Notes on the Cinematographer

Reading, Robert Bresson’s Notes on Cinematographer is like re-tracing a path to start from zero. Unlearning in the process of learning. Every sentence in the book looks back at the words that form its existence. These words create a rhythm that feels like a thought is in action. One that is economic, clear and precise. On the exterior it may seem as a concrete intent of the author. But the sentence that contains the thought is not concrete, because it determines its existence through a rigorous process of introspection that materializes in the sentence. The process of such manifestation is always evolving. It's like an act one does in front of a mirror, promising s(he) of the objectives and goals in life and trying to lay a path of confidently following it. This introspection is not the end but the foundation(belief) to fuel the larger work ahead. Hence, forming a nomenclature. One that begins with the book materializes on-screen and affect the viewer who then may/or may not become a part of the cycle.

The book is not a guide. It's not going to spoon-feed you and take you there. It's very much like a Robert Bresson film. One has to evaluate or introspect in the process of reading and re-reading each sentence itself. The purpose is to question. Not just what we read, but also what we see. Through this act of questioning one arrives at a certain point where the author and the reader could meet. One that could very well be to see thyself.

Here is the opening excerpt:-

Rid myself of the accumulated errors and untruths. Get to know my resources make sure of them.


The faculty of using my resources well diminishes when their number grows.


Master precision. Be a precision instrument myself.


Not have the soul of an executants(of my own projects). Find, for each shot, a new pungency over and above what I had imagined. Invention(re-invention)on the spot.


Metteur-en-scene, director. The point is not to direct someone, but to direct oneself.


No actors

(No directing of actors)

No parts

(No learning of parts)

No Staging

But the use of working models, taken from life.

Being(models)instead of SEEMING(actors)

Cinephile Meeting: Reports
The meeting started with a screening of 'Bicycle Thieves'. After the film got over we proceeded to a nearby cafe to discuss about the film and carry on with the agenda, film criticism in India.
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Pic-Merriweather Post Pavillion- Animal Collective.

Few of my fav tracks-

1) Grass
2) Fireworks
3) Did you see the words
4) The Purple Bottle
5) Their Latest album is by far one of best of 2009- In the Flowers, My Girl..damn I quite like everything. So do check it out.

Related: Few fav track from Panda Bear:

1) Bros
2) Take Pills

- I hope in April... I get time to finish the book. Think and write more on my experience. Get back to watching films, and also write more on the blog.


Srikanth said…
I've heard this is one tough book to go thru'. But that's expected from Bresson...

Neat write-up about the book by the way...
nitesh said…
Thanks for stopping by Srikanth. I'm enjoying going through the book. Taking it slowly but having fun nonetheless. Hoping to finish it soon. And what you reading these days?
Srikanth said…
Me? I'm yet to finish the last chapter of The Altering Eye. I'll mostly follow it up with Perkins' Film as Film
nitesh said…
Altering is one of most accessible books on Cinema. I found it not just informative but it also gave a good foundation of cinematic culture and tradition.

Film as Film....well what to book on cinema that anyone remotely interested in the medium should read.

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