- Broken Lives: How Ordinary Germans Experienced the 20th Century
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Birgitt Morgenbrod. VIII, 59 pages. XIX, pages. XII, pages. Rainer Lepsius u. Wolfgang Schluchter in Zus. Heide-Marie Lauterer u. Anne Munding. Wolfgang J. Mommsen, Wolfgang Schluchter, in Zus. Die protestantischen Sekten und. Konfuzianismus und Taoismus. Das antike Judentum. Schriften und Reden —. XXVII, pages. XXVI, pages.
Hans G. Kippenberg in Zus. Petra Schilm, unter Mitw. Jutta Niemeier. XXV, pages. XXIX, pages. XXX, pages. Entstehungsgeschichte und Dokumente. XXIV, pages. Gerd Krumeich u. Rainer Lepsius, in Zus. XXII, pages. LIX, pages. Thomas Gerhards u. XX, pages. Rainer Lepsius in Zus. Mommsen, unter Mitarb. Birgit Rudhard u. Mommsen, in Zus. XXXI, pages. Vorlesungen — Mommsen in Zus. Cristof Judenau, Heino H. Nau, Klaus Scharfen u. Marcus Tiefel. XVI, pages.
Mit- und Nachschriften — Mit- und Nachschrif. Horst Baier — Rainer Lepsius — Dr. Mommsen — Johannes Winckelmann — Paragraphen sowie Hervorhebungen: Sie werden typographisch vereinheitlicht. Bei offensichtlichen Druckfehlern: Sie werden korrigiert. Published June 12th by Princeton University Press. More Details Other Editions 7. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Broken Lives , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters.
Sort order. Jan 31, Elizabeth rated it really liked it Shelves: , history-nonfiction. This book was interesting, but I also found myself getting frustrated with the amount of sympathy the autobiography authors seemed to want for what they went through, while also being surprisingly unwilling to accept blame for the Holocaust, war, and other atrocities they took part in. It was interesting, but that bothered me. Dec 22, Sara rated it really liked it Shelves: hist-wwii. Broken Lives delves into the lives of those born in the s in Germany, grew up during the post WWI years and when the Third Reich was coming into being, and follows them in the through their old age.
While, Jarausch did include a few people who were Jewish, this book mostly is directed at those who were not Jewish. Women were able to rebound, especially among the younger generations. Not one of them reported being happy or active with the youth groups and seemingly had a grasp of what was happening, no one reported understanding the war and were disillusioned very quickly to why they were fighting, they blamed the women for what happened when they returned, and thought they had it the hardest.
Men had a harder time finding their spots in the new Germany, although the younger men were able to find their way easier. It was interesting to see how it was this younger generation who was fed the propaganda of the adults, fought the wars, died, suffered the violence at home, and had to rebuild although it was the older generations who did the most damage and were unable to accept any of the blame. Overall, while a blip of the those who lived in that era, it doesn't seem to offer a great insight to what people really thought.
Age, shame, and hindsight seems to have override what had been. Sep 29, Heike rated it it was amazing. In "Zerrissene Leben" begleiten wir zahlreiche Zeitzeugen durch das so unruhige Auf gelungene Weise werden hier historische Fakten und Hintergrundinformationen mit den Stimmen der Zeitzeugen verbunden. So gelingt es sehr gut, verschiedene Sichtweisen und Erlegnisse darzustellen. So ist die Beschreibung der Kindheit in der Weimarer Republik fast beschaulich und man sieht, wie wenig die Unruhen jener Zeit sich in den Kindheitserinnerungen niedergeschlagen haben.
Jahrhunderts und der Menschen, die sie erlebten. Sep 29, Elisabeth Bulitta rated it really liked it. Konrad H. In seinem Sachbuch beschreibt Konrad Jarausch die deutsche Geschichte des Bilddokumente illustrieren und verdeutlichen das Geschriebene. The latter, a reflection on film from the perspective of a woman subjected to racism; it forms a bridge between the situation of African-Americans and that of Central European Jews.
