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  • Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Fisher-Bennett Hall 330

Tim Corrigan will give a colloquium talk entitled “In Other Words: Film and the Spider Web of Description” at noon on Wednesday, November 17, in FBH 330. The talk is the cornerstone for Tim’s current project, Describing Cinema.

This talk is the foundational argument for my project Describing Cinema, which is part theory, part rhetoric, and part pedagogy. It examines and demonstrates acts of describing scenes, shots, and sequences in films, as probably the most common and the most underestimated way viewers respond to movies. Practiced energetically and carefully, descriptions become an exceptionally rich way to demonstrate and celebrate the activities, varieties, and challenges of a central generative movement in the viewing and interpretation of films. My motto might be an inversion of one character’s tongue-in-cheek remark in Jean-Luc Godard’s First Name, Carmen (played by Godard himself), “badly seen, badly said,” rephrased for this project as “badly said, badly seen.” Here, that phrase becomes an indication how acts of describing films or parts of films can measure and instantiate complex ways of seeing that are partly about accuracy but also about the mobility of understanding and interpretation. At its best, describing films never simply denotes actions, images, sounds, or styles but rather produces the orchestration of one or more of those dimensions as an often creative and intersubjective movement between images, viewers, and a rhetorical language. Here, especially, writing about film becomes thinking about film. “In Other Words: Film and the Spider Web of Description” will address different literary and cinematic models and positions that engage the tactics and values of “description” in the largest sense, as a topic that returns to classical notions of ekphrasis but which, in the last ten years, has been revisited and reconsidered across a variety of critical and theoretical arguments.