Institut Jean Nicod

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George M. Wilson (University of Southern California)

Vendredi 22 novembre 2013 de 11h à 13h

Institut Jean-Nicod - ENS, 29, rue d'Ulm 75005 Paris. Pavillon Jardin, salle du RDC.

George M. Wilson (University of Southern California)

"Dans la mesure où son exposé prévoit une discussion du film Bigger Than Life (Nicholas Ray, 1956), le Prof. Wilson recommande aux auditeurs intéressés de l'avoir vu au préalable".

"A visual conundrum in Nicholas Ray’s bigger than life"

Abstract: In an earlier talk, “Imagined Seeing and the Rhetoric of Narrative Film,” I argued that many aspects of the ‘meaning’ or ‘significance’ of a given film are best understood as products of a kind of ‘visual rhetoric’.  That is, relevant movie audiences are persuaded that the narrative events in the movie—the events in a certain segment, for instance--are most aptly imagined as falling within a certain pattern of explanation and valuation.  In this talk, I use Nicholas Ray’s 1956 melodrama Bigger than Life as a striking example of the claim in question.  In the course of defending my approach to this movie, I provide a relatively close examination of the film as a whole and of a certain remarkable segment in particular, arguing for the interpretative strategy that, in my opinion, illuminates the opacity of the segment most naturally.  Of course, I also try to link this specific interpretation to some of my broader claims about the ‘visual rhetoric of movie narrative.’