Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Il Cinema Ritrovato 2013: Rendezvous with Annie, Allen Dwan, 1946

One thing is clear: No money whatsoever should go to the civil war museum...

To make sure of this, to make sure, that the money belongs to the new, not to the old, everything must fall in its new place, not in its old place.

In Dwan's films, people are exchangeable. But that doesn't mean that they are expendable, it only means, that they are subject to change. Often, in Dwan, there's space left open in framing, and this space can be claimed by different people; sometimes by different people over time (and montage), sometimes by different people subsequently in the same shot. This is not a competition; one doesn't get expelled from Dwan's frame. One just leaves when one's impression on the situation has been made (no star close-ups in later Dwan, even Gloria Swanson isn't object to any gaze in the star vehicles of the 20s).

"A space left open" - that doesn't mean that there's something missing in the beginning, a lack that has to be filled. Dwan's compositions are equally harmonious before and after the arrival of the newcomer. The scenes in the cockpit in Rendezvous with Annie are perfect examples: No matter if two, three, or five guys are in the frame - looking through the door, talking, singing, fighting with each other: the sense of companionship is always the same. Dwan's films aren't motivated by (psychic, subjective) lack, by the invisible; but by tensions inside the visible, which are only observable from the outside (people are constantly observing each other, but there are hardly any real point-of-view-shots; very often, the observer and the observed are in the same frame).

The photograph in Rendezvous with Annie doesn't show Jeffrey Dolan, who at the moment the picture was taken bent down in order not to be seen. Now, he desperately wants to be seen, to be acknowledged. A amplification of the photograph doesn't render him visible - but it catches another witness redhanded, with his mistress: another man appears in the frame, in exchange for Jeffrey. And thereby saving him.

Then, there's the thing with the chocolate cake. (More here in German)

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