Quotes of quotes of quotes of quotes, 8/10

Why bother trying to introduce this quote (taken from André Bazin’s essay “William Wyler, or the Jansenist of mise en scène”) with words when Hou Hsiao-hsien can introduce it so much better with images?

from Hou's 'The Puppetmaster' (1993)

from Hou's 'The Puppetmaster' (1993)

“The event, in its entirety, is there all the time, demanding to be looked at; it is we who decide to choose such and such aspect, to pick this rather than that one according to the demands of action, of feeling or of reflection, but someone else would perhaps choose differently. Whatever the circumstances we are free to do our own mise en scène: there is always another possible choice which can radically modify the subjective aspect of reality. Now, the director who chooses for us, exercises, in our place, the discrimination with which we are faced in real life. We unconsciously accept his analysis because it is consistent with the laws of attention; but it deprives us of the privilege, no less grounded in psychology, which we abandon without realising it, and which is, at least virtually, the freedom to modify our method of selection at every moment.

“The resulting psychological and then aesthetic consequences are important. This technique tends in particular to exclude the immanent ambiguity of reality. It ‘subjectivizes’ the event in the extreme since each tiny fragment is a result of the director’s bias. It doesn’t only involve a dramatic choice, affective or moral, but also, and more seriously, a clear standpoint on reality as such.” (André Bazin, “William Wyler, or the Jansenist of mise en scène”)

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