Friday, April 11, 2014

Long Sequences, Dramatic Pauses and the Endless Scene in 70s film

Earlier I wrote about the editing style of the 80s film as compared to 70s films. At the moment, I am considering, watching and analyzing a number of 70s films with dialogue, sequence and editing in mind and intend to do some later in depth posts about this very topic. I'd like to, with this post, compose some of these ideas to use as a reference. Curiously, this topic about dramatic pauses coincides with a period of writerly pause, if you will, and there is some drama involved. In that sometimes there are ideas, so many ideas swirling around in my head that I can't grasp any of them and so writing becomes a frustrating and even draining undertaking. That said, I'm working on the 70s items and on making The Male Appetite into a series and also have some more 80s film and actor posts in the works too. Yet, sometimes the act of writing is about thinking, gathering ideas and then hopefully managing to convey them in a way that makes sense and is entertaining.

So I suppose it is appropriate that I am watching a number of 70s crime films. My current (and constant) fascination with 70s film is, of course, the raw and rough and realistic way in which they are presented. Yet I think what deepens this realism is the use of dialogue and pause. Pause, in these films, is vital. Between the action, are scenes in which the characters discuss, plot, argue, review. Moreover, it is male interaction in these films that is most valued. Conversations amongst the male characters and their female partners, wives and girlfriends is often limited. Yet amongst men, the dialogue soars, it finds a rhythm, a beat, a meaning and moves the narrative forward. Much could be made of the dynamics of male/female relationships at this time, but since this blog is about men, I won't go into it, rather I will attempt an analysis of male interaction in film that doesn't involve violence or killing, which makes this kind of a unique topic here.

Also, there is this idea of the physical interaction between men that isn't meant to harm. When men speak to each other in these films, do they do so from a great distance? Do they touch or embrace at any time and how is that conveyed? Here again, can be found these subtle cues in the norms of masculine behavior. And how do these scenes work to create good characters? These are just some ideas, some questions, some things I am pondering at the moment.