Thursday, October 6, 2011

Watching Marclay's The Clock

Watching The Clock, Christian Marclay (2010)

MFA, October 6, 2011

Film Scoring 251: The Language of Film

Prof. Lori Landay

Today at the MFA, we’ll go into a screening room and start watching. We’ll come in in the middle of The Clock, because there is no real beginning or end to this film, only an ever-constant middle, a now. Watch until 2:45. You’ll know what time it is. Then we’ll meet outside, discuss your experience, and go back in again. Unfold this paper when you come out.

We’ll go back in, and watch until 3:26. Consider the following as you watch, and write up your response in a journal entry. We’ll discuss in class on Tuesday. After we leave, let’s walk through the contemporary art gallery. If you have to get back to campus, then go, and if not, you might want to go back in and see what it's like to decide to leave (after leaving twice at the times I gave you).

When you go back in:

1) Pay specific attention to editing. Where are the cuts? What pacing do they create?

2) What relationships are there between shots, especially between shots from different films?

3) Listen. The sound editing is subtle and quite brilliant. When does the sound change and when does the image change? When does Marclay use audio from a previous film into the next?

4) What is the effect, on you, of watching the film? How do you experience time while you watch it? What else does The Clock call attention to?

5) What is film? What is it to watch a film, to experience cinema? Is The Clock a film (or a movie), or is it a clock? What is at stake in saying it is one or the other?

6) Is there anything of Classical Hollywood Cinema in The Clock? Think about narrative and style.


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