Thursday, September 17, 2020

Class 12 - Kaleidoscope - Non Fiction - 03 Film Making

 STOP AND THINK QUESTIONS

Q1. What childhood memories does the author recollect that had a bearing on his later involvement with filmmaking?

ANSWER: The author had a childhood which made him aware of the two main types of characters in life. The good and the villainous. He came to know about these from his father who prepared sermons. From this knowledge, he easily connected to the stories like. Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, and all the others. And the wolf was the Devil, without horns but with a tail and a gaping red mouth. From imagining these bits to imagining church bells and hearing a piano from a picture at his grandmother's house at Uppsala everything was a part of his creative association with his childhood memories.

Q2. What connection does the author draw between filmmaking and conjuring?

ANSWER: The author says that film making and Conjuring are of the same dice because both require deception of the human eye. Most of the times the viewer is caught between the frames of a movie. Cause whatever emotion or situation is shown in it is false or enacted. But with the help of certain filming instruments, the film seems to be a real-life event and people express real emotions while watching it.

Q3. What is the nature of the first impressions that form the basis for a film?

ANSWER: A film is a finished product. The basis of a film is laid on split-second impressions that disappear as soon as they come. This means that the birth of a film can be a from anything as small as a note of music to an actor who seems to have been born for a role yet to be played. It isn't the story that takes the shape of a film. It is an idea, a feeling, a reflex of a second that draws into a film if it is followed beautifully.

Q4. Which art form is film-making closest to? What is the reason for the similarity?

ANSWER: Filmmaking is the closest to music according to the author. This is because both film and music are based on a certain rhythm. It is the inhalation and exhalation in a continuous sequence of recreation by directly affecting the emotions rather than affecting the intellect.

Q5. Quite often a film made out of a book is not very successful. Discuss.

ANSWER: There is a wide range of difference between films and literary work. Every literary work has an irrational aspect which forms the basis of its existence. This irrational dimension is the inherent seed of every literary work and makes a reader connect to it. The bitter part is that most of the times this aspect of literary creation is not physical. It is an emotion that can be struck through innumerable written lines but can never be put into enactment and converted into films.

Even after knowing this, when a literary work is forcefully converted into a movie, the nucleus or the purpose of the movie is in mist. Or the adjustments done to put the novel in terms of a film breaks the backbone of the movie and takes the magic element away from it.

Q6. What, according to Bergman, is the relationship between a film-maker and his audience?

ANSWER: A filmmaker essentially makes the story come live and the audience gives reactions. This means that the audience is meant to evaluate what the director has put into action. It's like the relationship between a teacher and a student. The audience is meant to rate or react to the movies. The reaction is the main element of the movie.

Q7. What is the story of the Cathedral of Chartres and how does the author relate it to his profession?

ANSWER: The story of the Cathedral of Chartres begins when the cathedral was hit by lightning and burnt down to ashes. Soon thousands of people came from all points of the compass, like a giant procession of ants, and together they began to rebuild the cathedral on its old site. They worked until the building was completed—master builders, artists, labourers, clowns, noblemen, priests, burghers. But they all remained anonymous and no one knows to this day who built the cathedral of Chartres.

The author says that in the old times the craftsmanship brought in glory. There was nothing like self-identity back in those days. It was all done for god. And the author wants to enjoy his own work. He wants to be satisfied with the quality of his work and enjoy his wok. That’s all he desires.

Q8. What are some of the flaws of the world of filmmaking today?

ANSWER: The world of filmmaking is dependent on learning from each other’s work and collaborating together. But today people have become so self-conscious that they do not want to share their ideas and the concept is that sharing will make the film vulnerable. Also, people are no longer polite and gentle. The expression has become very brutal. What was as easy as a play to the author once has now become a struggle. Failure, criticism, public indifference all hurt more today than yesterday. The brutality of the industry is undisguised.

UNDERSTANDING THE TEXT

Q1. Pick out examples from the text that show Bergman’s sensitivity to sensory impressions which have made him a great filmmaker.

ANSWER: There are many instances. But the most prominent ones are when he could imagine a whole live representation of the wall hanging and could imagine even the church bells ringing. He also could visualize the pigeons fly and was transported into a completely different world. It was a complete melodramatic scene created by Bergman in his fantasy of imagination.

The second instance is when he sees the cranes at Dalarna and left all work to watch the cranes fly.

Q2. What do you understand of the complexity of the little invisible steps that go into the making of a good film?

ANSWER: The first step is to get an idea of the theme. Once the theme is clear from split-second impressions and the topic is absolutely strong enough to take shape of reality, The next step is the storyline. Montage, rhythm and the relation of one picture to another—the vital third dimension without which the film is merely a dead product from a factory. The next important thing is shooting the movie helping each other work in the same direction to make the film a success. So the steps of filmmaking are idea formulation, storyline, scripting and shooting.

Q3. What are some of the risks that film-making involves?

ANSWER: Film-making involves storytelling through a sequence of pictures. It is absolutely important that the public identifies with the theme of the movie. If the theme is completely alien, then the message that the film wants to deliver will not be understood. Another thing is choosing the idea. If the theme of the movie is different from the current demand of the public, it will be difficult for the producer to impress the viewers.

