1

Chapter 1: Pasolini’s Lingua X

[Dispute 1: The use of free indirect discourse in cinema:

Communication, non-communica...
or the indirect use of “language” inherent within the character’s social or cultural class. Pasolini’s
understanding of fr...
cinematic image. In the medium’s supposed “communicative” aspects, Pasolini’s abandonment of free
indirect discourse strov...
internal individuality is minimized”; and a pictorial style which obliterates “the precise, external
contours of reported ...
because the author intervened to elucidate Clara’s confusion in regards to John’s actions by directly
reporting her speech...
discourse is what matches most closely to Pasolini’s conception of free indirect discourse in the
cinema. As opposed to th...
living impression of voices heard as if in a dream can be directly expressed only in the
       form of quasi-indirect dis...
[i.e. discourse], even if it is shown through language. And if it is not subordinated to the
communicative function, then ...
Consider Banfield’s example from Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway:

       No crime; love; he repeated, fumbling for his car...
In arguing that “represented speech and thought,” as articulated in the novel, is non-communicative,
Banfield’s problemati...
the medium of the novel. As she makes clear, the technique’s “analogy with visual perspective will not
allow the formal ar...
language was not strictly relegated within the semiotic pantheon, but a system that was acted as if it
was written through...
carries out an operation similar to ‘writing,’ which records the spoken language. Hence we have a
further parallel: the wr...
displays objects as “brutally objective.” Being as such, the second nature of the im-segno is functional,
it establishes “...
Pasolini cites several directors and their films as cornerstones of this new “aesthetic,” namely,
Antonioni’s The Red Dese...
His [Godard’s] pretextual ‘free indirect discourse’ is a confrontational arrangement
       which does not differentiate b...
Visual and aural manifestations within a film dependent on movement-images always meet each other
as natural functions rat...
The cut, or interstice, between two series of images no longer forms part of either of the
       two series: it is the eq...
It is the accented nature, or “plurilingualism,” of Godard’s work that renders “free indirect subjective”
or “vision” as t...
imbued by an authoring hand. For Pasolini, this was not the case, the cinematic camera itself is an
epistemological entity...
moment as their inspired number, cuts off each time the omniscient narrator digresses to “describe our
heroes’ feelings.” ...
The sequence shot is associated with Italian Neo-Realism where directors, such as Roberto Rossellini
and Vittorio Di Sica,...
already a historical past for the viewer, while the viewer simultaneously lives it. It is, in other words,
the death of th...
render the atmosphere locked within its own narrative. The editing hand that is Pasolini’s is betrayed
by the cuts that co...
In a striking rhetorical sting that punctures the last five paragraphs of “The ‘Cinema of Poetry,’”
Pasolini delivers a sc...
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Final_Thesis_Pasolini_X
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Final_Thesis_Pasolini_X
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Final_Thesis_Pasolini_X
Final_Thesis_Pasolini_X
Final_Thesis_Pasolini_X
Final_Thesis_Pasolini_X
Final_Thesis_Pasolini_X
Final_Thesis_Pasolini_X
Final_Thesis_Pasolini_X
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Final_Thesis_Pasolini_X

  1. 1. 1 Chapter 1: Pasolini’s Lingua X [Dispute 1: The use of free indirect discourse in cinema: Communication, non-communication, or the fallibility of subjectivity?] “What is a gesture? A threatening gesture, for example? It is not a blow that is interrupted. It is certainly something that is done in order to be arrested and suspended.” —Jacques Lacan, “What is a Picture”1 The first phrase dispute in the différend that is modern cinema is a phenomenon that surfaced into cinematic discourses by Pier Paolo Pasolini’s critical look into the role of subjectivity and objectivity as witnessed by the director and character within a film. “Free indirect discourse,” “quasi-direct discourse,” “represented speech and thought,” “free indirect subjective,” “free indirect vision,” are all terms that apply to the conflation of subjective and objective “point-of-views” between an author (director) and the characters of a novel or film. As a literary and cinematic technique, it is indeed a contentious concept for reasons that will hopefully become clear in this essay. I try to argue that through formulating a cinematic form of “free indirect discourse,” Pasolini corporates the camera as an apparatus with a subjective “point-of-view,” one that is divorced from the subjectivity of the authoring hand that uses it. Pasolini’s formulation of free indirect discourse as a cinematic technique derives its theoretical underpinnings from literary theory. The publication of Giulio Herczeg’s Lo Stile Indiretto Libero in Italiano of 1963 inspired Pasolini to write his essay on literature “Comments on Free Indirect Discourse” the following year. Free indirect discourse, as a literary technique, is the transcription of reported speech and how that spoken utterance is stylistically altered into a literary genre. As opposed to direct discourse, which places the utterance of a speaker within quotations, indirect discourse embeds the utterance as an indirect representation of speech. In Pasolini’s (Marxist) reading of free indirect discourse, the technique assumed a form of a certain linguistic contamination on the part of the writer because of its indirect nature, the ability for the author to intervene with the character. In order to create and constitute a character that is removed from an author’s socio-cultural milieu, an author uses a language that is foreign to him because it is another world that the author must enter via his characters. In the essay pertaining to literature “Comments on Free Indirect Discourse,” Pasolini argues: In the case where, in order to reanimate the thoughts of his character, an author is compelled to reanimate his words, it means that the words of the author and those of the character are not the same: the character lives, then, in another linguistic or psychological, or cultural, or historical world. He belongs to another social class. And the author therefore knows the world of that social class only through the character and his language.2 The literary technique, however, is not as simple as Pasolini makes it out to be in his writings. Indeed, “free indirect discourse” is a complex literary, stylistic structure, one that does in fact espouse a certain “contamination” but which, nonetheless, involves more than just “reanimating thoughts” of a character
  2. 2. or the indirect use of “language” inherent within the character’s social or cultural class. Pasolini’s understanding of free indirect discourse was flawed, even when transposed into the cinematic realm. Pasolini’s awkward restructuring of the technique into cinema, however, underscores the tensions that are inherent in the literary style and its later manifestation in cinema. As I will try to argue, although Pasolini’s reformulation of free indirect discourse for cinematic purposes was theoretically imperfect, precisely because of its nascent forms in the cinema, it nonetheless exposed a technique that the cinema had heretofore unacknowledged as such. Transposing free indirect discourse into the cinema required Pasolini to reformulate the literary construct of the technique and transpose it into cinematic stylistic means. It was a theoretical stretch, no doubt, but one with implications for modern cinema. In its cinematic modernity, free indirect discourse as articulated by Pasolini would later be taken up by Gilles Deleuze in Cinema 2: The Time-Image as a technique that defines new relations of thought inherent in the cinematic medium’s modernist approach. In Cinema 2, Deleuze discursively posits Jean-Luc Godard as the arbiter of the time-image because of Godard’s use (or Deleuze’s conception of his use) of free indirect discourse. Unlike Michelangelo Antonioni or Bernardo Bertolucci, two directors alongside Godard that Pasolini cites as practitioners of the technique in film, Pasolini argued that Godard’s use of the medium’s capabilities to transcribe free indirect discourse loses its power to differentiate between the objects and subjects the cinematic camera captures. Pasolini focuses on Godard precisely because of the complexities involved in representing free indirect discourse in the communicative medium that is cinema. I argue that Pasolini directed his critique specifically against Godard because of the tensions inherent in the application of representing subjectivity and objectivity in film. Through his theoretical work on the cinema and its relation to Godard, Pasolini, I believe, shifted tactics in order to problematize, both technically and rhetorically, the implications that free indirect discourse had in the cinematic medium. Deleuze’s creation of the time-image places the cinematic notion of free indirect discourse as the harbinger of modern cinema, but in its complexity it elicits another layer to the dispute that is modern cinema. In the discursive formation that surrounds modern cinema and the relation free indirect discourse has with it in the writings of Pasolini and Deleuze, Godard is thereby placed as the witness to the différend. By folding Deleuze’s conception of free indirect discourse and its relation to Godard in light of Pasolini’s rhetorical problematizations of the latter’s cinematic practice, I hope to explicate on the untenable nature that modern cinema is precisely because of its discursive formation. I do this through an examination of Pasolini’s use and later abandonment of free indirect discourse in his films. As I try to demonstrate, Pasolini abandoned free indirect discourse in favor of a more lucid encounter with the technical possibilities cinema can capture between objectivity and subjectivity, concepts so important to free indirect discourse. While Pasolini’s notion that the “cinema of poetry” elucidated the flaws in the cinematic use of free indirect discourse, still in its infancy as a style, the problematizations Pasolini himself had with the technique sheds light on the cinematic camera’s power to underscore the dynamics between objectivity and subjectivity. More pointedly, examples from Pasolini’s work in this essay attempt to expand his critical work in regards to the points of view of both author (director) and character. I argue that his cinematic work renders these points of views as fallible. Pasolini’s awkward stance towards the technique of free indirect discourse—and as they manifest in his works Hawks and Sparrows, La Ricotta, and Il Decamerone—indicates a tension within the notions of subjectivity and objectivity as witnessed in the
