All entries for Saturday 19 February 2005

February 19, 2005

Medea 2– clarification of ideas

The Session on friday began as usual in a group brainstorming and telling the ideas we'd all had. After we clarified what themes were central to the performance, (opposition of the sexes, and how this conflict can have repurcussions) we came together in our groups.

The Film and live perfomance group have merged somewhat as the interactivity between them is key to each of them working.

So Me, Owen, Rothelite, Sophie and Sarah sat down and threw about ideas:

Contemporising the story; could the film be a modernisation in terms of mise en scene etc. Grimy and seedy backstreets style to the presentation and/or characters?

Using more than one couple, several actors would take the issues from being about a relationship to being about society in general and depersonalise the opposing sexes.

Several ways of transferring the attention of the film from actor to actor, here's a couple:
Shot of actors upperbody,smoking->shot of ashtray, hand puts down fag, in the same shot another hand picks up the fag -> identical shot to first but with different actor smoking
One actor in foreground in focus and other in background blurred, effect like that of a flickering light bulb but flickering between images of both actors and then stabalising on the the other.

We've had a lot of inspiration from Requiem for a Dream (an AMAZING film, one of the best arguments against drugs and the most haunting soundtrack ever) with certain cinematic effects. For example; Macro shots that show a series of relevant objects/things in a sequence that is repeated; 'the camera walks with you shot' (you have to see it to understand); the beautiful effect of speeding things up ever so slightly to make things unnatural, give it the Verfremdungs effekt as an English + Theatre student might say; Requiem has a way of showing the perceptions of it's characters (love the fridge!) that I think is an important point when it comes to showing the themes and motivations of the male/female personas in the film.

Chiascuro lighting creates a great atmosphere of suspense <-> fear. It's used most frequently in Film Noir (Maltese Falcon, Chinatown, The Man who wasnt there, Minority Report etc.) with having the light source behind some kind of grid like window blinds or a roof fan etc. there is a pattern of light created only ever revealing half of what is there. This is a great way of creating a tragic-dramatic atmosphere instantly and I think it would be great to use to immediately establish the seriousness of the situation and struggle present in the themes.

There remains some indecision on the nature of the relationship between the film and the live performance, mainly because we haven't thought about the performance very much. Personally though I'd like the film and performance to mirror each other, possibly in the sense that one or the other showed the opposing forces in the sex-war. This connects to the idea of the female/male being in the foreground/the background and then vise versa.

Some general thoughts
There seems to be a lot of focus throughout the group as a whole that the film is a centre piece, I think I speak for the film/performance group that this shouldn't be the case. Just as the film is a supporting element to the performance, the two should be a support to the whole experience of the INSTALLATION. The piece should be affecting people from all sides, there shouldn't be focus purely on the film when it's going on.

With this in mind I suggest that the film shouldn't have a plot as such, but be abstract in order to create the necessary effect without drawing the audience into this one aspect of the whole.

I'm also very keen on using lines from the play to keep us rooted in Medea and not going off on too much of a tangent, this would be in keeping with my abstract point but also giving the film a clear meaning.

Location, location, location

Me Owen and the Rothelite went location searching (check the gallery) despite upsets like my stupid mistake in not putting the film into my camera properly and losing some good shots, we have a selection of locations that could be used. Since we're not entirely sure of the content of the film yet we went to a range of locations on campus, the closest thing we have to classical architecture (the pillared Maths Block and cathedral-like University house) and some natural locations in the Gibbet Hill wood.

Despite some great locations I still prefer any 'scenes' or dialogue to take place in a controlled interior space like the studio, I think to have too many 'natural' real life locations will detract from the supporting role of the film, too much detail I think will just make it too 'interesting' (not in the sense that we don't want the film to be interesting but that

February 2005

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