Saturday, 26 May 2012

Vidal on film

I'd like to sing the title of today's post to Duran Duran's "Girls on Film", but there isn't time for that right now.
A moving picture, because it moves, is the one form of narrative that cannot convey an idea of any kind, as opposed to a generalised emotion. Mary McCarthy used to counter dedicated cinéastes with 'All right. In Battleship Potemkin, what does that abandoned baby carriage bouncing down the steps mean?' [Vidal, The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2001 (Abacus 2002), 69]
Well, I'd say it means: Capitalism is bad for your baby. That's an idea, and although it's not an idea with a great deal of nuance it is an idea that has (demonstrably, as any browse through the history of the world since 1789 shows) enormous applicable power. < /br>< /br> The larger point is about that old canard 'motion pictures can express emotion, but not thought': films can think, although they often do so symbolically.

1 comment:

Colum said...

I think it means "Gravity gives zero f**ks".