Q4. What misgivings does Bergman have about the contemporary film industry?

ANSWER: The contemporary film industry doesn’t want to understand the fact that everyone learns from the other and that this is a continuous process. The current generation of filmmakers has the mentality of secluding oneself and ideas from everyone else. They take it to be cheating or creating plagiarised content. But in reality, it is a fact that we are all a community of people and we have to learn from each other. Learning from one another is the ultimate source of knowledge for us.

Q5. Compare Bergman’s views about making films out of books with that of Umberto Eco’s.

ANSWER: According to Bergman a novel cannot be put into a film completely. If done so, it becomes a complete injustice to the novel because the novel triggers the intellectual faculty of a person whereas the film triggers the emotion directly.

But according to Umberto Eco, the film takes over the popularity of a novel and it's only when the movie is made out of a novel that the novel reaches the epitome of its popularity. So the film indirectly helps the novel.

TALKING ABOUT THE TEXT

Q1. According to the author, split-second impressions form a ‘mental state, not an actual story, but one abounding in fertile associations and images’.
Compare this with Virginia Woolf’s experiment with the stream of consciousness technique in ‘The Mark on the Wall’.

ANSWER: Split Second Impressions is what Bergman associates with the beginning of the film that is a very vague but agreeable event which disappears as they come and leave behind a mood. He says that this is a mental state, not an actual story being a brightly coloured thread sticking out of the dark sack of unconsciousness. With the accumulation of all these threads, one can carefully weave a complete film but it requires patience and a pattern in accordance with these rhythms, obeying laws born out of and conditioned by his original stimulus can gain enough strength it could be made into a film. It requires proper analysis of the Impressions; Its rhythms, moods, atmosphere, tensions, sequences that give a perfect screenplay.

Whereas the Mark on the Wall Summary by Virginia Woolf is a first-person narrative recalling the past and specifics of an event. The narrator beautifully crafts his stream of consciousness into words that try to reflect and associate a series of event with a singularity of a mark on the wall. The process of thinking exhibits a spectrum of event related to the one being discussed and shows how vivid a mind could be.

Q2. Bergman talks about the various influences in his life including his parents and his religious upbringing. To what extent are an individual’s achievements dependent on the kind of influences he or she has had in life? Discuss.

ANSWER: An individual’s achievement is a mixed bag consisting of all his thoughts, his life experiences and his background. It shapes the way one perceives things around him and lays a path towards positivity and success. Bergman associates his motivation towards film and manipulating viewers emotions to the world of his childhood and his religious upbringing similarly one can definitely find pieces of their memory associate with every up and down of their lives. There is a substantial amount of evidence indicating that the way individuals are brought up has important implications on how they cope with their future, by serving as a framework for how they interpret success and the possibility of future achievements. Human behaviour is more closely related to environment and upbringing than education. Interpersonal skills and personality traits grow stronger with disciplined environments and many more examples could be easily related. Growing up and all other influential factors keep working in sync to help a person decide his both taken and untaken road that paves a path to his achievement depending on the role the person is playing. A person achievement depends closely on his personality and one could easily figure that personality is a pattern of thoughts, feelings and behaviours collected gradually over time and situation. So, one could easily map a person’s learnt behaviour to his life’s achievement. The environment that one entertains in his/her life collects the various modes of their problem solving, decision making and creative skills and help them in evolution in this brief period of time being on both positive and negative edges. Thus, with all these references and the statements of Bergman associating his childhood with his achievements one can safely assume the necessary association of an individual’s achievement with their incidents and influences bagged through their lives.

APPRECIATION

Q1. Autobiographical accounts make interesting reading when the author selects episodes that are connected to the pursuit of excellence. How does this apply to Ingmar Bergman’s narration of the details of film-making?

ANSWER: Autobiographical accounts do make interesting reading when the author selects episodes that are connected to the pursuit of excellence. In context with Ingmar Bergman’s narration of the details of film-making, one could easily find references to a various past event that draws readers attention on his hunger to perfection in filmmaking. He starts accounting the importance of childhood experiences and environment and how it moulds a person and paves his path to success. He describes the split-second Impressions that weave into an actual movie with hard work and giving importance to details that help him envisage a proper screenplay with appropriate dialogues. He shows the importance of working at the root level and also writing and says about the difference between film and literature. He finally lays the importance of people in one’s success in life. He describes the role of his parents and the values they inculcated in him. He urges taking advantages of setbacks to become stronger and thus shows how excellence in one’s career could be achieved.

Q2. Comment on the conversational tone of the narration. Compare this with the very informal style adopted by Umberto Eco in the interview.

ANSWER: People tend to prefer persons or textual materials where a conversational tone is used because when someone reads something written in a conversational tone, it tricks people’s brain to think that they are directly involved. As a result, a conversational tone is more effective for getting a message across–and getting that message to stick and this is what the narrator has utilised in this narration which leaves readers in a state of awe and motivation. They can relate well to the narrator’s story and can find pieces in them that can help them to reach their own goals. Whereas The informal style adopted by Umberto Eco in the interview is a series of questions with the person's answers and it's like reading them as a documentary of events and answers. It is casual and is appropriate when communicating with a large mass.