Remake plans to pay tribute to an early feminist film festival in each future edition. A second document is dedicated to Frankfurt filmmaker Recha Jungmann. Her films screen this year within the framework of a Remake initiative that supports individual restoration projects and thus promotes the rescue of work by women filmmakers of the past 50 years. Translated from German by Brenda Benthien. It is a known fact that women and children form the greater part of every moving picture audience, and it is but natural that a woman manager should be better qualified than a man to judge the kind of pictures the majority of her patrons like, when most of them are of her own sex.
After all, the meat in the cocoanut of successful management, so to speak, is in obtaining the right kind of pictures — pictures that appeal to the greatest number. The Balboa Amusement Producing Co. Someone condemns or defends a performance, weighs one against the other, speaks of the artistry, or lack thereof, in the cinema. If such a competition exists, it remains insubstantial: we can refer to the cost of a ticket, to the length and variety of the programs, to the heated spaces, to the low and high cost of entertainment which corresponds to the level of the audience , to milieu, to a hundred other superficial things.
When we speak of art in the context of theater, we refer to the author, the drama, the language, the problem, the depth of the idea, its connection to life. If we speak about art in the cinema, we can speak of the technical achievement that may be exemplary — whether it be the photography, the director, the actors, or the subject matter — but always in relation to reproduction. In the worst case, we are interested.
In the cinema? That is it precisely: What do we do in the cinema?
Broken Lives: How Ordinary Germans Experienced the 20th Century
I know people who sit every day from noon until night in coffeehouses. Nowadays all these excuses do not apply to the people I mean. Before the war, they sat in the coffeehouse the difference being that they sat there longer because they were open longer , and they sit there after the war, too. Many coffeehouse patrons are excellent artists who give form to ideas and notions through their respective media on a daily basis. Now yes! I know people who can go to the movies every day. Rather it is because it is a comfort to the soul to sit in the movies.
Everything we see appears to be life. And still, such a powerful and such a comfortable difference. Here, a villain appears, rolls his eyes, clenches his fists. Everyone knows with certainty that this man will be captured in the end and that nothing bad will befall the innocent girl who is ardently in love with a poor young man. The poor young man is true to her and does well for himself.
Here there are bad women in negligees who smoke, reclining on an ottoman, and good women who mend clothes, read books, play piano, or hug curlyhaired children. We need not fear committing an injustice against them and can rest assured that they will be punished before we leave the cinema, and that the punishment will be just. While the others, who simply want to possess a woman, approach her from behind and grab her shoulders in a devilish way.
But in every case they smoke a cigarette out of the corner of their mouths, which looks very cynical. They have pajamas and black hair. We recognize them immediately and disdain them with utter loathing. Really, how nice the world would be if it were so. How comfortable it would be if a person were either guaranteed good or evil, if the women were bad or noble, true or untrue, seducible or chaste, goodhearted or rotten!
How lovely, how compassionate the world is in the movies, where simple dimensions appear in pure form that we never see, never comprehend, never fathom in life. In our world, people are simultaneously good and bad, true and untrue, reviled and proud. Everything is a thousand times different from what we know. We cannot flee at the last minute out of the window of a high tower on a hundred-meter rope that we spun from our own shirt.
We cannot, happily in the instances when. No villains immure our rightful inheritance in underground chambers and await our legacy, and the prostitutes whom we encounter are not demonic women nor are they women with tragic fates who stir our hearts with their confused lives.
We puzzle over the meaning of our existence. And look, at the movies the puzzle is solved, and done so with all the falseness of our fantasies about life. How pleasant! How charming! How comfortable! Cinema is different than entertainment. Cinema is something that we cowards happily give ourselves in order to better endure life; it is something easier to bear, because in the face of our deformed lives, we are powerless.
Reprint courtesy of Anton Kaes. In , she joined the anti-fascist Czech resistance. Dorothy Richardson The Cinema in the Slums [ But both these claims ignore what is inherent in pictures, ignore that which exerts its influence apart from the intention of what is portrayed. There is in the picture that which emerges and captures him before details are registered and remains long after they are forgotten. Imagination fails in attempting to realise all that is implied for cramped lives in the mere coming into communication with the general life, all that results from the extension of cramped consciousness.
