
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    No, you knew already what I thought about Ozon's methods. All that dialogue to discuss "intention." The dialogue I thought was its own reward.

    http://www.chrisknipp.com

  5. #20
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    Rosenmaum wrote:
    "Unfortunately, after the well-honed psychological melodrama of the first half, SWIMMING POOL wanders off into the metaphysical territory of Bergman's PERSONA (a much better film)".

    For me, it's another one of those films that happen inside the mind of the protagonist. The scenes with the publisher, which bookend the film, illustrate the growth experienced by the writer. What happens in between those scenes is the book she writes, a work of fiction.

  6. #21
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    Yes, of course. But what I don't like is that we aren't told that till the end. It's a cheap trick.

    http://www.chrisknipp.com

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