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Thread: another form of literature

  1. #1
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    another form of literature

    Do you think that good films can be literature?
    Sabahlar hayr olsun!

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    freaky geeky emily655321's Avatar
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    Well, literature is defined as the written word. So, no.

    Did you mean to ask whether films can be considered art?
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    Quote Originally Posted by emily655321
    Well, literature is defined as the written word. So, no.

    Did you mean to ask whether films can be considered art?
    Film is definitely an art, and I think that it has some common characteristics with literature. To make a film you need words too, only that those words are not written, are spoken,are shown. Literature creates in our mind another world, the film director creates too another world, which, if we like it, we can take it and develop it.
    I think film may be the art that involves all the other six arts.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by emily655321
    Well, literature is defined as the written word. So, no.
    Ever heard of oral Literature? What about a drama script? Is Hamlet Literature if I read it but not if I watch it performed? You can read a film script if you wish. What about radio plays? Is Branagh’s film of Hamlet a film, Literature, both or neither?

    simona, if you mean ‘should films be assigned the same status as Literature?’, I would say yes. From John Ford to Krzysztof Kieslowski, there are many films that deserve to be recognised as having the same characteristics we ascribe to Literature.

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    Don't forget that every film is based on a written script, and that a script for a film is the FIRST thing that's made. So, like The Unnamable said, maybe we should try to consider it in the light of a drama script that's interpreted.
    "... I TAKE ON RESPONSIBILITY. I HIDE MYSELF FROM NO ONE. I AM ON MY PATH... I WON'T LET MY FOCUS CHANGE, TAKING OUT THE DEMONS IN MY RANGE ("The Warrior's Reminder". E.B.)"

  6. #6
    freaky geeky emily655321's Avatar
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    That is certainly an interesting perspective that I hadn't thought of before.

    I suppose I think of the question from the perspective of a visual artist. When I think of film, I think mainly of lighting and cinematography. The parts that I recall most are the visual, and when remembering a certain line I first have to remember the composition of the shot, then which actor was speaking, then I almost have to lip-read what they were saying to remember it. Whereas, if my boyfriend—a screenwriter—were to answer the question, he might do so first with the script in mind.

    I agree with you, Simona, that film could be seen as an amalgam of various forms of art. (Although the only "six arts" I'm familiar with are the Six Arts of Confucius—ritual, music, archery, charioteering, calligraphy, and arithmetic—and I don't see many big charioteering scenes in movies these days. Unless you want to count car chases, but I digress. ) But as far as visual art, theater, literature, choreography, and music, *counts on fingers—that's five* yes, I agree film certainly incorporates literature.

    I wouldn't go so far as to call it literature in itself, though. It takes eggs to make a cake, but you wouldn't call a cake an egg.
    Last edited by emily655321; 04-09-2006 at 11:27 AM.
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    unidentified hit record blp's Avatar
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    Buñuel said that to make a good film you needed three things, 'A good script, a good script and a good script' - a lesson the neophyte filmmakers at open fora like Exploding Cinema and OMSK I used to attend here in London badly needed to learn. The script matters and the script is literature. After that, you can still screw it up in a dozen ways, from mise en scéne to peformance, on which note, I too find myself thinking of Branagh's Hamlet. **shudders** Unnamaable (or anyone else for that matter), have you seen Tony Richardson's Hamlet shot at the Roundhouse in the (I think) seventies? It's killer.

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    Screen plays are literature, but movies are a different medium

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    Mad Hatter Mark F.'s Avatar
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    No, screenplays aren't literature, they are not a "finished product", they're only a tool destined to be read by producers, directors, actors...Fiction films and literature share one main thing in common, story telling. Keep in mind that some films don't have screenplays and many dialogues are improvised by the actors.

    Screenplays are also written in a very specific way, everything must be visual, you can't make digressions or talk about what's going on inside a character's mind because it won't be seen on the screen.

    Plays weren't always written down, but over the last hundred years I think the way of writing plays has changed very much. When you read "The Crucible" and you come across some paragraphs in the middle of an act where Miller explains what he's trying create you realise that some plays are meant to be read as much as to be seen.
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  10. #10
    abnihilisation of the ety
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    Just recently I have been reading black snow by Mikhail Bulgakov and it is a 'theatrical novel' but I'm not really sure exactly what that means... its written just as a normal novel but it is rather... theatrical. Could someone fill me in?

  11. #11
    I would say yes, using the argument the Unnamed said, and as to the script being in some way unfinished, I am not sure. That would be like saying a play by Shakespeare is unfinished.

    There was a very famous film noir piece called The Third Man that was shown in '49. It, and many other films, was written by one of the most famous authors of the thirties, Graham Greene. As a matter of fact, and this also addresses the idea of a script being 'unfinished', Greene originally wrote a novella of the story, but unlike many pieces of literature turned scripts the novella was never intended to be published. It was written specifically so that a script could be genereated. Greene said his reasoning for this was that he could never just sit down and write a script without a piece to work from. He said that the challenge to produce real dialogue from scratch was just too difficult without a background, so in this case the novella itself was unfinished, and the finished product IS the script.

    As for Miller and modern playwrights putting intropspection into characters in his script, which is something I have done with plays and one acts I have written, the idea is not for the independant reader to understand the character, but for the ACTOR to get direction as to the character's motivations, just in case the playwright may have left something ambiguous.
    In these days, old man, no one thinks in terms of human beings. Governments don't, so why should we? They talk of the people, the proletariat, and I talk of the mugs. It's the same thing. They have their five year plan and I have mine.-Harry Lime, The Third Man novella by Graham Greene

  12. #12
    Mad Hatter Mark F.'s Avatar
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    Interesting points but I still feel that while some plays are meant to be read, screenplays aren't. Many more people read plays than screenplays, and most of the screenplays you can actually buy are either reviewed versions or novelisations.

    What makes great films great isn't usually the script. While a good script can make a movie look good despite bad directing, only good directing can make a truly great film. If a film depends more on its literary strengths than its visual ones, it should have been a novel instead.
    "And the worms, they will climb
    The rugged ladder of your spine"

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    Could someone define literature?
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    freaky geeky emily655321's Avatar
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    literature

    n 1: creative writing of recognized artistic value 2: the humanistic study of a body of literature; "he took a course in Russian lit" [syn: lit] 3: published writings in a particular style on a particular subject; "the technical literature"; "one aspect of Waterloo has not yet been treated in the literature" 4: the profession or art of a writer; "her place in literature is secure"

    Emily's summary of the above: writing; something written (esp. creative writing).
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    Kindly plush cthulhu beer good's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simona
    Could someone define literature?
    Well, some people have tried... http://www.online-literature.com/for...ad.php?t=15348
    But the time ain't tall, yet on time you depend
    And no word is possessed by no special friend
    And though the line is cut it ain't quite the end,
    I'll just bid farewell till we meet again.
    - Bob Dylan

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