But it is not merely that those who are condemned with no prospect of change to a living death, are lifted for a while into a sort of life as are said to be on the great festivals the souls in hell. It is that insensibly they are living new lives. Gathered spontaneously and unsuspecting before even the poorest pictures, even those that play deliberately upon the passions of the jungle, the onlookers are unawares in an effectual environment. While they follow events they are being played upon in a thousand ways. And all pictures are not bad or base or foolish.
But even the irreducible minimum of whatever kind of goodness there is in any kind of picture not deliberately vicious, is civilisation working unawares. Courtesy of Antonia Lant and Verso.
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Between and , she wrote for Close Up, a psychoanalytically-oriented film magazine that was published by Bryher, Hilda Doolittle and Kenneth Macpherson. Her semi-autobiographical novel Pilgrimage was published in 13 volumes between and A kind of enlightening literature is also on the rise, which, unlike the prevailing works of fiction and misleading films, attempts to make salaried women and men aware of their true situation. I want to call it a kind of film huckstery, a shop with old worn-out copies that he buys up cheap or gets on commission at laughably favourable conditions.
The little cinema halls in the border towns, the travelling theatres in remote East Prussian villages that still sell out on Sundays with mutilated copies of comedies — these are our customers. Summer is the best time for business. They gladly take into the bargain his complicated little expense bills with their boldly rounded-up shipping costs, his own personal consumption tax rates, and everything else that goes along with them.
This is how Lichte generates a sizeable net profit. This office is conveniently located near the train station. The improved business situation, bolstered by an unusually hot and early summer, has brought a noticeable upswing. They scour the distribution district for the cheapest films. Even the owners of leading. Danzig film theatres drive up in automobiles and condescend to look through our stuff.
Lichte reels them all in with unparalleled finesse. He plays every role that the moment requires, the cavalier and the bastard; he speaks through his nose with the grand gentlemen and drinks to brotherhood with the workers. He pretends to be a first lieutenant when he thinks it will make an impression and tells war anecdotes that provoke guffaws of laughter.
He offers the best cigars, liqueurs, sandwiches. Comfortable armchairs are bought, new curtains hung. You have to marvel at the way he operates, with his paltry couple of films. He knows how to tell the stories of these insipid dramas so that everyone listens breathlessly, he fantasises and extemporises poetry, he boasts but still acts modest, he puts himself forward but quickly retreats if he sees people find it unpleasant. Lichte improves my salary by fifteen marks and I have no help, buzzing between the telephone and the typewriter, receiving customers and holding on to them, since Lichte goes to the pubs often.
He collects customers there. Max gets another mark per week and can now call himself a dispatch clerk. He sits all day writing shipping documents, packing crates, and getting them to the train. He manages the customs business for shipments to Danzig and Memel by himself. He knows the regulations, and he knows how to get a film out, should its certificate happen to go missing. All the advertising is in his hands. She also keeps the new boy, Walter, on course, since he likes to unduly prolong his errands. If I have too much to do, she also writes invoices. She stands bent over for several hours a day, filing away the post.
Her only wish is to get ahead. I am amazed at times at how much these two accomplish. They only went to primary school and have never been employed before. Every one of us works under the utmost strain. I cannot spend five.
Lichte loves to hurry us around when there are customers. He sends us three times for one thing. And now get me that! And where are the Gumbinnen index cards? How many did we ship today? I used to let him fluster me. My heart pains me. On top of that, there was the murderous heat this summer. We already know disaster is coming when he kicks the door open without pressing down the latch, so it bangs out of the lock.
All the screws are already loose. Then his torments are unending. I refuse to tolerate such sluttishness. I can do without your apology. See that you get out of here. We sometimes think about fire. This stove, which sprays a rain of sparks as soon as one throws in briquettes from above, is an absolute temptation of fate.