  3. 3. cinematic image. In the medium’s supposed “communicative” aspects, Pasolini’s abandonment of free indirect discourse strove for a problematization of the cinematic image’s supposed “free, indirect” subjectivity of a director. In that problematization, I argue that through Pasolini’s cinematic and theoretical practice the camera is witnessed as possessing its own subjectivity, one independent of and divorced from the authoring hand of a cinematic auteur. The Theoretical Rise of Free Indirect Discourse 1) Direct Discourse/Indirect Discourse/Quasi-Direct Discourse A discussion of free indirect discourse begins at the literary level. In discussing the early work of V.N. Voloshinov on the technique, and later arguments as articulated by Ann Banfield in Unspeakable Sentences: Narration and Representation in the Language of Fiction, we can begin to understand the complex nature of Pasolini’s use of free indirect discourse as it manifests itself in the moving image. By following the specific literary and linguistic trajectory of both Voloshinov and Banfield, I argue that Pasolini’s use of free indirect discourse in the cinema reaches a stasis by becoming the ultimate limit point of both trajectories. In discussing Voloshinov and Banfield, I wish to arrive at that limit point, where the cinematic image freezes subjectivity and objectivity as expressed in Pasolini’s reading and rejection of free indirect discourse in the cinema. V.N. Voloshinov’s pioneering work of the 1930s, Marxism and The Philosophy of Language, traces the emergence of free indirect discourse as it surfaces in literature. A close associate of Mikhail Bakhtin, Voloshinov, as the title of his book suggests, was intent on placing the word and the spoken utterance on a social/Marxist level. The word, for Voloshinov as well as Bakhtin, was reciprocal and dialogical. The word and the utterance are social constructs that must be contextualized (whether on the social, historical, physiological, or geographical levels); they are both “heteroglossias” in Bakhtin’s analysis.3 Being a social construct, words and utterances are derived from the concrete context of their enunciation—their verbal interaction in the social world. “The actual reality of language-speech is not the abstract system of linguistic forms, not the isolated monologic utterance, and not the psychophysiological act of its implementation, but the social event of verbal interaction implemented in an utterance or utterances.”4 In the active and reciprocal role that language plays within a social context, literature, by extension, must take into account the active participation of the speaker and the hearer, the addressor and the addressee. Discourse, then, is an active dialogue, not an internal monologue. The problems inherent in “reporting speech” as a form of active discourse into a literary text is therefore what is at issue for Voloshinov and Bakhtin. For if the word and the utterance are a social/reciprocal phenomenon, how can such discourses surface within the mute medium of the printed words that comprise a text? Voloshinov dissects the use of “reported speech” by a writer into three categories: direct discourse, indirect discourse, and quasi-direct discourse. All three styles report active speech as an “objective document” of speech reception. These textual discourses are “objective” precisely because language is transposed from the active and contextual world from which the word or utterance was delivered and into a represented document. “Between the reported speech and the reporting [written] context, dynamic relations of high complexity and tension are in force. A failure to take these into account makes it impossible to understand any form of reported speech.”5 For Voloshinov, reported speech splinters into two stylistic tendencies that are interoriented within a text: a linear style which constructs “clear-cut, external contours for reported speech, whose own
  4. 4. internal individuality is minimized”; and a pictorial style which obliterates “the precise, external contours of reported speech; at the same time, the reported speech is individualized to a much greater degree—the tangibility of the various facets of an utterance may be subtly differentiated.”6 The linear style of reported speech demarcates the word or utterance by screening out the author’s “intonations.” In other words, utterances are bracketed off as directly quoted speech. For example: “Let’s make the film,” John said and turned towards the camera. “Let’s make the film” is what John said at that moment, the author does not weaken the voice of John; it is direct discourse as such. John’s message is conveyed directly, without mediation on the writer’s behalf. The pictorial style, however, is far more complex. In it, the reported speech or message is weakened by the intercession of a writer. Voloshinov sees a mixing of speech reporting, where the author intercepts the word or utterance and transcribes the reported speech with his/her own intonations. As reported speech becomes mixed, it becomes indirect discourse because the author manipulates the original utterance. “Indirect discourse ‘hears’ a message differently; it actively receives and brings to bear in transmission different factors, different aspects of the message than do the other patterns [of direct discourse].”7 The shift from direct to indirect discourse is a matter of altering the form of the speech act rather than its content. As such, indirect discourse is a matter of style and grammar. How an author twists the relations of discourse from one level to the next is dependent on linguistic parameters inherent in conveying that very shift. For example, consider the following two sentences: “Let’s make the film,” John said and turned towards the camera. Let’s make the film, John said and turned towards the camera. As is evident from the last sentence, it is a change in the form the speech takes, vis-à-vis the use of quotations, while content remains identical to the previous sentence. However, in the stylistic and grammatical change, a shift occurs in the intonation of the speech reported. “Let’s make the film” now becomes past, a past that may or may not have occurred in actuality since it is represented. Without the quotations, the actuality of the utterance is weakened—it becomes, in a sense, diluted within the textual. My examples thus far have remained at the most simple level of reporting direct and indirect speech. In a sense, I, as the reporter of John’s speech act, did indeed intercept his phrase “let’s make the film” from direct to indirect representation, but from the examples cited one cannot intimate my role in that phrase interception. Let us add another character to the sentence: John said let’s make the film and turned towards the camera. “Help me,” Clara said. She realized she did not know where to begin because John appeared frantic. The second character’s quoted phrase “help me” qualifies this sentence as direct and in the present of Clara’s affective nature in regards to John’s appearance as frantic. Since Clara’s speech is direct discourse, the following description of John’s appearance sustains the factuality and contemporaneity of the narrative sentence. In other words, the reader assumes that John is indeed frantic in Clara’s eyes,
  5. 5. because the author intervened to elucidate Clara’s confusion in regards to John’s actions by directly reporting her speech at the moment she witnessed John as frantic. In this instance, direct and indirect discourse bounce off each other to create a narrative that sustains the factuality of Clara’s reported speech “help me.” By the use of quotations the sentence is, in a sense, a fact of the characters discourse. The character’s hesitation directly involves the confusion on “where to begin,” the author transcribes that confusion through a mixture of first and third person narrative. This sentence obfuscates the direct and indirect discourses of represented speech. The author uses a quoted first person phrase in order to render the narrative as more dramatic. The quoted phrase is “made strange,” as Voloshinov describes it, because it suits the author’s intent in creating a heightened sense of drama, irony or humor.8 For example, suppose this sentence is excerpted from a full-length novel with John being a conniving filmmaker ready to ambush the career of a burgeoning actress. This sentence, then, allows the author’s attitude to infiltrate the text in that it allows him or her to place indirect and direct discourses as colorations that heighten the drama, or irony, of the narrative. The use of indirect and direct discourses creates, as Voloshinov describes it, a “pictorial” effect on the use of language. It is, in other words, textured to elicit and blur both a sense of actuality and a sense of individuality on the characters behalf as rendered by the author. But let us remove the quotes from the second character’s ambiguous assertion: John said let’s make the film and turned towards the camera. Help me, Clara said, realizing she did not know where to begin since John appeared frantic. Notice here another stylistic, linguistic shift after the quotes were removed. The past tense has become an imparfait (imperfect) (“realizing”) rather than a historic present/aorist (“realized”). The imparfait functions as a tense of contemporaneity with the past, it is happening within the present of the narrative past. In this respect, the imparfait allows the reality of the fiction, or the fiction that is reality, to flourish. The phrases in the sentence are twisted as to elicit a sense of both contemporaneity and historicity. Contrasted to the previous sentence, where Clara’s speech was still bracketed into quotes, this sentence elicits even more confusion. Whereas the use of direct discourse and indirect discourse relied on the “reporting” mechanisms of the utterance, this sentence without quotes allows the author to “act out” the role of the characters by having a dialogue with him or her. This is possible through the removal of quoted, direct speech, and also the verb tense of the imparfait. Rather than actions being held in the past, the imparfait allows the author to live in the present moment of a characters past action and thought. In this respect, an author can extrapolate on Clara’s condition unconditionally, coloring the narrative text with subjective feelings and descriptions that move beyond being mere “reported speech.” Rather than being an interior monologue of that character’s thoughts, it is a dialogue between character and author. For example: John said let’s make the film and turned towards the camera. Help me, Clara said, realizing she did not know where to begin since John appeared frantic. Her lips began to quiver. Can he see them? At any rate, why was he running around the set throwing props everywhere? Why? Did he not have enough coffee? Is John bipolar? Did he forget his medication? That must be it, what a brute John is. For Voloshinov, this is an instance of speech interference—a special strain inherent in the literary context of the novel that Voloshinov titles as “quasi-direct discourse” (in German erlebte Rede, in French style indirect libre, and in English free indirect discourse). In its “interference,” quasi-direct
  6. 6. discourse is what matches most closely to Pasolini’s conception of free indirect discourse in the cinema. As opposed to the mixing of both direct and indirect speech, in this sentence the author inserts him or her self directly in order to interfere in the context of the fiction of the printed text or discourse. With quasi-direct discourse, “reported speech will begin to sound as if it were in a play where there is no embracing context and where the character’s lines confront other lines by other characters without any grammatical concatenation. Thus relations between reported speech and authorial context, via absolute acting out, take a shape analogous to the relations between alternating lines in dialogue. Thereby the author is put on a level with his character, and their relationship is dialogized.”9 In this regard, for Voloshinov, this sentence qualifies as a new form of rendering reported speech, a new style: quasi-direct discourse—in opposition to indirect, or direct, discourse. As Voloshinov reads it, quasi-direct discourse is “not a simple mechanical mixture or arithmetical sum of two forms [direct and indirect discourse] but a completely new, positive tendency in active reception of another person’s utterance, a special direction in which the dynamics of the interrelationship between reporting and reported speech moves.”10 In its use of the imparfait, quasi-direct discourse, as Voloshinov would read it, creates an emotive atmosphere that is “permeated with fantasy.”11 One must ask, however, how this is so? The sentence, in its shift to the imparfait, creates an interesting juxtaposition of both a present-ness of the character (“not knowing”) and an awkward temporality with the past of her emotive feeling (“appeared”). In this bind, the author qua narrator has immersed him/her self into a “fantasy.”12 It is a temporality that beats its own rhythm within the fictive ambiance of the narrative. The sentence does not seek to conflate the notion of whether the sentence specifies the author or character; it is a matter of interference between the author and character. As an example, who is that understands John as a “brute”? Is it Clara that is thinking this way? Alternatively, is the author representing her thoughts through the dialogue he/she has with Clara? The affirmation that John is a “brute” is ambiguous, the reader, in this case, can mistake this description to be attributed either to the character Clara or to the author. Furthermore, following Voloshinov’s argument, this indefiniteness is the dialogic interference that quasi-direct discourse operates on. Both the author and character think that John is a brute through the dialogue that emerges from the use of quasi-direct discourse in the text. In this respect, the technique is not a “passive impression” that the author transcribes of a narrative scene, it expresses an “active orientation, and not one that merely amounts to a shift of person from first to third, but one that imposes upon the reported utterance its own accents, which collide and interfere with the accents in the reported utterance.”13 Likewise, who is asking of the quivering lips, “Can he see them?” Indeed, we can prefix that question with either: “She wondered” or “I wondered.” The author is in a dialogue with the character Clara, extracting thoughts from her through the author’s fantasy of the text. Notice here that it is either a third or first person narrative, not a second person narrative. Because quasi-direct discourse (or free indirect discourse) is a fantasy, the second person “you” would shatter the stronghold of the narrative ambiance. If a “you” is placed (“You wondered”), the fictive ambiance of the text would collapse, the dialogue between author and character dissolve, and the narrative fantasy would disintegrate. Voloshinov reiterates this line of thought consistently, “fantasy recreates the living past.”14 Indeed, for an artist in process of creation, the figures of his fantasies are the realest of realities; he not only sees them, he hears them, as well. He does not make them speak (as in direct discourse), he hears them speaking [notice here the imparfait]. And this
