Motion and Stillness in the Image. Relations of Herzog's Films and Baroque Painting in the Light of André Bazin's Theory
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The authoress analyses the visual content of Werner Herzog's 'Heart of Glass' on the example of its individual frames. Situating his work within the context of reflections on aesthetics and ontology, she points out that this type of reflection may be the key to grasping the 'essence' of Herzog's films. In line with the central idea of the article, the unique character of the ontology of Herzog's film resides in the fact that it constitutes a synthesis of the ontology of the film image and Baroque pictures, emphasizing a coincidence of movement and stillness. The represented world of Herzog's films has the status of a 'frozen world' in which 'pulsating' expression is hidden under the surface of stillness. Herzog's shots come into being when oscillating between movement and stillness - the persistent and 'non-filmic' emphasis of the moment of transition of one phase of movement into the other one not only expresses a synthesis of the two ontologies (painting and film) but constitutes sui generis the strategy of exposing an illusion of a movement continuity at the expense of presenting its aesthetic quality. Herzog's filmmaking breaks with Bazin's vision of the psychological genesis and development of visual arts - the image in his films does not satisfy the need to imitate movement to the extent proper to film realistic tendency. Bazin's observation that the film delivers Baroque art from its convulsive catalepsy is significantly modified here - in Herzog's film, the convulsive catalepsy of Baroque art is both maintained and transgressed.
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