Everyone knows how flammable film strips are. Nearly a hundred reels are lying in the room where we work; open crates full of films stand around, single acts are piled on windowsills, chairs and tables. Not a soul pays attention to the ban on smoking. Lichte smokes, the customers smoke, of course the two boys also smoke. I caught Max with a lit cigarette, packing films. One single spark in one of the reels that are lying around, and none of us would be spared a gruesome death.
A draught might have blown it against the grating. A glowing white flame shoots up, hissing. A piece of wallpaper already flares up. Martha, who coincidentally has a wet rag at hand, beats at the fire. This coincidence keeps us alive. We stand against the wall, white as chalk. Max is speechless with shock. He slowly collects himself. Lichte sits somewhere eating breakfast.
One day I hear him jump up in his room, trampling and flailing around, and I rush in to see his wastepaper basket smouldering in a corner. I demand that he install a film storage room, as the law prescribes, under threat of severe penalties for non-compliance. But the erection of a storage room costs money. His motto, as he freely admits, is: the more you can save in the office, the more you have for your private use. The incident is forgotten, the installation of the storage room postponed. I remind him every day.
He has a thousand excuses.
A shed with corrugated iron is set up in the attic. Now, every couple days I can monitor whether the boys are smoking up there. I threaten to let Walter go for hiding a lit cigarette in his pocket when I show up. I turn Max in to Lichte twice. And how is this possible? It costs six marks per month to rent. She wrote four novels, all describing the situation of female employees at the end of the Weimar Republic. I have often reflected on the term independence as it can be applied to any single sector of cinematic activity. Is independence something that is more closely allied with the art or the industry of Cinema?
Post-War Reports :
In terms of the industry: the producer, a businessperson above all, is a slave to finance and, to satisfy this demand, must submit to the exhibitors and distributors responsible for exporting film products abroad. The exhibitors: what do they seek? Good box office returns. Their only concerns are the tastes and pleasures of the public, under whose yoke they suffer without complaint.
Zu Wort kommen / Speaking Up by Sabine Hartung - Issuu
The public follows its own instincts and sense of pleasure, and who can blame it. But old habits, a flawed visual education, an invincible idleness of spirit, and imperfect evolution — in a word, routine — keep it interminably bound to the same shores. The press: all businesses must promote their products in order to publicize and sell them. How can the film industry disseminate its products without having at its disposal a media outlet providing it the means of publicity? And accordingly, dependent on this publicity for survival, are most journalists able to find a way to say what they think in all sincerity?
They want to, try to, and sometimes succeed. But this effort is difficult to sustain and the risks are great. That which proclaims itself to be free, is it not often a prisoner of its own prejudices, hatreds, and affections? Nothing is more dangerous and injust than the notion of a School. And so we see the cinematic art, victim of these pressures and held subordinate to these disparate aspirations and colliding interests,. Capitalist-based, its spirit is tainted by money and it is fair to say, without fear of contradiction, that the Cinematic art is straining against the Cinematic industry.
To end this, all that this tragic, undesirable, and damaging struggle requires is fairness and understanding. The press should be a mediator. To do that, it must be frank and forthright with: producers; distributors; film exchanges; exhibitors; composers of film; script-writers; and itself. With respect to the public, the press must be a great educator, who without taking sides, reports, defends, and attacks. The Cinema has its artistic truth. It also has its economic truth. Only the public, which a skillful press must protect from missteps, has the power to unite these two poles that should never be opposed.
Independent: never dependent on; nor subordinate to for persons ; free from all political dependence; not wishing to depend on; nor be subordinate to for things. One might add: not subservient to in this case, in the film world, considered in both its artistic and commercial aspects. We can only achieve fairness through a total independence of self and other, and the interests and ideas over which we must exercise self-control. We must look objectively at how this effort is carried out, discuss the difficulties faced, contingencies endured, the ideal pursued, and the promise it holds.
