Clashing Agencies – A Seeing Filmmaker Filming a Blind Painter

Brylla, Catalin ORCID: (2018) Clashing Agencies – A Seeing Filmmaker Filming a Blind Painter. In: MeCCSA conference, January 2018, London.

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Filming documentary characters performing everyday activities inevitably results in a clash of two distinct habitus – the filmmaker’s and the character’s – which leads to a renegotiated ‘hybrid habitus’ that, especially when filming disabled characters, raises questions about ethics, agency, shared authorship and performativity. This hybrid habitus is illustrated through discussing my documentary Terry (2017), which depicts the life of a blind painter. During the filmmaking process it was evident that the filming would impact on Terry painting – for instance, whilst he always listens to music when painting, the presence of the camera and the rules of continuity required him to paint without music (“in silence”, as he would put it). This and other interventions on my part (e.g. asking him to repeat actions for better film coverage) are reflexively depicted in the film, not least because Terry would openly protest and sarcastically complain about all these restrictions on-camera. The artefacts that emerge during the filming – my film and his painting – are thus witnesses to the precarious interaction of a range of material agents: my body, Terry’s body and voice, the camera, the microphone, the canvas and the painting materials (plasticine and paint).

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Film and television > Film theory
Film and television > Filmmaking
Depositing User: Catalin Brylla
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2018 19:16
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:25

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