  7. 7. living impression of voices heard as if in a dream can be directly expressed only in the form of quasi-indirect discourse.15 As Voloshinov highlights, quasi-direct discourse is not a “masked” discourse, it is not an author/narrator that is disguising as a certain character, it is the character him/her self that is speaking with the author—it is, in other words, dialogic. Quasi-direct discourse is “fantasy’s own form.” 16 The artist who uses quasi-direct discourse “addresses himself only to the reader’s fantasy. It is not his [sic, the author’s] aim to communicate facts or the content of thought with its help; he desires only to convey his impressions directly, to arouse in the reader’s mind living figures and representations.”17 In its “double-faced” representation (like “Janus” Voloshinov reminds us), quasi-direct discourse takes for granted the notion that speech is represented as a duality, a dialogue between author and character. 18 In other words, it is already established by the reader that authorial interferences are inherent within whatever text the reader is engaged in. But what is this text that a reader may engage in when it comes to quasi-direct discourse? It is the novel as it surfaced in mid-nineteenth century France. Citing Flaubert and La Fontaine, Voloshinov argues that the stylistic structure of the novel, in terms of grammar and syntax, encourages the reader to apprehend quasi-direct discourse because of the “silent act” in which the medium of the novel (“prose genres”) must be apprehended. As in our example, the apperceptive encounter the reader would have when reading “John what a brute he is” cannot be understood if communicated verbally. In other words, the dialogue that quasi-direct discourse initiates between the author and character cannot be removed from the text of the novel. Quasi-direct discourse is, in its syntactical and grammatical function, enmeshed within the structure of the sentences that comprise the structure of the narrative act. Quasi-direct discourse must be read in order for it to effectuate its technical and stylistic resonance, that of speech interference. Voloshinov reiterates: “Only this ‘silencing’ [from silent reading] of prose could have made possible the multileveledness and voice-defying complexity of intonational structures that are so characteristic for modern literature.”19 The complexity of quasi-direct discourse is entrenched in the representation of speech itself as represented in a novel, and, as such, such discourses are “unproducible if read aloud.” 20 The discourse that furls out of the novel is, therefore, one that remains in the novel for the reader to decipher “silently.” 2) Represented Speech and Thought In Unspeakable Sentences, Ann Banfield also locates the rise of quasi-direct discourse (free indirect discourse) in the mid-nineteenth century French novel. Working within a Chomskyan analysis of generative-transformative grammar, Banfield takes the use of the technique and analyzes the syntactic function of the sentences that comprise a novel’s text. For Banfield, however, quasi-direct discourse/free indirect discourse are both misnomers—the technique, according to Banfield, is non- communicative. Unlike Voloshinov’s reading of quasi-direct discourse, Banfield argues that there is no reciprocity between author and character—no dialogue that sustains the function of the literary technique. In this respect, Banfield shifts the technique’s title to “represented speech and thought.” The question of “Who Speaks?” in a novel is what is at issue in regards to the use of free indirect discourse/quasi-direct discourse/represented speech and thought. For Voloshinov the “who” was both the author and character, which assumes that the author guides the “voice” of the text. Therefore, the “point-of-view” of the narrated text in quasi-direct discourse assumes that there is a point of subjectivity. This, for Banfield, is untenable. “Subjectivity is not dependent on the communicative act
  8. 8. [i.e. discourse], even if it is shown through language. And if it is not subordinated to the communicative function, then language can contain speakerless sentences.”21 Banfield goes at length to separate the linguistic act of discourse from the written act of its representation. Unlike Voloshinov, from whom she extrapolates and resituates many theoretical/linguistic concepts, Banfield does not concur that reported speech or discourse, as it surfaces in the text of the novel, engages in a dialogic encounter between author and character. Rather, for Banfield, the novel, in its syntactic and grammatical function, shapes its own language divorced from speech or dialogue—“speech is not language but linguistic performance.”22 In order to argue that sentences that comprise the narration of a novel are non-communicative, Banfield traces the “actual distribution” of syntactic arrangements in the medium to differentiate between forms of speech that elicit a non-dialogical relation to the narrative. Through the dissection of syntax in the written medium of the novel (verb tenses, noun phrases, deictics, parenthetical sentences, and pronouns), Banfield sifts through sentences of fiction in order to locate the verb tense aorist (simple past) as that which does not speak—that is, a tense that is not used in “linguistic performance” or dialogue. The use of the tense as a function of fiction coincides with its fall as an outmoded use in speech, a historical shift that coincided with the rise of the novel. Utilized in works by Flaubert and Zola, and with an increasing degree of usage in the early twentieth century (Henry James, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Jean-Paul Sartre are examples Banfield employs), Banfield argues that the aorist is only literary, not spoken. In French, the aorist is still the tense of fiction, not a tense of discourse. In a sense, Banfield takes up Voloshinov’s notion of the “silencing” of prose by heightening that silence—not discourse but a representation of discourse: “represented speech and thought.” The aorist, in Banfield’s reading, is a “literary tense” precisely because it does not speak when someone speaks in actuality—it is used only in the language of fiction, as a linguistic tense of the fictive. Banfield gives the following simple example to illustrate the difference between the aorist and the imparfait: Elle vit la lune. (aorist) [She saw the moon.] Elle voyait la lune. (imparfait) [She saw the moon.]23 Distinct from Voloshinov’s reading of the imparfait as the tense that functions within quasi-direct discourse, Banfield finds the aorist to be the tense that structures the rise of the novel as unique. The difference between the aorist and the imparfait as a function of the novel is a matter of temporality. While the imparfait connotes a representation of a moment that is “happening” in the past (“turning, “rolling,” saying”), the aorist stitches that utterance to a distanced past (“turned,” “rolled,” “said”). The imparfait, as a narrative function, allows the “now” of discourse to foreground itself without a “present”—that is, a representation without a locatable “present”—it is represented as “happening” in the past without knowing exactly when that past is. The aorist, however, is a representation in the novel that is given without a “now” or “present”—it “happened” as such. The aorist is, in other words, the absence of subjectivity because it is un-localizable as a discreet temporal entity.
  9. 9. Consider Banfield’s example from Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway: No crime; love; he repeated, fumbling for his card and pencil, when a Skye terrier snuffed his trousers and he started in an agony of fear. It was turning into a man! He could not watch it happen! It was horrible, terrible to see a dog become a man! At once the dog trotted away…. 24 For Banfield it is the aorist, or simple past, of this passage (“he repeated,” “snuffed,” “started,” “trotted”) that signals a shift in the perception of the representation of speech in a novel rather than the imparfait, or imperfect (“fumbling,” “turning”). In this shift from Voloshinov, Banfield contends that the novel, as a syntactic and grammatical function, renders the text “speechless.” It is a matter of grammar that subtracts subjectivity, not the intervention of the author who writes it. In this respect, Woolf is not re-living the moments of the characters “fumbling,” she is representing the thought or consciousness of that expression in a past of a character that is removed from her. The subject of that narration lives in a past that is its own and represented by Woolf. In other words, Woolf does not discourse with the text. All parts of the text [of the novel] are composed by the author, but their relation to their creator is different from their textual relation to any fictional subject of consciousness or speaker. The text speaks, not the author in it. He has written it, which […] is a very different act from speaking. The author, unlike either narrator or character, is not ordinarily represented in the text; his ordering hand is perhaps “betrayed” in it, but not in the form of a fictional person and can only be reconstructed by the form of argumentation called “interpretation.”25 This exact shift is what prompts Banfield to banish the notion of subjectivity from sentences of narration—it is “speechless” because speech in the novel is represented not performed. This in turn leads Banfield to argue that, “The process of reading a narrative text involves determining the status of each sentence—is its force object and fiction-creating or must it be interpreted with the caution due any subjective statement?”26 The distanciation the aorist makes allows Banfield to formulate that very distance as the mechanism that subtracts the subjectivity of the author. In other words, there is no dialogue between the “writing hand” and the words “written.” Rather, because of the literary use of the aorist, there is a temporal abyss that separates the two. In this regard, there is no second person narrative with “represented speech and thought.” A “you” would cut the time gulf between the fictive universe of the novel and the present-ness of contemporaneity in regards to the character’s fictive milieu. In this sense, the novel is its own whirlpool of sentences as represented speech and thought that are attached to characters that remain within the novel at a distance. Narration, then, assumes a disembodied form since it does not speak to anyone, but only itself. Unlike, yet extending, Voloshinov’s notion of the “fantasy” inherent in the relationship between author/character in quasi-direct discourse, Banfield’s analysis retains the fantastical element of the fiction, but locates it within the narrative itself as a distanced grammatical function that, as such, excludes the author as a subject within a text. In the use of the aorist, the author, then, is distanced too. All is fiction, in part due to the grammatical function of fiction: its rise as a distinct literary style from the aorist.
