Integrating Temporal Polyphony and Camera Consciousness into Literature: Inspired by the Cinema of Michelangelo Antonioni
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Theorists and scholars primarily characterize Michelangelo Antonioni as a Modernist artist who uses Abstract Expressionist techniques seen through the geometric composition of framing: diagonals, counter-diagonals, vertical lines, and triangular figures. But what of the auteur’s place in the Cubist tradition? My project consists of an analytical essay and a separate novella evaluating the Cubist aesthetics of fragmentation and time, as captured by the human, inhuman, and superhuman consciousness of camera movements in the Cinema of Antonioni. Further, both works explore and integrate Antonioni’s employment of these techniques based on the film philosophy of Gilles Deleuze, who builds his concepts around the Bergsonian ideas of the movement-image, and the time-image. The unfinished novella (consisting of 5 chapters or movements) demonstrates narrative through both the conventional use of prose, and through unconventional employment of cinematic techniques as seen in Antonioni’s cinema. In particular, the unconventional techniques appear through the subjective (human) or objective (inhuman) use of camera movements as consciousness. I tend to the issue of frame, shot, cut, montage, and the tension between what Bergson refers to as a “crisis of psychology”: movement “as the physical reality of the external” and the images “psychic reality in consciousness.” The analytical essay argues for instances of temporal polyphony in the films of Michelangelo Antonioni. The multiplicity of temporal perspectives within a filmic shot, what Deleuze calls Aeon and Chronos, in tandem with a human or inhuman camera consciousness, all serve the Cubist technique of integrating a type of polyphony into the work. The unfinished novella reflects this argument as well.
DepartmentGraduate Liberal Studies
CitationButcher, Michelle (2019). Integrating Temporal Polyphony and Camera Consciousness into Literature: Inspired by the Cinema of Michelangelo Antonioni. Capstone project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/19040.
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Rights for Collection: Graduate Liberal Studies