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FOCUS IN FILM
All of these things require focus - the clear statement of a clear theme and the [characterization] dramatization of that theme in a well-crafted, tightly constructed plot. (Ray Morton, "Focal Points: Screenplay Theme, Structure & Characters")
...dramatic action - behavior, choices, reactions, things said, [things] unsaid, ... physical action. By definition, action requires precision, economy, and pacing [which is focus]. (Morton)
One of the focus points that should be made in Godard's film style in Band of Outsiders is how there is a constant fragility or fluidity in the plot, put in a modern setting. This plot fluidity is what focuses the style of the film and Godard's style in general: "Godard makes us feel his awareness of the constant fragility of his fiction, the illusoriness of his medium."
This "illusoriness" is seen in the style of Band of Outsiders. Consider the "Minute of Silence" scene. There is pure silence that permeates the desire of the characters to live in silence, apart from the fluid web of language, as a focused element of characterization. After a bit over thirty seconds, one of the characters remarks "Enough of that." Everything that once displayed sound goes silent and illuminates the fragility of being through the plot instrument showing how in an instant what once gave sound can be rendered silent. The fragility is also punctuated in how sound returns in the notion of "Enough of that." The style of the film is focused in its theme in this moment.
Another focus of the film style is in the wider theme shown in how everything moves towards an end that is not really an end. The end of obtaining the money is deferred by the supposed death, which itself is offset by the fact that there is not really a death, and there is not much in way of redemption. The theme of the film is that totality is denied. There is a lack of conclusion, seen in the ending of the plot when Odile declares her disgust with life and a sequel promised in the tropics. The focus reflects the theme in a lack of totality.
A major part of the film's focus is that the cinematic technique provides characterization when characters look at the camera as in the "Madison dance" and in the pulp fiction-like ending. The lack of totality is expressed in the absence of cinematic totality during characterization. These focuses are part of the film's style that are representative of a lack of totality in characterization shown through cinematic technique.
Can you help break it down for me a little bit more - if you were to pick three techniques that Godard used to tell his story - what would they be - for example, focus on youth and their bad decisions or nonchalant attaitude toward life?
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