  10. 10. In arguing that “represented speech and thought,” as articulated in the novel, is non-communicative, Banfield’s problematizes the concepts of objectivity and subjectivity. This distancing, in Banfield’s argument, is what wrests authorial subjectivity, or the authoring hand in the guise of a “narrator” that sustains a narrative, from the text—hence making the novel a “non-communicative” and “speak-less” act. Since the language of narration is not “speech” as such, for Banfield it excludes subjective intonations or accents. For the sentences that comprise a narrative are not a form of dialogue or speech, they are representations of them. Therefore, Banfield’s reallocation of discourse into non-discourse within the medium of the novel assumes a standardization of representation. For what does happen when, for instance, a dialect or an idiomatic expression (skaz, or speech forms, a term Banfield borrows from the Russian Formalists) surfaces within a text? In this instance, dialects can only be represented as direct discourse. Since the novel is not dialogue but a representation of dialogue, in order to sustain its mechanism as a coherent form of representation, vis- à-vis a narrative text, it must exclude what it cannot plainly represent in a written format—accents or stratifications of language. The novel, then, assumes that the representation of language is a transparent fact. For if the sentences that comprise the novel are non-communicative, those sentences must be rendered comprehensible as transparent. Accents, therefore, cannot be re-presented, they must be presented in order for them to be understood as such through direct (i.e. quoted) discourse. The sentences of narration are therefore accentless. Only in the form of direct discourse, or speech fragments that are quoted, can dialects or linguistic stratifications occur. Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights is an example of this, where the Yorkshire dialect of Nelly and Joseph must be directly quoted in order for it to be presented. When it is re- presented by Mr. Lockwood as “represented speech,” it must be rendered as accentless, in a standardized (i.e. grammatically coherent) “written” form, to be understood in the narrative. The narrative must assume a level of linguistic transparency in order for its language to be understood as representation. Dialogue and discourse therefore cut the fabric of the fiction that is the novel by making “speech” not representation but verbal interaction—a performance that is at odds with the silent-ness of the medium that is the novel. In this respect, the sentences of narration are not speech, they are representations of discourses that “silence” the speaker. The subjectivity of the author qua writer is what is at issue for Banfield. In formulating a theoretical shift from free indirect discourse/quasi-direct discourse to “represented speech and thought,” Banfield creates a new perception of how subjectivity and objectivity become problematized within the novel through the written representation of language. In doing so, she disrupts the assumption that behind a “narrator” lies an actual subject in the guise of an author—a “point-of-view” located within the text that is imbued with subjectivity. This assumption underplays the thrust of the novel as medium, which, according to Banfield, is “unspeakable” and non-dialogical. A writer may leave his signature in his writing—it may even contribute a major proportion of what is valued in it—but this is not what his writing creates, but only a byproduct of it. It is writing, by making possible the sentence of narration and the sentence of representing consciousness, which allows the literary work to take on an objective life independent of its author. 27 In her discussion of “represented speech and thought,” Banfield locates the technique strictly with the eradication of the verb tense aorist within “linguistic” performance and its shift as a literary tense with
  11. 11. the medium of the novel. As she makes clear, the technique’s “analogy with visual perspective will not allow the formal argumentation required, for there is nothing immediately comparable to the relation between these two terms [“point-of-view” and “speaking voice”] in the visual arts. The solution lies rather in a theory of subjectivity in language.”28 While Banfield’s argument is strictly focused on the medium of the novel, her final paragraph slightly extends her reading to encompass the cinema, but only as an ambiguous afterthought. In his Orphée, Cocteau, by an ingenious technical solution, was able to photograph a mirror without reflecting the camera—what would have violated the illusion of fiction. The mirror held up to nature by the artist deflects in reflecting. But what may have been a trick at the level of technique was perfectly legitimate and necessary for the creation of a fiction construct. For the writer, however, language has already solved the technical problem of silencing the speaker and his authority.29 While Banfield’s assertion that represented speech and thought/free indirect discourse remains at a literary level, her final examination of Cocteau’s’ film Orphée as an example of that technique in the visual arts leaves her reading ambiguous to the fact that it does indeed broaden into other mediums— specifically the cinematic. These two trajectories present distinct extremes on how the function of free indirect discourse performs in a novel. For Voloshinov, quasi-direct discourse is dialogic, functioning as a mechanism of the novel that elicits its own discourse. For Banfield, represented speech and thought cannot be discourse because it is “speech-less”— the technique represents speech, it does not enact it. Both arguments extend the technique to its outer confines, its extremity. Pasolini’s work on free indirect discourse, as it acts itself out in the cinema, takes the technique to another limit—the image not the word. In retrospect, in shifting the technique to the cinema, Pasolini places the moving image as the medium that reflects the extreme limit point of both Voloshinov and Banfield’s arguments of the literary technique. It is the cinematic image that seizes both discourse and non-discourse into a stasis of both concepts. For if the cinematic image is a form of technological reproducibility, its imaging mechanism renders its production of reproducibility, vis-à-vis the objects and subjects it transcribes, as silenced. But it achieves this through visual communication itself, a visual discourse that must, by force, communicate coherently (i.e. syntactically) its represented meaning to an audience. Exasperating both notions of discourse and non-discourse in the technique of free indirect discourse, I argue that Pasolini’s notion of the technique in the cinema embosses that divide. But how does the cinema transcribe subjectivity through free indirect discourse since the cinema is not a medium of written language? To argue this, Pasolini structured reality as a language, and the cinema as the “written language of reality.” For if a film can be understood as a syntactic arrangement, it, too, can be read like a language. But it still begs the question of how reality is a language, and how cinema can write that very language itself. Reality as a Written Language/ Free Indirect Subjectivity In “The Cinema: Language or Language System?” Christian Metz asserts that the cinema “is not a language system, because it contradicts three important characteristics of the linguistic fact: a language is a system of signs used for intercommunication.”30 For Pasolini, who wrote a rebuttal against Metz, the cinema was not a language system founded on purely “written” texts as signs, but a language system based on bodily actions and gestures of reality as intercommunication.31 This “written”
  12. 12. language was not strictly relegated within the semiotic pantheon, but a system that was acted as if it was written through human action—that is, through the body.32 Along with Pasolini, Félix Guattari would also manipulate the semiotic stronghold of the text to incorporate the body as another intensity with the use of “semiotization.” “What I call semiotization is what happens with perception, with movement in space, with singing, dancing, mimicry, caressing, contact, everything that concerns the body. All these modes of semiotization are being reduced to the dominant language, the language of power which coordinates its syntactic regulation with speech production in totality.”33 As Pasolini argues in the essay “The ‘Cinema of Poetry’”: Semiotics confronts sign systems without differentiating among them: it speaks of ‘systems of linguistic signs,’ for example, because they exist, but this does not exclude at all the theoretical possibility that there may be other systems of signs—for example, systems of gestural signs. As a matter of fact, in the real world it is actually necessary to invoke a system of gestural signs to complement the spoken language.34 While cinematic semiosis remained focused on textual references within the cinema by relegating the medium under a strict semiotic discourse (i.e. moneme, phoneme, double articulation), Pasolini slightly veered in another direction towards a textuality of gestures that were constituted in reality. According to Pasolini, the language systems of film that semiotics studied were fallaciously separating the body and the object, or the body as an object, from the word. He thought that both are reciprocal in language as a whole, where the body enacts a meaning by gestures, glances, and poses. As Giuliana Bruno suggests— Suffering from a physical inhibition, semiotics could not touch the realm of the body. To this blockage Pasolini responded with an attempt to found a semiotics that would treat the “reality” of the body, grasp its semiotic interplay, and explore the relation of the body of the viewer to the world of narrative signs, to the fiction of the real, to that fiction that is real.35 Pasolini’s notion of films as a “written language” calls for an intertextualization of how those bodies are used and read as a social phenomenon within a given historical context. This Pasolinian notion was based on a language created by the body that films subsequently wrote. For Pasolini, human action is, as Giorgio Agamben formulates it under the rubric of gesture, an ethos.36 The body, in a sense, “writes” itself as a language—one that needs to be assessed as a socio-political ethic, for better or worse, of our contemporary time.37 Pasolini’s understanding of the body as symbol was used to offer, as Pasquale Verdicchio argues, “a code of being that demystifies the ideal body of bourgeois representation and proposes (sub) alternatives to it.”38 The body, as visually conceived within his films, offers new prospects for drastically different modes of action and expression. Pasolini believed that his films captured life as it was—either on the street or in the Roman borgate. Such corporal manifestations of everyday culture are what constitutes the “general semiology of reality,” “a philosophy which interprets reality as a language.”39 From such a formulation, Pasolini would then inscribe the cinema as “the written language of reality.” And as Christopher Wagstaff succinctly phrases it, “[c]inema, by recording the language of reality,
