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Tuesday, March 20 • 11:10am - 12:00pm
Challenging the Film Stock? Diffusion and Visual Complexity in Colour Film. LIMITED

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Film stock is often overlooked in studies of the aesthetics of chromogenic colour films.
This presentation aims to fill this gap and explore the advantages of a combined approach. A corpus of films was parsed on the basis of a computer-assisted in-depth film analysis method executed with tools from the digital humanities. Two aesthetic patterns are at the focus of this research:

Creeping wafts of mist, dazzling light spots, dense snowstorms and half-transparent fabrics can obliterate the spectators’ view and create moments of optical diffusion. Diffusion reduces the ability to read an image. Likewise, highly complex image compositions can minimize the legibility of a filmic scene. Both situations can either be narratively motivated or develop aesthetic patterns with an autonomous status, strongly shaping the films’ visual appearance and experience.
On the one hand, this paper examines the different aesthetics of these two phenomena. On the other, in the tradition of a Historical Poetics as elaborated by David Bordwell (1989), the aesthetic analyses will be connected to a close examination of the chromogenic film stocks: What developments in film stock production could be responsible for an accumulation of optical diffusion at the end of the 1970s?
The questions will be answered through an investigation of the relationship between the aesthetics and technology of chromogenic colour films in the period between 1955 and 1995.

avatar for Joëlle Kost

Joëlle Kost

PhD student, ERC Advanced Grant FilmColors, University of Zurich
From 2008 to 2015 I studied Art History, Film Studies and the Theory and History of Photography at the University of Zurich. In my master thesis I developed a filmic portrait of the swiss artist MARCK and produced a 40 minutes documentary from an art historian’s perspective. Since... Read More →

Tuesday March 20, 2018 11:10am - 12:00pm GMT
BFI Southbank NFT3 Belvedere Rd, South Bank, London SE1 8XT