A pioneer in the field, Christian Metz applies insights of structural linguistics to the language of film. “The semiology of film can be held to date from the. Download Citation on ResearchGate | Film Language: A Semiotics of the Cinema | A pioneer in the field, Christian Metz applies insights of structural linguistics. Film Language has ratings and 3 reviews. Jimmy said: A reading of Ferdinand de Saussure’s Course in General Linguistics is a prerequisite for underst.
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A Semiotics of the Cinema by Christian Metz. A pioneer in the field, Christian Metz applies insights of structural linguistics to the language of semiottics. The first book to be written in this field, [ Film Language ] is important not merely because of this primacy but also because of the issues it raises.
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Fulm 2 questions about Film Language…. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Aug 28, Jimmy rated it liked it Shelves: A reading of Ferdinand de Saussure’s Course in General Linguistics is a prerequisite for understanding Metz’s book, or at least a basic understanding of structural linguistics and semiotics is.
Film Language: A Semiotics of the Cinema by Christian Metz
This is what makes Metz brilliant and at the same time a complete failure as far as film theorists go. The man’s influence is widespread, but it may be in the sense that his writings offer us the sort of eclectic insight that was typical of the Cahiers du Cinema. And Film Language is basically a collectio A reading of Ferdinand de Saussure’s Course in General Linguistics is a prerequisite for understanding Metz’s book, or at least a basic understanding of structural linguistics and semiotics is.
And Film Language is basically a collection of his writings from that journal; essays that display a preoccupation with a structural analysis of film grammar and language. Metz’s basic theoretical aim is to apply the methods of structural linguistics to an image dependent medium. As is the case with structural linguistics, the whole of any one thing is broken down into its collection of units.
With language, a sentence has meaning only after each unit of it is taken into consideration. Saussure once used the chess analogy; each piece’s value is determined by its relationship to other pieces on the board.
So letters and phonemes basically make up the single word forms syntagmas which compose the sentence, and a sequence of lxnguage make up a paragraph, etc. This of course, is a sort of crash-course explanation, but it gets the basic idea across.
So the question then is; how can we apply these concepts to images?
Not only that, but with the nature of the medium of cinema in mind; its stylistic evolution which does not begin with sound, or any sort of phonetic languagehow then can Metz apply this methodology in an adequate way? He seems to consider a sequence within a scene to be the, more or less, smallest unit.
It seems as though the single image or frame should be. This is where the english translation runs into difficulties with Metz. Sequence basically implies one shot or cut. Within the structure of any given cinematic narrative, these sequences, themselves part of single scenes, provide an entire film with a readable, image-based language.
Therefore the cinematic medium provides the viewer with meaning or content a word that Metz seems to dislike through a language of images. Of course, Metz’s study is slightly more elaborate than this, especially when he discusses questions of semiotics in film. The thing is that, taken in a simplistic light, film language is really just another way of describing the intelligibility of montage. Film theory that is enslaved by a methodological application such as structural linguistics is bound to fail because its initial intention or use was for human language.
Christian Metz, Film Language: A Semiotics of the Cinema – PhilPapers
The cinematic medium is basically too complex to be understood using Saussurian concepts. It’s difficult to blame Metz too much though, and his tone is pretty self-effacing throughout this collection of essays. Which in a way, makes Film Language somewhat credulous, or if nothing else, yet another critical application that can be used and subsequently analyzed itself by generation after generation of film scholars and cinephiles.
View all 13 comments. Aug 13, Billy Ryant marked it as to-read. Jul 30, Jw rated it it was ok. The ideas are pretty much garbage. But it stimulated my thinking back when I first started taking film seriously. Lara Messersmith-Glavin rated it liked it May 01, Rasmus Boserup rated it it was amazing Jul 20, Daniel Barcelos rated it really liked it Mar 10, Bennet rated it really liked it Jun 07, Marisa Iriarte rated it it was amazing Mar 11, Dennis rated it liked it Nov 17, Irwanto Hamid rated it it was amazing Apr 08, Max rated it really liked it Nov 14, Marietha rated it really liked it Oct 24, Dooflow rated it it was amazing Dec 08, Donna Bridgette rated it liked it Jun 15, Vinicius Noronha rated it liked it Jan 23, Rattkane rated it really liked it Sep 07, Tom rated it did not like it Mar 09, James rated it liked it Mar 07, Richard rated it it was amazing Aug 30, Tom Delmar rated it liked it Oct 05, Michael Lew rated it liked it Feb 03, Aaron Brown rated it it was ok Aug 29, Phuong Le rated it really liked it Apr 18, Andy rated it really liked it Oct 09, Epepple rated it really liked it Feb 20, Tom rated it liked it Jul 26, Nawal rated it really liked it Apr 16, John rated it really liked it Jan 15, Books by Christian Metz.
Film Language: A Semiotics of the Cinema
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