Cinematic perfection is not the domain of a single School of filmmaking, but of all Schools. It is a difficult, but worthy endeavor. Avant-gardist, engaged feminist; lesbian life and work contexts. Her contribution to the development of film and film theory is invaluable. Irmgard Keun [To the Film World] It seems almost as though film had reached the height of its popularity. Entertainment and relaxation are particularly necessary and desirable. What could better and more easily satisfy these needs than film? Nothing is easier to get to than a cinema, since one can be found in even the remotest neighbourhood nowadays.
But what still draws people to the cinema? The film has an infinite range of possibilities between epics and drama. A book or a play requires considerable concentration. It calls for autonomous imagination — and for the person to think along. Nothing allows someone to forget his own reality faster than a film, with its mixture of book and spectacle. Popularity is not a criterion in a positive or negative sense. But what do the people expect from entertainment? Entertainment is an elastic term; entertainment can be sense or nonsense, art or kitsch.
At most, it raises. Rightly so. Film producers create a template out of the meagrest of insights: the audience wants to see beautiful clothes, sweet girls and handsome men: the audience wants to see unhappiness turn to happiness? The producers are mistaken. The audience initially wants nothing at all; it is just waiting to see what happens. But too many concessions make them suspicious. Sooner or later, templates intrinsically degenerate into boredom.
Film as entertainment? But why is there still so seldom good entertainment? Why are ridiculous non-problems so often played up as problems? What kind of entertainment do we want then? Charming comedies without problems — grace instead of reality. And what else? The reality of our real days and lives, treated honestly. Things that interest us are also entertaining. Film has the right to be appraised as an art. It can waive that right or make use of it. Art is always a risk. But in the long run, a still greater threat to success has been the fear and avoidance of risk.
Courtesy of Wallstein Verlag. Lived in exile in the Netherlands from to , then illegally in Cologne. Resumed writing under difficult circumstances in West Germany. Realizing that I had seen on numerous occasions these characters burlesqued in this sketch or that, I decided to sit down and reread the book before spouting off at the mouth about Uncle Tom selling us Negroes out. In the book, he is a living saint. The story is one of the most eloquent pleas for the abolition of slavery which probably has ever been written. While the book is informative and positive propaganda against the vicious practice of slavery which is still a blot on our country, I most definitely am against any picturization of it by MGM or any other studio.
When you realize that the country is still full of potential slave holders could you think of Congressman Rankin from Mississippi as anything else? Does not the South still keep the Negro from voting; from getting an equal education; refuse war contracts because whites refuse to train or work with Negroes; make. Can anyone forget the Louisiana town where Negro soldiers were shot down like dogs in the public square?
Why has it been necessary for the President to issue an executive order on fair employment practices for such states as New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania? Why do you suppose Negroes right in Westchester County have had crosses burned on the lawns of homes they have purchased? And why the Detroit riots? White America has not accepted the emancipation of the Negro. And for white America to see parade across the silver screen Negroes as they would like to see them — in their so-called places — would tend to bring to the surface many of those inhibitions which have been laying dormant in their breasts.
There would be a field day for the South. I daresay the South would give MGM a medal for such a picture. The plea for the Jew against his oppressors has, I believe, certainly not helped him with the American people and there are an alarming number scattered throughout this country who are against him.
I remember when I first started going to Hollywood, various people with whom I came into contact, whispered in unpleasant terms about the Jew owning the town and then I noticed that after Hitler got away with his viciousness against these people, the voices grew continuously louder and more abusive. And so it goes. Anything the picture industry does in regards to the Negro today must be of a militant nature. America has got to realize that Black America is dying on the battlefields, buying war bonds, paying taxes, helping to hold down the homefront and turning out implements of war, not to be tolerated or handled with kid gloves, but by God, for freedom from want, from discrimination — to be treated like men and women in a free democracy — for an opportunity for education, etc.
Why must the moviemakers always dig back into the files and drag out something which they feel will please the bigots? Why cannot there. That stories based on some of our accomplishments be made. John Rankin, a decorated World War I veteran and Mississippi congressman from , was a renowned racist, anti-Communist and anti-Semite. The Sojourner Truth project was built specifically to house black workers, many of whom had moved to Detroit as a consequence of wartime labor demands.
