Post-Empire Strikes Back – DISCUSSED: Sodomania, A Bug’s Life, A Fictional Work of Fiction, Super-Subtle Intertextuality, Twitter, Picking Fights with Dead Guys, Fifty Shades of Grey, Movies Made by Committee, Ellisian Perversion, The Unsung Swordsman of the Year, Listless Southern California Girls, Striking a Pose and Holding It So the Terror Doesn’t Show, Batwing Lashes
David Bordwell on formalism: ”motivation gives the audience a reason to accept a formal option” – More broadly, motivation gives the audience a reason to accept a formal option. One of my favorite examples comes in Citizen Kane. Having decided to tell Kane’s story in flashbacks more or less chronologically, Herman Mankiewicz and Orson Welles confronted a problem in their frame story. After Kane’s death a reporter would naturally turn to his surviving second wife before contacting friends or associates. But if Susan recounted her memories of Kane before the other witnesses did, her episodes would come from late in his life and throw off the chronology. Therefore the script makes Susan too drunk and angry to talk to the reporter Thompson when he calls. He must proceed to the Thatcher library, where he’ll learn about Kane’s earliest years. Later, when Susan is more sober, she recounts her flashback in its proper, chronological place.