  13. 13. carries out an operation similar to ‘writing,’ which records the spoken language. Hence we have a further parallel: the written word is to speech what the cinema is to the language of reality. Cinema is, therefore, ‘la lingua scritta della realtà.’”40 In this respect, the relationship between the director, actor, and spectator collide with a film as always already before its inscription. These relations cannot be known, but are in the process of becoming before a film is even made—“a fiction of the real, fiction as the real.” As Pasolini argues, the cinema is a “complex nexus of significant images—whether mimetic or ambient that supplies the linsigns of either memory or dreams—that pre-figures and pre-supposes cinematic communication itself as an ‘instrumental’ foundation.”41 Human action, of either the director, the actor or the spectator as subject, pre-writes itself without the camera or film, it inscribes itself in this world. And it is this world, one that is a language of affective human action, which a film transcribes. In other words, Pasolini’s cinematic practice is one in which the viewer is already the unknown quotient in the process of making history—whether within the theatre or outside of it. This is done through the “written language of reality.” A film’s technology, vis- à-vis camera shots and montage, will have uttered its own meaning before the spectator views it. The cinematic camera and its techniques, therefore, are their own forms of agency, authority and author. The cinema, then, “writes” the language of reality, the body’s reality, through film. This transcription is written by the camera, the lens its writing mechanism, and objects, including the body, its language. Film transcribes the “written language of reality” through two phenomenon that Pasolini theoretically constructed in order to argue that free indirect discourse is also a technique marked by the moving image: the im-segno (image-sign) and cinèmi. The im-segno is a sign that is constituted by images not culled from a finite verbal dictionary, but from an infinite warehouse of images that are pre-figured by dreams and memory. Cinèmi, on the other hand, are an infinite amount of objects at a cinematic author’s disposal to place within a camera frame or mise en scène. These two phenomenon are what comprise the crux of free indirect discourse within the cinema. In Pasolini’s essay “The ‘Cinema of Poetry,’” he hypothesizes a cinema that reflects the use of the technique. The literary technique of “free indirect discourse” translates into a cinematic technique in much the same way as in the novel, but not on a linguistic level. Rather, the “cinema of poetry,” and the cinema in general, exceeds the literary function of language, it is translinguistic because of its visuality. Pasolini therefore argues that the director’s “activity cannot be linguistic; it must, instead, be stylistic.”42 According to Pasolini’s conception of the “cinema of poetry,” the im-segni and cinèmi that compose a films visual language have a double nature. First, as signs that are signified, they are objects that are pre-grammatical because they are culled from an irrational, oneiric archetype that have arbitrary signifiers. In this respect, these objects as images are subjectively signified for each individual. In other words, each spectator hollows out individual meanings that cannot be universally codified within the articulable world of the cinematic image as a certain definition. The first nature of im-segni establishes the image as a “communication with ourselves.” 43 Second, these im-segni have another archetype which function as signals. In other words, the translinguistic nature of cinema establishes a mode of communication that makes the images of objects reproduced within a film understandable on a vast scale. Unlike the first nature of the im-segno, where meaning is derived from an individual and localized world of memory and dreams, the second nature
  14. 14. displays objects as “brutally objective.” Being as such, the second nature of the im-segno is functional, it establishes “communication with others.”44 As a consequence, the spectator’s “gaze” that focuses on a film, as Pasolini explains, cannot be codified. Every spectator “embraces another type of reality” than any other, it is an affective induction that cannot be codified universally but is traversed by a local form of subjectivity that is grounded by discourses formed through knowledge.45 In Lacanian terms, this gaze that Pasolini speaks of “not only terminates the movement, it freezes it.”46 In other words, it is a double bind: on one string lies a relation between objects that hold a meaning prior to their manifestation on film for a subject (“communication with ourselves”) and, on another string, those very objects also acquire another layer of meaning when they become subjects within a film in their own right (“communication with others”). The director as cinematic author is caught between the knot of both strings and “finds himself in the complete impossibility of effecting any naturalistic mimesis of this language, of this hypothetical ‘gaze’ at reality by others.”47 Here we have the two limit points of the cinematic technique of free indirect discourse as articulated by Pasolini. One, the silent, subjective reading of the image that a spectator encounters in relation to his or her own subjective view point; two, the use of objects at the director’s qua author’s disposal in order to make a coherent, syntactic and transparent arrangement of images for a film to be understood. Within the extent of these two limit points, “free indirect discourse” allows the director to meander against this transparency of a film in order to add his or her own (subjective) notion of the film within the very syntactic relations of images. According to Pasolini, this dual characteristic of the cinema allows a director to engage in his or her own temptation to create “another film” within the structure of the film. The use of free indirect discourse yokes techniques of the camera to cinema’s narrative function. It is an immersion of the two, a narrative cinema burdened by subjectivity. This is the knot, then, of free indirect discourse—a knot that we already discussed in regards to the arguments set forth by Voloshinov and Banfield. By connecting the literary technique to film, Pasolini envisioned a new form of cinema and therefore a new way of articulating its audio-visual language. It is here that Pasolini’s ambiguity in regards to the technique sets in. Once “free indirect discourse” is utilized in cinema, the director has moved towards a new aesthetic style, the “cinema of poetry.” But why is it that Pasolini aligns the cinema with “poetry” rather than the prose genre of the “novel”? This, I believe, is a criticism on Pasolini’s behalf. For the “cinema of poetry,” as we shall see, was not a cinematic ideal, but a critique on cinema’s very own modernism as articulated by Antonioni, Bertolucci and Godard. This is why Pasolini shifts the title of “free indirect discourse” into “free indirect subjectivity.” Free indirect subjectivity renders the cinema as territorialized by a cinematic auteur. It is not “discourse,” per se, but infused with the auteur’s subjective significance. It is the director’s poetry, not the cinema’s, which is its own authorial agency because of the camera. Modern cinema, the cinema of “poetry,” inaugurated “free indirect subjectivity” by stylistically aligning the camera with the director, and the director as expressing him or herself in a subjectively indirect manner. In this regard, the cinema of poetry was aesthetic, in as much as it projected filmed objects, including characters, within a highly constructed mise-en-scène. It was a style that used the film medium itself to create a fluid polarization between the director, the character, and the free indirect discourse or subjectivity that the cinematic artist is trying to achieve.
  15. 15. Pasolini cites several directors and their films as cornerstones of this new “aesthetic,” namely, Antonioni’s The Red Desert, Bertolucci’s Before the Revolution, and Jean-Luc Godard. Antonioni’s “obsessive framing” and Bertolucci’s “insistent pauses,” and the pan-poetic technique of “allowing the camera to be felt,” are stylistic choices that Pasolini terms as “free indirect point-of-view-shots” that describe the directors aesthetic need to create the poetic notion of “free indirect discourse” or “subjectivity.” The camera is made to be “felt” by a director to render his or her hand in a film. Over the shoulder shots, unstable camera movements, shot-reverse-shot, sequence shots, point-of view-shots, these techniques, according to Pasolini, highlight the stylistic means possible for the director to express himself in the cinema.48 The use of stylistic camera techniques allowed the director’s authoring hand to enter into the fold of the narrative. In effect, he or she de-stabilizes the narrative by inserting a dialogical “point-of-view.” In this regard, objects used within the frame, such as the “violet flowers” in Antonioni’s The Red Desert that Pasolini focuses on, can also be layered with other meanings through formal techniques of the camera. These objects become a speaking subject for a director. Pasolini explains two techniques for making the object a subject. For instance, a juxtaposition of point-of-view shots imprinted by the camera of the same object taken from various vantage points (“obsessive framing”) gives a specific object another subjective meaning. Furthermore, creating the film frame as a picture, where the mise-en-scène becomes its own singular entity as a subject through the interactions characters have with it as they enter and exit the diegesis (“immobility of the frame”). In Antonioni’s The Red Desert , the director goes one step further and uses Monica Vitti’s character as a subject position to immerse himself within as his own free and indirect speaking position. As a form of speech interference rendered through the image of Vitti’s body, her character becomes the locus of Antonioni’s indirect speech. In Bertolucci’s Before the Revolution, Pasolini sees an “immobility of the frame” where images of this world (“this piece of reality”), such as rivers and streets, testify “to the elegance of a deep and uncertain love, precisely for that piece of reality.”49 In Bertolucci’s film, the immobile camera renders the landscape as his own love of that “piece of reality” indirectly. The cinematic image, because it is a re- presentation of objects and subjects, renders those very objects as a presentation of a director’s subjectivity. Objects in both Antonioni and Bertolucci are therefore infused with this awkward double bind. On one hand, they are there for themselves as pure object, on the other they become vested as a particular signified associated with the author’s subjectivity. The tension that underlines the cinematic technique of Antonioni and Bertolucci are therefore “free indirect subjective”—they adhere to what is represented in the cinematic image, yet at the same time infuse that image with a free and indirect aspect of their subjectivity. In other words, both directors remain within the level of Voloshinov’s quasi-direct discourse as speech interference, a dialogue with the image. Godard’s work, on the other hand, remains an anomaly for Pasolini. In Godard’s films, the image is “not confronted by an insistence on a given individual object which exceeds all bearable limits. In him there is neither the cult of the object as form (as in Antonioni), nor the cult of the object as symbol of a lost world (as in Bertolucci). Godard has no cult, and he puts everything on the same level, head on.”50 Pasolini’s criticism against Godard is the harshest of the three directors he analyzes within the essay.
