In written works, film text and apparatus (the critically established text and the critical apparatus) are clearly distinct. And yet for film, unlike for written works, the text and the apparatus are not side-by-side, adjacent, co-planant, a glance away (immediately returnable). Film is somewhere else. This is an important difference in terms of creating an edition. We have snuck in our argument (the critical editions of films) from the figurative side because, despite everything, that is the most overlooked area in theoretical discussion. We started out with our Matisse painting. Let’s move forward. A traditional work of art (a painting) presents an individual, continuous, simultaneous type of (physical and textual) aspect. Film, instead, is a linear succession of a figurative unity (starting from the first frame). Film, moreover, is doubly figurative. This is so both on the level of the minimal unity of the frame as well as on the level of the serial unity – a series of frames, of shots, of shots/inter-titles, of scenes, of episodes, of parts… These serial unities cut into the textual constitution of the film in different ways. If we take silent films as an example, the textual constitution has to do with images, titles, and the disposition of the titles towards the images. When we say “textual constitution,” we mean above all: 1) The identity of individual lectiones, their authenticity, as well as where they diverge (errors, variants, innovations) from other individual lectiones. 2) Integrity (but here, strictly speaking, we are still at the previous point – beneath the philological profile, a "lacuna" in an edition that is not purely a mechanical one is an error. 3) The order of the lectiones – a linear, vectorial, closed order. Identity/differences, integrity, order of lections – these are the things that, in general, a critical edition of a written work documents, and this is what a critical edition of a film should document. However, we must say right up front that in the case of films, this is not enough. Let’s look at just two examples. 1) The illuminated initial letters in the Days of Bocaccio’s Decameron are given much attention by philologists, but they are outside the textual order . On the other hand, in the field of silent film, the graphic and iconic traits of the titles coexist with the figurative plot of the film, and what’s more, are germane to the subject of the (philological) critique. 2) Color. It is not enough to say “yellow” or “blue” (we can’t always be right with Arnheim). We have to indicate, at the very least, if we are talking about

"Mirabile visione", and critical vision

CANOSA, MICHELE
2008

Abstract

In written works, film text and apparatus (the critically established text and the critical apparatus) are clearly distinct. And yet for film, unlike for written works, the text and the apparatus are not side-by-side, adjacent, co-planant, a glance away (immediately returnable). Film is somewhere else. This is an important difference in terms of creating an edition. We have snuck in our argument (the critical editions of films) from the figurative side because, despite everything, that is the most overlooked area in theoretical discussion. We started out with our Matisse painting. Let’s move forward. A traditional work of art (a painting) presents an individual, continuous, simultaneous type of (physical and textual) aspect. Film, instead, is a linear succession of a figurative unity (starting from the first frame). Film, moreover, is doubly figurative. This is so both on the level of the minimal unity of the frame as well as on the level of the serial unity – a series of frames, of shots, of shots/inter-titles, of scenes, of episodes, of parts… These serial unities cut into the textual constitution of the film in different ways. If we take silent films as an example, the textual constitution has to do with images, titles, and the disposition of the titles towards the images. When we say “textual constitution,” we mean above all: 1) The identity of individual lectiones, their authenticity, as well as where they diverge (errors, variants, innovations) from other individual lectiones. 2) Integrity (but here, strictly speaking, we are still at the previous point – beneath the philological profile, a "lacuna" in an edition that is not purely a mechanical one is an error. 3) The order of the lectiones – a linear, vectorial, closed order. Identity/differences, integrity, order of lections – these are the things that, in general, a critical edition of a written work documents, and this is what a critical edition of a film should document. However, we must say right up front that in the case of films, this is not enough. Let’s look at just two examples. 1) The illuminated initial letters in the Days of Bocaccio’s Decameron are given much attention by philologists, but they are outside the textual order . On the other hand, in the field of silent film, the graphic and iconic traits of the titles coexist with the figurative plot of the film, and what’s more, are germane to the subject of the (philological) critique. 2) Color. It is not enough to say “yellow” or “blue” (we can’t always be right with Arnheim). We have to indicate, at the very least, if we are talking about
Critical editions of film. Film tradition, film transcription in digital era
81
94
M. Canosa
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/62825
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