Leeds Beckett University
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The optical, the textual, the contemplative approaches in the use of images of painting in cinematography.

posted on 2022-06-16, 16:39 authored by Tomaso Aramini

This study investigates three conceptual mechanisms, the optical, the textual, the contemplative approaches, to analyze, repurpose images of painting, in order to generate creative strategies to criticize, re-invent selected elements of the cinematic syntax: the shot, the symbolic denotation of characters, the spatio-temporal linearity of the film sequence. 

This study adopts autoethnography as the methodology of the enquiry, an approach that present myself as the active agent of the research to guide the reader in a story, which Ulmer defines as MyStory (Ulmer in Denzin 2014, p. 32). I narrate how I have applied these three methods by transmedialising three images of painting into three short films to illustrate the process through which these methods install a dialectic of gaze, significance and emotion between the practice of the artists and the cinematographer. These images of painting are Edgar Degas's Three Dancers in an Exercise Hall, (1880) Paul Gauguin's Vision After the Sermon: Jacob Wrestling with the Angel (1888) and Umberto Boccioni's States of Mind III: Those Who Stay (1911). 

In the optical approach, through a dialectic of gaze with Degas’s eye I discuss the possibility to re-conceive the choice of the vantage point, the organization of the composition through the temporal interaction of its element anew. In the textual approach, through a dialectic of significance with Gauguin’s moral and political stances expressed in his painting, I discuss how to bring in the cinematographer moral and political stances in a cinematic story through the denotation of the characters. 

In the contemplative approach, through a dialectic of emotion with Boccioni’s artwork, I discuss how to trigger the imagining consciousness of the cinematographer through the apprehension of the emotion felt while contemplating Boccioni’s artwork, and how I had to disrupt the spatio-temporal linearity of the film sequence to express in the most effective way.



Lewis Paul; Larra Anderson

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Leeds Beckett University

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