Thursday, October 28, 2010

Godard's Tracking Shot

Godard's use of the tracking shot adds a new dimension on how we view his films, especially in the case of Weekend. Throughout the film we are permitted a certain amount of distance from our main characters. There are a few moments where we are permitted closely framed view of Corinne and Roland. In “Toward A Non-Bourgeois Camera Style, Brian Henderson writes, “A camera moves slowly, sideways to the scene it is filming. It tracks. But what is the result when its contents are projected on a screen? Is it a band or ribbon of reality that slowly unfolds itself. It is a mural or scroll that unrolls before the viewer and rolls up after him"(425). We are allowed to truly read this film in our personal way, choosing which direction the text should move as the camera tracks left and right. When watched the scene where Corinne and Roland are trapped in traffic, it’s oddities become personalized through the set of images appearing as the camera tracks.

The flatness of Weekend is paralyzing and also energzing, “Godard presents instead an admittedly synthetic single layered construct, which the viewer must examine critically, accept or reject. The viewer is not drawn into the image, nor does he make choices within in; he stands outside the image and judges it as a whole" (425). The meaning Godard creates is multi-faceted, our "judgement" depending on our own code of ethics and principals.

Inside the factory in Tout Va Bien

 Another interesting use of the tracking shot is in Tout Va Bien. While we are in the factory, there are a few moments where Godard creates a canvas out of his set, and we are able to stand on the outside, and make our conclusions, especially with the relationships we are allowed to see spatially. This specific moment in Tout Va Bien reminds me of how Wes Anderson sometimes allows to view his interiors as a flat canvas. He did this in The Aquatic With Steve Zissou, and I feel like this is something he borrowed from Godard. Like in Tout Va Bien, by showing us the characters in their habitat's gives us a sense of their relationships to one another and the space we're in.


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