  16. 16. His [Godard’s] pretextual ‘free indirect discourse’ is a confrontational arrangement which does not differentiate between the thousand details of the world, without a break in their continuity, edited with the cold and almost self-satisfied obsession (typical of his amoral protagonist) of a disintegration reconstituted into unity through that inarticulate language.51 Pasolini is taking issue with Godard’s use of montage, his “cold” and “obsessive” editing, which renders his films an “inarticulate language.” The distinction of Godard’s cinema as an “inarticulate language” is qualified by his inability to “differentiate” between objects and subjects that make up the “details of the world.” In other words, Pasolini is opposing the use of objects and how they manifest themselves as a subject within Godard’s oeuvre. The issue, then, is how subjectivity enters Godard’s cinematic image via the objects he uses within his films. This is not an easy task for Pasolini, since in the essay “The ‘Cinema of Poetry’” he doesn’t provide any example of how “free indirect discourse” or “subjectivity” acts itself out in a single film of his, although he claims that free indirect discourse is “inherit” in all his films. 52 Pasolini’s essay seems to indicate that, unlike Antonioni or Bertolucci, Godard’s subjectivity does not interfere with the image directly. In Pasolini’s words, there is something “detached” in Godard’s films, something “obsessive” which does not interfere with the image. Do Pasolini’s trepidations presuppose that Godard’s films are therefore non-communicative in Banfield’s sense? Distanced, speaker-less, and detached images that render the cinematic image without subjectivity? I believe that Pasolini was arguing otherwise. In Pasolini’s reading, Godard’s films are coded with subjectivity entirely, his modernist approach of the cinema renders them territorialized by his own hand. Rather than grapple with the cinema as an entity all its own, Godard’s films presuppose that the cinema is communicative only through directorial agency—that is, through the authoring hand of the cinematic director. In this respect, Godard’s films cannot be non- communicative, for they entirely communicate his subjective position indirectly through “free indirect discourse” or “subjectivity.” Free Indirect Subjective in Deleuze’s Time-Image By silencing examples from Godard’s work in his essay “The ‘Cinema of Poetry,’” Pasolini underscores Godard’s complex relation to “free indirect subjective” and how it acts itself out in the moving image. In Cinema 2, Deleuze takes up Pasolini’s awkwardness in regards to “free indirect subjectivity” in Godard’s work and theoretically posits Pasolini’s examinations on the technique as the harbinger of modern cinema, the time-image. Deleuze’s philosophical construction of the cinema as time-image is complex—traversing, cutting, and absorbing many formal, theoretical, and philosophical facets. Yet in order to relate our discussion of Deleuze’s time-image back to Pasolini, it is best to focus on the use of “free indirect subjective” as conceptualized by both authors in their respective arguments. According to Deleuze, the time-image breaks with the classical notion of the movement-image where movement was derived from time. The trauma of the post-war period allowed for a re-examination of the image and its relation to time. In the time-image, time itself finally appears as a form of its own duration and ceases to be derived from movement—“time is out of joint.” The classical notion of cinema that gave birth to the movement-image centered its reliance on an advancement of sensory- motor schemes—movement indicated time as passing the body or narrative forward or backwards in the form of flashbacks. For instance, the mise-en-scène of shot A, including its relations from outside the film frame, will connect to shot B of the next cut through montage.
  17. 17. Visual and aural manifestations within a film dependent on movement-images always meet each other as natural functions rather than exceeding their proper limits as autonomous entities. The time-image, however, breaks with these sensory-motor functions and displays optical and sound situations for themselves as distinct entities—what Deleuze refers to as opsigns and sonsigns. It is a cinema of seeing rather than acting, objects (human or otherwise, visual or sound) become their own diffused and singular entities disembodied from any direct relation to their grounded function within a film. As such, there is an indecipherability and a disjunction between what is seen on the screen as an image and what is said in the diegesis or narrative of a film. With the time-image, the audio-visual nature of the cinema reaches its limit. Both sound and sight are two heteronomous poles that exceed each other as two autonomous entities in conflict with one another—they become a heautonomy. “Nevertheless, the image, having become audio-visual does not burst into pieces; on the contrary, it gains a new consistency which depends on a more complex link between the visual image and the sound image.”53 Their free and indirect relation with one another causes a slippage between what is seen and what is said within and without the diegesis. As autonomous entities, both spheres open up a gap that amounts to a non-totalizable relation. Therefore, they must be encountered within their disjunctured interstice as a point of non-relation.54 What constitutes the audio-visual image is a disjunction, a dissociation of the visual and the sound, each heautonomous, but at the same time an incommensurable or “irrational” relation which connects them to each other, without forming a whole, without offering the least whole. It is a resistance stemming from the collapse of the sensory-motor schema, and which separates the visual and sound image, but puts them all the more into a non-totalizable relation.55 Each visual and aural entity becomes its own independent manifestation of itself. There is, in other words, a “fusion of the tear” between the audio and visual.56 “There are no more harmonics of the image, but only ‘unlinked’ tones forming the series.”57 For Deleuze, a modern director, the most exemplary being Godard, that uses “unlinked” images and sounds as a series establishes a free and indirect relation with them. With Godard, the “unlinked’’ image (this was Artaud’s term) becomes serial and atonal, in a precise sense. The problem of the relation between images is no longer knowing if it works or it does not work [si ça va ou si ça va pas], according to the requirements of the harmonics or of the resolved tunings, but of knowing How it’s going [Comment ça va].58 This indecipherability of a series of images, in Deleuze’s philosophy, is “free indirect subjective.” For Deleuze, these un-linked images are “the way in which the author expresses himself indirectly in a sequence of images attributable to another, or, conversely, the way in which something or someone is expressed indirectly in the vision of the author considered as other.”59 Whereas in the classical notion of the movement-image, where the mise-en-scène within and without the diegesis of shot A directly corroborated with the following shot B, the use of montage in the time- image opens up a new space between the two cuts of shot A and B. This is expressed through irrational cuts and false continuities by montage.
  18. 18. The cut, or interstice, between two series of images no longer forms part of either of the two series: it is the equivalent of an irrational cut, which determines the non- commensurable relations between images. It is thus no longer a lacuna that the associated images would be assumed to cross; the images are certainly not abandoned to chance, but there are only relinkages subject to the cut, instead of cuts subject to the linkage. … There is thus no longer association through metaphor or metonymy, but relinkage on the literal image: there is no longer linkage of associated images, but only relinkages of independent images. Instead of one image after the other, there is one image plus another, and each shot is deframed in relation to the frameing of the following shot.60 Since each visual and aural entity has its own relation, the disjuncture that opens in the fissure of the cut opens up a new world between them.61 This world, according to Deleuze, is what constitutes the power of the outside which enables a deframing of thought as un-thought, as jarring a priori ideas of sensory-motor relations in regards to films which calls into question the film image. This, according to Deleuze, is when “montage comes into is own.” The irrational cut arrests thought as a confrontation of its own stability. The time-image that cuts sensory-motor links and destabilizes temporal decipherability within a film is what inaugurates the power of the outside. It is the de- stabilization, or rather de-subjectivization, of a subject that must confront the a priori formations of truth that establish visual and aural codifications. By re-linking a vast phenomenon of dislocated and autonomous images within a film, a director such as Godard re-creates the interstice that opens up a reflection towards a radical interrogation of how one thinks of the modern moving image.62 Moreover, this process of re-linking pre-existing images to induce a form of reflection also allows the director as author to indirectly express him or herself. Through the deliberate choice of a series or of categories within the whirlpool of dissonant images and sounds that is the time-image, a director can become “another.” As Deleuze explains in relation to Godard’s work: In any case, there is no longer the unity of the author, the characters and the world such as was guaranteed by the internal monologue. There is formation of “free indirect discourse,” of a free indirect vision, which goes from one to the other, so that either the author expresses himself through the intercession of an autonomous, independent character other than the author or any role fixed by the author, or the character acts and speaks himself as if his own gestures and his own words were already reported by a third party.63 In so doing, the director blurs the boundaries between subjective and objective, thereby becoming “another”—“I is another.” Notice in the above quote that Deleuze shifts free indirect discourse to vision.64 The time-image for Deleuze is about the “seer” not the “actor,” the character/author is therefore paralyzed by these images and sounds and must therefore reflect on them rather than act. In becoming “another,” Deleuze refers to Godard’s work as not a filmic narrative, but a novel —“novelesque.”65 Deleuze’s explicit connection of the novel in Godard’s work is quite interesting in our reading, for it cuts to the heart of dialogic/non-dialogic relations as argued by Voloshinov and Banfield respectively. In Deleuze’s conception of Godard’s work as “novelesque,” he places the explicit language, i.e. quoted/direct language of the novel, as that which is foregrounded in Godard’s work.
