Apprehensions of time : Michelangelo Antonioni and experimental cinema, 1960-1975
This thesis considers representations of time in cinema in the work of Michelangelo Antonioni and American and European experimental filmmakers of the 1960s and 1970s. In particular, it considers the role of the technology of cinema itself, and its relation to photography and sound recording, in the "representability" and embodiment of time. Chapter One considers the prominence of "the cut," and how this relates to notions of time, subjectivity and their discontinuity. Drawing on Hollis Frampton, Antonioni and Alain Resnais, I discuss how these notions are differently articulated in their work. Chapter Two focuses on the period's intensive reflection on the stillness of the photographic at the root of cinema, and on the ways in which Antonioni, Frampton, Michael Snow, Andy Warhol and Marguerite Duras amongst others "remediate" photography within cinema. In particular, I discuss this in relation to the contemporary problem of boredom. Chapter Three considers sound and, more specifically, how the conditions of aurality were changed by the development of magnetic tape technology in the course of the 1960s. Here I discuss Antonioni development of "soundscapes" in his films, indebted to the ideas of the French musique concrete movement and John Cage. In addition, I look at the representation of sound recording technology within Antonioni's films themselves, and the ways in which this also temporalizes the cinematic image. Chapter 4 concludes the thesis by discussing the thematic of "The End" that pervades the period. I consider how film itself could function as an emblem of temporal irreversibility and entropic decay. Entropy is further considered through a discussion of "the desert" in Antonioni, Robert Smithson, and Nancy Holt.