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By Nicholas Rombes

ISBN-10: 178279140X

ISBN-13: 9781782791409

In an period of swift transformation from analog to electronic, how do we write approximately cinema in ways in which are as clean, brilliant, and demanding because the top motion pictures are? In 10/40/70 Nicholas Rombes proposes one daring threat: pause a movie on the 10, forty, and 70-minute mark and write in regards to the frames to hand, it doesn't matter what they're. this system of constraint—by getting rid of selection and foreclosing on authorial intention—allows the movie itself to dictate the phrases of its research free of the tyranny of predetermined interpretation. encouraged via Roland Barthes’s inspiration of the “third meaning” and its specialize in the movie body as a picture that's neither a photo nor a relocating photograph, Rombes assumes the position of snapshot detective, looking the frames for clues not just in regards to the movies themselves—drawn from a variety of genres and time periods—but the very stipulations in their life within the electronic age.

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Walter chooses not to interpret it because it lies deeper than the game of chance, beneath the murder-for-money scheme. But precisely what Walter has subsumed he cannot name to himself or to the reader, the interlocutor of his narrative confession. As his reflexive bodily reaction suggests, Walter, in exiting the Company through his crime, enters the realm of outlaw desire where the body dominates; there are no rules, no probability statistics. It is a realm he cannot represent in the way he can obsessively recount and analyze the details of the insurance industry.

Much has been made of the popularity of opulent Hollywood musicals in the early 1930s as an escape from the miseries of the Depression, but one might extend that notion to consider connections between the cultural anxieties over manhood—as emblematized by the Forgotten Man figure—and the rise of the tough guy. Consider, for instance, the fact that, while scores of historians, perhaps most famously Warren Susman, see the 1930s as an era of a belief in the collective and community, the tough guy is, in contrast, constituted in large part through his isolation, his refusal to be a part of community, society, family, or nation.

Within this system, the family romance and the Company carry no regulatory or juridical power. The Body does what it wants. As we will see later in the chapter, Raymond Chandler’s detective hero Philip Marlowe is situated in uneasy opposition to either kind of system, uncomfortable in his own skin and yet an explicit outsider to any system but his own set of harassed ethics. But first let us consider Cain’s Walter Huff, who tries to beat both systems, coming to realize he cannot. The differences between the two systems have disappeared; the binary has collapsed.

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10/40/70: Constraint as Liberation in the Era of Digital Film Theory by Nicholas Rombes


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