Played the daughter in John M. Eva Rieger The female voice In the research environment of the waning s, we were not historically trained enough to recognise and address theoretical and historiographical problems. In feminist discussions, women were initially seen as victims of a patriarchally structured society. But it became apparent that this was too sweeping a generalization. Women knew then, and know now, how to defend themselves, and many women singers certainly knew how to use their power.
It could seduce and unleash magical powers. The Sirens and the song of Circe are early examples of this. The female voice was considered a source of sexual and cultural power, and as a result, was subject to restrictions. It could not be heard in church, except within the congregation. A long line of negative attributions, fuelled by fear of female superiority, ran from the ancient Greeks to the present.
What men were permitted, women were blamed for.
Was können Musiker von Sportlern lernen?
The singer Giulia di Caro, who lived around , was resented for her numerous love affairs, and because she loved to ride in an open coach through Naples surrounded by admirers. You could hear her loud laugh from far away. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the high voice was even given preference over the low. One went so far as to.
Thus, a castrato could play a woman, and a woman a man — so long as they both had high voices. Women played virtuous suffers, powerful sorceresses, coquettes, and sleepwalkers, and they radiated power and passion in these roles. The voice can also be understood as a metaphor for power, for the woman singer is appreciated for her song, which no man can replicate.
Behaviour patterns that were considered unrefined in bourgeois society were required of the female singer: strength, endurance, awareness of power, activity, egoism, and absolute professionalism. Thus, women singers were quickly blamed for losing their femininity and appropriating male privileges; they were considered jealous, egoistic, capricious, lesbian, corrupt, vulgar, erotically demanding, lacking in maternal instincts, and mercenary. Gertrud Elisabeth Mara, one of the first German prima donnas, tells in her memoirs how, in , she took revenge on the composer and conductor Johann Friedrich Reichardt, who had annoyed her.
She was singing a stuffy aria in one of the operas he had composed, and he was conducting. At the end, she held out a trill so long that Reichardt lowered his hands. She made me a laughing-stock in front of the entire audience. I advise every Capellmeister not to spoil things for the prima donna. Eva Rieger was born in Great Britain and moved to Germany at age Has lived in Liechtenstein since She is the author of numerous books and refers to herself as a feminist. Adorno [Sirenes] In myth each moment of the cycle discharges the previous one, and thereby helps to install the context of guilt as law.
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Odysseus opposes this situation. The self represents rational universality against the inevitability of fate. He must escape the legal conditions which enclose and threaten him, and which are, so to speak, laid down in every mythic figure. He satisfies the sentence of the law so that it loses power over him, by conceding it this very power. Defiance and infatuation are one and the same thing, and whoever defies them is thereby lost to the myth against which he sets himself.
Odysseus does not try to take another route that would enable him to escape sailing past the Sirens. But he has found an escape clause in the contract, which enables him to fulfill it while eluding it. Bonds belong to a stage when the prisoner is not put to death on the spot. He listens to the song of pleasure and thwarts it as he seeks to thwart death. The bound listener wants to hear the Sirens as any other man would, but he has hit upon the arrangement by which he as subject need not be subjected to them.
Despite all the power of his desire, which reflects the power of the demi-goddesses themselves, he cannot pass over to them, for his rowers with wax-stopped ears are deaf not only to the demi-goddesses but to the desperate cries of their commander. The epic says nothing of what happened to the Sirens once the ship had disappeared. In tragedy, however, it would have been their last hour, as it was for the Sphinx when Oedipus solved the riddle, fulfilling its command and thus disenchanting it. If they are satisfied, then the myths right down to their most distant relation will suffer for it.
Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment. Philosophical Fragments , Stanford University Press, Courtesy of Stanford University Press. Germaine Dulac The Music of Silence There was a time, not so long ago, when the art of cinema sought not to define itself, as it does today, hopelessly through the mistakes of commercial interpretation. It found satisfaction through form of an almost traditional kind, one that allowed for its technical evolution toward a considerable degree of perfection while remaining unconcerned with its higher aesthetic. By its aesthetic we mean the inspiration that deploys technique for spiritual expression.
