UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Structural awareness : three films Braidwood, Thomas Edward


The films discussed in the following pages are concerned with the theory and aesthetics of film-making. They serve as visual analytical essays embodying my personal attitudes and my development in the field of film production. Throughout the years of study my major concern has been the problem of commercial formula versus experimentation of film sensibilities in regards to the audience/artist relationship. For myself, I have attempted to define those elements inherent in the structure of the celluloid image. I have been interested more in the medium than the message. The method of approach in this paper has been to take each film and to place it into three categories: PRE-IMAGE, the motivating force(s) behind each film; second, IMAGE, the actual structure of the film; and third: POST-IMAGE, my reaction to the completed product in relation to the original concept. This approach was chosen in the hope of giving insight into the personal motivations, attitudes and changes that occur within an artist and his developing work. Film revolves around a large body of argumentative aesthetics. I have tried only to clarify my own aesthetics. I would say that my work has moved from alienation concepts to personal involvement concepts. When I speak of alienation I refer not only to the audience, but also of alienation from myself, that is, self-criticism during actual production What I have discovered (for myself) is that it is the actual process of film-making which is most fulfilling and that the final product only serves to develop new problems for an artist. What becomes important is that the audience must realise the final film is not all inclusive in definition. A finished film serves as a record not only to the audience but also to its creator as to the changing social attitudes of all concerned. Because of time involved in actual production, it is impossible to presuppose the sensibilities of an audience. Film does not always reflect a viewer's tastes. At best it tries to gauge and edify those tastes. Usually, commercial cinema tries merely to condition tastes. This type of attitude presumes far too much and is false. Film should serve the public, not vice-versa. Although visually, the films discussed herein are quite different, they do share common thematics. The most common of these is that of conceptual structure, the defining of structure and the relation of medium to the audience. This relationship is one of individuality not mass. Participation is a mutual arrangement and therefore an understanding of equality and mutual respect is absolutely necessary in order that we can learn from the experience. Art, and in this case film, is fundamentally an experience, and experience develops awareness. If an experience is to be enlightening it must be honest in scope and defined within the terms of the artist and within the terms of the audience. It is to this end that I have continued making films, in the hope of teaching myself both the awareness of experience and the experience of awareness.

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