Monday, August 11, 2008

Film Languages and the "Real Story"

I was just writing on my blog about an experience I had with Arnold Friberg at a dinner where he was receiving an award. I thought it was relevant to what we do here, so I wanted to repeat it. This is mostly verbatim from my other post:

I didn't meet him. I only heard him speak. At 95 years old, it wasn't easy for him. He said two things, however that I wanted to write down and comment on. The first thing was about how he speaks.

He said that some people speak in the language of words, but he speaks in the language of paint. He said that since he forgot to bring his brushes with him that evening, he was having a hard time.

The second thing was about his painting Peace, be Still, shown above. About that, he said the following - paraphrased: In paintings of this scene today, you see a lot of waves. That's dramatic, but it isn't the story. The story isn't the storm, it's that a man stood up and said to the storm, "be still" and it obeyed.

Although Friberg is a painter, not a filmmaker, we probably all know his connections with the film industry. I thought that it would be worth our while, as his first comment suggests, to consider the various languages involved in creating and viewing film.

I also think that the second comment of Mr. Friberg's - about the real story - is something we could profitably consider in our own film activities, be it production or interpretation.

What do you think?

2 comments:

Adam K. K. Figueira said...

So, to perhaps jumpstart this discussion a little (if one is to be had), I'm thinking about all the comments I've read about music and its use/misuse in film. I often hear music referred to as the "universal language" above other art forms, and I've noticed some of the brethren give it special emphasis above other kinds of media. What are your thoughts about the role of the language of music in film? Is it appropriate to "secularize" hymns and church songs in Mormon themed movies (ala The Singles Ward? How does the music that runs under the credits impact a film? How can we use music without being emotionally manipulative?

Adam K. K. Figueira said...

Also, what other languages are used in film production and how do you think they can be viewed from an LDS perspective? I'm interested to see what kind of a list we can generate.

Briefly, I can think of music, painting, costuming, architecture, light, sound, et al.