19 Uhr
Salon des ehem. Palais Dürckheim, Cranachstraße 47, Weimar

Film Still vs. Test Shot, or, What Is Hidden in Film and What Is Film Hiding? Vortrag von Kateřina Svatoňová

In the course of writing a monograph on media practices applied by cinematographer Jaroslav Kučera, the scope of my work did not allow me to pursue a topic that opens up new angles for the treatment of archive with regard to the final film, i.e., to relationship between paratext, film and photograph. If we think of a photograph as a paratext as it relates to film, the first thing that naturally comes to mind is photographs that accompany the life of a film beyond the film itself and present it to the outside world – film stills. Authenticity of these photographs is in many ways only illusory. Although it may seem that a film still allows us to see that which remains hidden in the film due to, among others, insufficient picture quality, it is apparent that a film still very often shows things that are not found in the film at all. There are numerous differences between the two mediums, just as each relies on a different set of techniques, practices and operations, and each has different rules and standards. If I am to explore the ways in which a paratext allows us to view the research material “sideways”, to literally attack and entrap it, and the ways in which it can attest to intermedia communication and include moments of self-reflection and self-presentation, it does not seem very useful to use the frame of a film still for this kind of sideways view as it does not correspond with the main principles of film or as it directly disrupts, simplifies and steers attention away from the image itself only to create its own independent (and socially more acceptable) whole. Using photographs from the film strip might prove to be more suitable because they have the status of a paratext at the moment of exposure or when offered by institutions to promote the film. The text becomes an (unintentional) paratext, presenting the film – better than the photographs designed for the purpose – but also the context that comments on itself. Could photographs from the film strip really fill the gap between the text and the paratext, between film and its representation (in all senses of the word)?