  19. 19. It is the accented nature, or “plurilingualism,” of Godard’s work that renders “free indirect subjective” or “vision” as that which creates new relations, of becoming “another.” Godard’s work cites, quotes, expresses, in short, it speaks in order to become another between the subjectivity of director and character—a “semi-subjectivity” between their relations. It is the blurring of fiction, a story-telling that free indirect discourse initiates. In its function as “novelesque,” Godard’s work is positioned as a cinematic fact that is underwritten by an authorial, subjective point-of-view. For Deleuze, the cinematic image is thus rendered with an objective and subjective identity. The camera that transcribes the character in a film as “seen” is understood as “objective,” while what the character “sees” (“free-indirect point-of-view shots”) is subjective.66 In this respect, Deleuze does indeed acknowledge Pasolini’s work in formulating a new mode of perceiving subjectivity in the cinema: […] Pasolini discovered how to go beyond the two elements of the traditional story [in cinema], the objective indirect story from the camera’s point of view and the subject direct story from the character’s point of view, to achieve the very special form of a “free indirect discourse,” of a “free, indirect subjective.” A contamination of the two kinds of image was established, so that bizarre visions of the camera (alternation of different lenses, zoom, extraordinary angles, abnormal movements, halts…) expressed the singular visions of the character, and the latter were expressed in the former, but by bringing the whole to the power of the false. […] Objective and subjective images lose their distinction, but also their identification, in favour of a new circuit where they are wholly replaced, or contaminate each other, or are decompsed and recompsed.67 As is evident in the last sentence of the preceding excerpt, Deleuze wishes to move beyond the obvious construction of objectivity and subjectivity in cinema. In order to do so, Deleuze argues that in using the technique of “free indirect vision” a director or his/her character becomes “another” entirely. Much like what Pasolini referred to as making “another film,” a director and his/her character, and vice-versa, contaminate and replace each other as others themselves in order to foreground the notion of “another” in film. “What cinema must grasp is not the identity of a character [or film-maker],68 whether real or fictional, through his objective and subjective aspects. It is the becoming of the real character [or film-maker] when he himself starts to ‘make fiction’ …”69 In Deleuze’s reading of “free indirect vision” the fictive and the real are blurred as it was in Voloshinov’s quasi-direct discourse—as a dialogic encounter. Unlike Banfield's reading that “free indirect discourse,” or in her terms “represented speech and thought,” remains within the fictive milieu of the narrative, Deleuze assumes that when the cinema “grasps” the technique for being other than an identity of the “real or fictional” the character/film-maker both become another “without ever being fictional.”70 Deleuze qualifies film as “fiction,” therefore enabling the cinematic author to “interpose” him or herself as a non-fiction, as a reality that undermines the fiction of the film itself. Subjectivity, then, renders the film as a fiction because an interposed authorial, subjective point-of-view is supposedly “real.” Deleuze’s argument, therefore, rests on the notion that the camera can be subjective through the use of “free indirect subjective” techniques, which presupposes that the cinematic camera is structurally neutral as an entity in cinema. That is, a mechanism without authority or an authorial vision itself until a cinematic director renders it with subjectivity. This, I believe, is what Pasolini was problematizing exactly. What is at issue is that the cinematic camera is a neutral entity that can, or indeed must, be
  20. 20. imbued by an authoring hand. For Pasolini, this was not the case, the cinematic camera itself is an epistemological entity, creating discursive formations for itself through the “written language of reality.” Only when the camera is rendered as “neutral” can subjectivity and objectivity become a priori pivot points that indicate a centripetal authorial perspective that are defined as “real.” Deleuze’s notion, and for the most part the accepted notion, that subjectivity and objectivity separate the real from the fictive in a film through the use of cinematic techniques is therefore, in Pasolini’s reading of it, a fallacious enterprise. In order to expose that separation as fallible, I argue that Pasolini sought to lacerate the relationship between the authoring hand and the camera apparatus—subjectivity must differentiate itself in order for the camera to expose itself as a subjective point-of-view all its own. How the camera is interpreted as subjectively defined, however, is another question. The interpretive process of “who” in fact the camera subjectively defines is the aporia of interpretation, a relenting (and relentless) question that cannot be defined or answered. In its aporia, the camera will always represent something, depending, that is, on who in fact is in the process of interpreting. For if the camera is subjective itself, how does a director de-subjectivize it rather than indirectly or directly represent him or herself through it as an interference of vision? If the cinematic image can be subjective, what are the implications of that very subjectivity? In other words, how can the relation between subjectivity and objectivity be rendered fallible in order to reflect on the nature of subjectivity itself in the cinematic image? In using techniques that tried to bifurcate and emboss the relations between how subjectivity and objectivity are imaged in the cinema, Pasolini problematizes the notion of rendering subjectivity through the moving image. Problematizing Subjectivity —Band of Outsiders and Hawks and Sparrows We should pause here and reflect on two examples by both directors: Godard’s Bande à part (Band of Outsiders) and Pasolini’s Uccellacci e Uccellini (Hawks and Sparrows). Both films have their characters as subjects engage in a dance sequence. In discussing the following two sequences, I argue that Pasolini’s early cinematic work Hawks and Sparrows begins a path that subsequently leads to his abandonment of free indirect discourse after its use in La Ricotta. In Band of Outsiders, the main characters Odile, Franz, and Arthur all perform the “Madison” inside an unmarked Parisian café. In Hawks and Sparrows, Ninetto performs a dance he does not know outside of “Bar Las Vegas” in the outskirts of Rome. In Godard’s film, the characters enter the café during the day, the mise-en-scène therefore remains relatively desolate. The dance number is a long sequence shot that is not cut by montage, giving it a quality that seems natural. Because of such a long take, the characters’ actions are not interrupted and their whole bodies are seen. Each character is in perfect step while performing the Madison, a non-partner dance number appropriated into French culture during the American twist phenomenon. They perform without a flaw, all three of them fully absorbed and in synchronization with each other. As the mise-en-scène informs us, their diversion is not out of the ordinary. There are a few inconspicuous on-lookers in the back, but they do not confront the characters as if their actions were unheard of. At the end of the sequence, and as Franz and Arthur lose interest in the dance, they leave the mise-en-scène—except for Odile who remains engaged. At this point, a waiter walks right past Odile, as if her dancing did not puncture the ambiance of the café. The music, which begins at the same
  21. 21. moment as their inspired number, cuts off each time the omniscient narrator digresses to “describe our heroes’ feelings.” Who is speaking as the narrator? The use of a sequence shot, as I argue, renders the narrator “describing our heroes’ feelings” as Godard. In Pasolini’s film, the dance sequence is filmed quite differently. Ninetto and Totò have just begun their journey, and an extreme long shot establishes their arrival at “Bar Las Vegas.” As they advance towards the bar, the music swells as if from out of nowhere. The men seated in front leave their table, which then cuts to an extreme close up of several of their faces already in dance. Ninetto and Totò enter the bar to order a drink, and the former then proceeds to leave the interior to join the men outside. As he exits, a wide shot of the exterior with approximately ten boys are already engaged in dance. Ninetto does not know the dance number, and begins to be instructed by another fellow. The sequence then cuts back into the interior, and after a strange close-up of a perplexed Totò, the bartender dashes outside and begins to instruct Ninetto as well. “Count your steps, otherwise you can’t learn,” the bartender informs Ninetto and soon thereafter leaves the scene. Another long shot shows all the men dancing, many of them out of step with each other. None of them match each other’s beat, some are hesitant and others are not familiar with the dance. Towards the end of the dance sequence, one of the boys runs from the group of dancers and begins to watch the group while waiting for the bus. As the bus arrives, all the men leave the bar and run after it on the road, the music then fades. In Pasolini’s dance scene, extended sequence shots are minimal (only one very short one when the boy leaves the dance line and begins to watch the group, and the other as the boys run after the bus). The dance number is combined by the use of close-ups, at times extreme, medium shots and two truncated long shots. There is quite the difference between each respective dance sequence. Godard allows his characters center stage; their actions unravel without interruption. Their bodies are shown dancing the Madison without fault, giving their gestures a determined feel. They are in control of the dance; they know its every move (or does the dance know their every move ?). Pasolini, on the other hand, fragments the dance number. The characters as subjects are undermined by the dance routine; they are not in control of its rules. Regardless, they also undermine the actual dance by dancing all the same—improvising and deviating from the established steps. The use of the sequence shot in Godard’s film is lacking in Pasolini’s. Indeed, Pasolini was adamant about his disdain for the technique. My fetishistic love of the ‘things’ of the world makes it impossible for me to consider them natural. Either it consecrates them or it desecrates them violently, one by one; it does not bind them in a correct flow, it does not accept this flow. But it isolates them and adores them, more or less intensely, one by one.71 Pasolini avoids the use of the sequence shot precisely because of his fetishistic love of “things.” The sequence shot, according to Pasolini, is a “naturalistic sequence” and therefore too “natural.” 72 It binds objects and subjects within a film through a “correct flow” rather than questioning that very naturalness. Speaking of the seeming natural-ness that the sequence shot conveyed in “fiction films,” such as the “avant-garde cinema” shown in “the basements of the New York of the New Cinema” (no doubt referring to Andy Warhol’s Sleep), Pasolini would reply: “But is being natural? No, I don’t think so; on the contrary, it seems to me miraculous, mysterious, and—if anything—unnatural.”73
