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03 SEPTEMBER 2014

Umberto Eco: The Virtual Imagination

"But many internet programs suggest that a story is enriched by successive contributions. … This has sometimes happened in the past without disturbing authorship. With the Commedia dell'arte, every performance was different. We cannot identify a single work due to a single author. Another example is a jazz jam session. We may believe there is a privileged performance of 'Basin Street Blues' because a recording survives. But there were as many Basin Street Blues as there were performances. ... There are books that we cannot rewrite because their function is to teach us about Necessity, and only if they are respected as they are can they provide us with such wisdom. Their repressive lesson is indispensable to reach a higher state of intellectual and moral freedom."

(Umberto Eco, 7 November 2000)

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TAGS

2000authorial signatureauthoritative workauthorship • Basin Street Blues • biographybooks • books-to-be-read • booksellersbookstoresCinderella • closed universe • Commedia dellarte • comprehending languagecomputers • copying machine • e-bookelectronic literatureencyclopaediaend of booksend of print • enriched by successive contributions • every performance is different • evolving formfairy talefatefolioFranz Kafkafuture of the book • god passed over • grammatical rulesheroeshypertexthypertext fiction • hypertextual programme • hypertextual structures • Immanuel Kant • infinite possibilities • infinite texts • intellectual freedom • intellectual needs • jazz jam session • Les Miserables • library catalogue • linear narrative • linearityLittle Red Riding Hoodmanuscripts • moral freedom • Napoleon Bonapartenatural language • necessity • new forms of literacy • obsolete form • open work • Penguin edition • photocopierprint on demand • printed books • printed version • privileged performance • publishing houses • publishing modelreaderly textsreading • reading process • revisionscanningselectionshift to digital • single author • specificity of print • systems and text • tailored consumer experience • texts which can be interpreted in infinite ways • theories of interpretation • tragic beauty • tragic literature • Umberto Eco • unlimited texts • utilitarian value • Victor Hugo • War and Peace • Waterloo • William Shakespeare

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
13 MARCH 2012

Jean Cocteau: la Belle et la Bête

"La lumière brillante et surnaturelle qui avait dominé toute la scène du château (flamme des chandeliers, feu, reflets étincelants de l'argenterie) s'estompe pour laisser la place à la lumière naturelle du jour [plan 9] [9]. Ces rayons lumineux rappellent ceux des dernières gravures de la Belle au vois dormant. D'autant plus que cette lumière naturelle n'est pas légitimée par la présence d'une fenêtre, comme c'est le cas chez Doré. C'est une lumière naturelle, la lumière du jour, mais elle semble toujours éclairer le personnage de manière surnaturelle : comment la lumière extérieure peut–elle pénétrer à l'intérieur sans la présence d'aucune fenêtre ? Les flambeaux s'éteignent un à un, le personnage traverse un grand pan de lumière blanche, la porte se referme toute seule, l'escalier apparaît en plongée : la scène semble se rejouer à l'envers, ce qui souligne la structure circulaire et la clôture de la séquence, mais aussi l'influence de l'œuvre de Gustave Doré. Le dialogue des contes et des illustrations se poursuit jusqu'à la dernière image de la séquence puisqu'elle se termine sur les ronces qui envahissent l'escalier du château de la Bête, comme celles qui envahissent les gravures du château de la Belle au bois dormant."

(Estelle Plaisant Soler, 26 juin 2006)

Fig.1 Jean Cocteau (1946). "la Belle et la Bête"

2). PDF of 100 Cult Films (Screen Guides).

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TAGS

1946atmosphericbeastbeauty • candlebra • candlestick • caryatids • castlechandelierscostume design • daylight • eerie • enchanted garden • engraving • external light • externalisation • extinguished • fairy talefantasyfilmfilm designfireflameFrenchgloveGustave Dorehorse • iconogaphy • in the mindinterior spaceJean CocteauJean Marais • Josette Day • Jungian • key • La Belle et la Bete • light • living arms • Madame Leprince de Beaumont • magic • merchant • metaphormotion picturemyth • natural light • Prince Charmingrealityset design • silverware • Sleeping Beauty • smoke-breathing • sparkling reflections • spatial symbolismspecial effectsstaircasestory • supernatural • surrealismsymbolismtalismantheatrical space • torch • visual designvisual metaphorvisual spectacle • white light

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
24 FEBRUARY 2004

A disturbing little film called A Little Death

"It's a long time since I've seen a film as genuinely disturbing as A Little Death. The title refers to the phrase 'un petite mort'. French slang for orgasm. This surreal film explores all the ambiguity of that phrase to devastating effect. A couple are making love. Or rather having sex – the hostility between them is palpable. The moment of climax flings them both into another dimension where the emotional savagery of their relationship is played out for real. Luscious colour photography gives way to crisp black and white, as Davison crashes through their bed into an identical room where everything, including her lover, is literally two–dimensional, bleached of life but tilled with an almost impersonal hatred. The tension that previously simmered beneath the surface is unleashed in images of extraordinary violence. Brophy, trapped in the 'wallpaper' of this unnatural room, can only scream as she takes her revenge. This ambitious script is well supported by its technically immaculate execution. It is tightly constructed, beautifully edited and the superb soundtrack is unusually effective, an integral part of the film rattler than (as too often happens) an afterthought. Much of the power of the film has to do with its purely visual logic, it didn't start to make sense to me until I stopped trying to figure out what was going on and just let the images wash over me. This is one of those rare films that can stand repeated viewings (providing you can) and serious philosophical debate, despite the fact its violent take on gender relations is more than a little disturbing. A Little Death is an uncommonly brave and passionate piece of filmmaking that stays in the mind long after it's been seen."

(Pavement magazine, 1995)

Fig.1 Simon Perkins and Paul Swadel (1994). "A Little Death", James Wallace Productions: 16mm, 11 minutes. [A Little Death externalises conflict between characters through the use of physical obstacles and camera perspectives. The film is an evolution of the "Into The Void" project.]
Fig.2 Natalie Robertson (1994). Josephine Davison is confused to find herself on a photocopied floor.

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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