The combination of sensitive film stock and an appropriate mechanism meant we could now photograph life and record its diverse manifestations and movements. To photograph, one aimed the lens in the direction of tangible forms in motion within or toward a goal. Apart from these same forms, the idea of photographing the imperceptible would have been considered folly.
I say imperceptible and not invisible. The invisible, the materially existent that lies beyond our visual perception has long been caught by the cinema. One discovery affects proportionality and delves into space, thereby impressing our vision. Other improvements in lighting enable the projection of vibrations with a more powerful effect on our vision. For example, a horse clears a gate; our eye gauges his effort synthetically.
The same holds true for our gauging of the growth of a germinating grain of wheat. The cinema, in decomposing movement, makes us see the beauty of a leap analytically, through the succession of rhythms that compose a rhythmic whole. And when we focus on germination we get not only the synthesis of growth in movement but the psychology of that movement. Visually, through its rhythms and line — straight and curvilinear — movement gives us a relation to a life of complexity. I have constantly on my lips — and with no fear of contradiction — the words visual, visually, sight, eye, look.
However, there does exist a factor of contradiction. Although cinema may, in its technique, be solely visual, it happens that by virtue of its moral aesthetic, it disdains the purely visual image. Rather, it focuses on the representation of expression in which the image may take the first, but not the most important, place. Current work focuses not on the value of the image or on its rhythmic movement, but on silent dramatic action. There is a world of difference between silent dialogue and the music of silence. Until now cinema has tended to be silent dialogue rather than music.
Two actors in a scene talk to each other. This is wrong; only their silent facial expressions will be visual. But, sadly, in dramatic films the factual counts more heavily than the expressive. To sum up; the cineographic instrument is conceived in its scientific potential for one purpose; cineographic inspiration pursues another goal. Where lies its truth? In the technical instrument that has created the seventh art.
Do you know how your scene will unfold visually? Should we not take up the struggle? The cinema can certainly tell stories, but we must remember that the story is nothing but a surface. The seventh art, the art of the screen, lies in the depth beneath this surface, in musical imperceptibility. Those who accept this dictum see the in-rolling future as living reality and the past as reality entombed.
They also regard every human faculty as having an evolutionary history. For these straight-line thinkers memory is a mere glance over the shoulder along a past seen as a progression from the near end of which mankind goes forward. They are also, these characteristically occidental thinkers, usually found believing in the relative passivity of females.
And since women excel in the matter of memory, the two beliefs admirably support each other. But there is memory and memory. And memory proper, as distinct from a mere backward glance, as distinct even from prolonged contemplation of things regarded as past and done with, gathers, can gather, and pile up its wealth only round universals, unchanging, unevolving verities that move neither backwards nor forwards and have neither speech nor language.
Once a woman becomes a partisan, a representative that is to say of one only of the many sides of question, she has abdicated. Listen to their outpouring. Chatter, chatter, chatter, as men say. And say also that only one in a thousand can talk. For all these women use speech, with individual differences, alike: in the manner of a facade. They talk to banish embarrassment. It is true they are apt to drop, if the confrontation be prolonged, into what is called gossip and owes both its charm and its poison to their excellence in awareness of persons.
This amongst themselves. In relation to men their use of speech is various. In its insistence on contemplation it provided a pathway to reality. In becoming audible and particularly in becoming a medium of propaganda, it is doubtless fulfilling its destiny. But it is a masculine destiny. The destiny of planful becoming rather than of purposeful being. It will be the chosen battle-ground of rival patterns, plans, ideologies in endless succession and bewildering variety.
It has been declared that it is possible by means of purely aesthetic devices to sway an audience in whatever direction a filmateur desires. Perhaps British Instructional, with the entire medical profession behind it, will kindly shorten them again. It is a medium, or a weapon, at the disposal of all parties and has, considered as a battlefield a grand advantage over those of the past when civil wars have been waged disadvantageously to one party or the other by reason of inequalities of publicity, restrictions of locale and the relative indirectness and remoteness of the channels of communication.