  22. 22. The sequence shot is associated with Italian Neo-Realism where directors, such as Roberto Rossellini and Vittorio Di Sica, would place the camera in front of pro-filmic objects and have them unfold themselves to the camera within a continuous and sequential spatio-temporal continuum. In Neo- Realist films, the camera served as an inconspicuous witness to the unraveling of life as it was in the reality of the fiction. In Roma Città Aperta, Rossellini captures the city of Rome and the characters that constitute the film’s unfolding narrative with the aid of a camera that does not cut time as it progresses. It follows Anna Magnani’s character Pina in the present war-torn and dilapidated city as an invisible witness. Likewise, in Di Sica’s Umberto D., the camera films the unfolding of events without interruption. Quotidian nuances are therefore captured without supposed interference, in a spatio-temporal continuum that records the “present” as that which is happening. In the film, Umberto D’s habits, gestures, and actions are all documented explicitly—(his going in and out of bed, peering out the window, talking with his dog, etc.) In Neo-Realist films, sequence shots function as unmitigated replicas of movement, time, character development, and environments, the camera displays that which is supposedly direct to perception. For this reason, the theoretical underpinning attached to the use of the sequence shot signaled “present time” for Pasolini because it is an instantaneous capture of reality based on a continuous shot created by a singular subject possessing a camera. Pasolini bases his argument by using Abraham Zapruder’s 8mm film of John F. Kennedy’s assassination as an example. Zapruder, as a single subject at a specific place and time in the present of life’s unfolding, imprints his own subjective point-of-view of the “present” through his camera. It is not anyone else’s point-of-view; it is entirely Zapruder’s subjective viewpoint in a certain place and at a certain time. As a result, in Pasolini’s theories, the sequence shot becomes “subjective” and marks time as “present.” Rather than being a simple apparatus that records human activity, the camera, and films by extension, is our de-anthropomorphized other that cannot be separated from our own subjectivity. Therefore, Pasolini argues: [The] cinema (or more accurately, the audiovisual technique) is in essence an infinite sequence shot, precisely as reality is to our eyes and ears, for all the time during which we are able to see or to hear (an infinite subjective sequence shot that finishes with the end of our life); and this sequence shot, then is nothing more than the reproduction (as I have repeatedly stated) of the language of reality; in other words, it is the reproduction of the present.74 Formulating the sequence shot under such a rubric, Pasolini would then inscribe the process of montage as that “something else” which destroys, cuts, and literally dismembers the present in a multiplicity of viewpoints in opposition to the singular point-of-view the sequence shot signifies. Montage captures the death of the present and the end of a singular, subjective viewpoint. 75 When editing enters cinema’s visual narrative, “the present becomes past (that is, coordinations among the various living languages have taken place); a past that, for reasons immanent in the cinematographic medium, and not because of an aesthetic choice, always has the qualities of the present (it is, in other words, a historical present).”76 This “historical” present that the processes of editing inaugurate is that of death—it is a present of the passing moment as lived. As we view films, we become aware of the historical present because it has obliterated a subjective and present point-of-view. Montage displays the present as something that is
  23. 23. already a historical past for the viewer, while the viewer simultaneously lives it. It is, in other words, the death of the present that is simultaneously lived in the present with a past. As a film is projected, it is viewed by a living subject imbricated in a present that is being viewed as if it is historical, hence “dead.” Each individual film interrupts and rearranges this infinite sequence-shot [of cinema] and thus creates meaning, which is what happens to us when we die. It is only at our moment of death that our life, to that point undecipherable, ambiguous, suspended, acquires a meaning. Montage thus plays the same role in cinema as death does in life. 77 Since the sequence shot mirrors reality with all its ambiguity and subjectivity, a meaningless void that has no context, montage “interrupts and rearranges” the undecipherable flow of reality with one that “acquires a meaning.” As Mary Ann Doane suggests, the present moment of the sequence shot for Pasolini, “is imbued with contingency and, hence, meaninglessness. In the long take, the cinema incarnates the meaninglessness of a lived reality.”78 “The cut,” Doane argues, “stabilizes the image.”79 Despite its supposed “stability,” montage also signals the constitution of something far more radical. It is not merely a stabilization of subjective/objective viewpoints, but rather the point of scrutiny between objectivity and subjectivity. It is, in other words, the moment in which both concepts are rendered fallible. For montage is not a single subjectivity, but a multiplicity of subjectivities that are rendered by the camera and cut by editing technologies—both of which have their own subjectivity. In this respect, for Pasolini, the use of montage documents the complexity of objectivity and subjectivity—a complexity so layered with mediated meaning that it could only be understood from a drastic remove as if one were dead. This, I believe, is the distance that creates the possibility of rendering the cinematic image as non-communicative while at the same time being communicative. The limit point of discourse and non-discourse combined within a medium. In this light, the sequence shot in Band of Outsiders allows Godard’s subjectivity as a director to infuse with the characters, thereby becoming enmeshed into the mise-en-scène. As the dance scene unfolds, Godard’s presence becomes naturalized into the setting. The other patrons and waiters all regard the threesome as part of the café, and one can assume that Godard’s presence is also felt there. For a short while, Arthur, Franz, Odile, and Godard become embedded fixtures within the ambiance. Whether or not they “accept” the flow of their surroundings, they still are unified into it by the sequence shot as a “correct flow.” The omniscient narrator, then, functions as the man with the movie camera, the director speaking quasi-directly with his characters—a dialogic encounter rendered possible through the sequence shot. In Hawks and Sparrows, the severe montage creates an irreconcilable atmosphere in the relationship between subject and object. The presence of the dancers alongside the music unsettles the mise-en- scène. The waiter becomes agitated because of the dancers, making him abandon his routine and join in. Unlike Band of Outsiders, the waiter in Pasolini’s film cannot avoid the characters as subjects or objects. It is as if the fiction of the story’s reality, the surreal and very homoerotic quality of random boys dancing outside a desolate bar, was too much to bear for the character himself (i.e. not Pasolini) in the fiction of the film. The whole sequence is to a degree contrived, blatantly fictionalized. In its fiction, one cannot enter its atmosphere, it is too indebted to its own invention through the use of unsettling editing techniques that
  24. 24. render the atmosphere locked within its own narrative. The editing hand that is Pasolini’s is betrayed by the cuts that comprise the sequence, it is at a distance—removed from the fictive ambiance. Compared to Godard’s sequence, Pasolini’s is not naturalized by the use of a sequence shot. The subjects as objects in Hawks and Sparrows contaminate the narrative of the film by unsettling the narrative itself, and in this way disjuncture the seemingly organic mise-en-scène. Unlike Band of Outsiders, where the sequence shot allowed for a fluidity between director and character(s), in Hawks and Sparrows the severe editing disengages the ability to infiltrate the narrative with a subjective view point. It is here that the Pasolinian notion of “contamination” begins to play a major factor since it is directly linked to his conception of free indirect discourse. Although the term is not used frequently in his cinematic theories (perhaps because he had used it extensively for those pertaining to literature), contamination can be seen as a function of free indirect discourse in films as well. To contaminate, in a literary sense, is to take language of various sectors—from the highest language (language of poetry or a hermetic language from the “ivory towers”), a high language (language of the everyday that is “rejected” by an “ordinary” and nationally codified written language), and a low language (language of dialect)—and then mixing each element in order to contrast their use within a text.80 Contamination is a creative combination of such languages, provoking “an action of one element on another with which it finds itself associated.”81 Contamination does not meld these appropriated styles, but marks them out as anomalies acting and rubbing against each other within the frame of a text or, in this case, of a film. By associating these elements within a given context of a work, an author places them in a fruitful friction in order expose their mutual contagion. It seems that, for Pasolini, Godard’s films stylistically allowed the director himself to infiltrate the objects and subjects within the film frame rather than having them act against each other. In Band of Outsiders, Godard seeps with and into the very ambiance of Odile, Franz, and Arthur’s point-of-view, rather than distance or conflict himself with it. None of them, including Godard, tear themselves from their cinematic surrounding, they naturalize it. Opposed to this, if we follow Pasolini’s thought, Hawks and Sparrows seeks to mark the subjects and objects as distanced and punctured from their relation to the mise-en-scène and to Pasolini himself. Instead of being “eclectic”—as Pasolini would define his film practice—and by not confronting the processes of contamination, Godard’s films were stylistic.82 As he would explain to Jean Duflot: I would say that my style is eclectic; that it is a complex of elements, of borrowed material from different sectors of culture: borrowed from dialects, popular poems, popular or classical music, references to pictorial art, architecture…from the human sciences… I do not have the pretension of creating or imposing a style. What creates the stylistic magma with me is a sort of fervor, a passion that makes me cite all materials, of all forms that I think are necessary to the economy of a film.83 A “subjective” stylization rather than a distancing contamination of the objects and subjects used in a film is what characterized the “cinema of poetry.” But what is more intense for Pasolini, is that these formalist manifestations within the cinema forge for themselves a new technical and stylistic tradition that expands into a codified and “catalogued” “cinematographic expression.”84
  25. 25. In a striking rhetorical sting that punctures the last five paragraphs of “The ‘Cinema of Poetry,’” Pasolini delivers a scathing critique about this very “cinematographic expression.” For Pasolini, the language of poetry initiated by film “may be posited as revealing a strong general renewal of formalism as the average, typical production of the cultural development of neocapitalism.”85 Pasolini ends his essay with the following ambiguous affirmation: All of this [the cinema of poetry] is part of the general attempt on the part of bourgeois culture to recover the ground lost in the battle with Marxism and its possible revolution. And it insinuates itself into that in some ways grandiose movement of what we might call the anthropological evolution of capitalism; that is, the neocapitalism that discusses and modifies its own structures and that, in the case in point, once again, ascribes to poets a late humanistic function: the myth and the technical consciousness of form.86 Pasolini, as a practicing filmmaker in his own right, is carrying out a very interesting program here. Perhaps in writing the essay Pasolini intended to rhetorically differentiate himself from these directors. Or perhaps he wanted to disassociate his own oeuvre, from script to camera technique, from those of the bourgeoisie that his fellow directors captured onto film.87 While Pasolini as a critic and director was delineating a style burgeoning in the cinema through “free indirect discourse,” he was also trying to purge himself from it. Interestingly, in writing “The ‘Cinema of Poetry’” Pasolini was highlighting a technique that he did not want to confer upon himself. One could argue that Pasolini’s cinematic world was not so much that of “poetry” as it was of “reality,” one which was based on the sub-proletariat of Italian society; a world unrecognized and unarticulated within the cinema. But we must remain cautious. For although Pasolini’s aesthetic is “markedly different” than that of Antonioni, Bertolucci, and Godard, it still resonates as an aesthetic nonetheless. In other words, Pasolini is consciously disavowing a style that he thought was anthropologically evolving capitalism itself, but it is a style that he was somewhat associated with. The delayed release in 1963 of RoGoPaG (Laviamoci il cervello), due to the controversy surrounding Pasolini’s contribution to the film, can attest to Pasolini’s very own vicinity to Godard’s aesthetic. The work is comprised of four short films by Roberto Rossellini (Illibatezza), Godard (Il nuovo mondo), Pasolini (La Ricotta), and Ugo Gregoretti (Il pollo ruspante). Although the films were produced and selected by Alfredo Bini, Pasolini’s inclusion into the film’s fold explains an affinity to the “cinema of poetry” he so desperately tried to disassociate himself from.88 What heightens the ambiguity of Pasolini’s remarks in the 1965 essay “The Cinema of Poetry,” is the fact that his contribution to Bini’s production, La Ricotta (which was actually filmed in 1962), used “free indirect discourse” or “subjective” at its finest only three years earlier. Literally, indirectly, direct: La Ricotta La Ricotta unfolds as a film about a film in the process of being produced. The structure of La Ricotta is divided into two narratives: the story of a film crew in the midst of filming the Passion of Christ and the story of Stracci—an impoverished Roman sub-proletariat working as an extra constantly struggling to find some food to appease his hunger. We as viewers are caught within the split of these two films: the film we are in the process of viewing and the “film-within-a-film” which is in the process of being made. The film’s diegesis is therefore split by two recurring visual motifs: the first is the “film-within- the-film” that shows the Passion of Christ in the process of being created by the film crew within the

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