K as in Knife

Unknown quantities, resonant frequencies, moving parts, and everything in between. Chosen and obsessively annotated by C. Mason Wells.

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Richard Linklater’s “To the Filmmakers” for DAZED AND CONFUSED

Director Richard Linklater supplied the following notes to the filmmakers during pre-production for his masterpiece DAZED AND CONFUSED. They consciously take the shape of Bresson’s famed "Notes on the Cinematographer":

  • We are in a fight against compromises, cliches, easy answers, vulgarity. It is a simple yet troublesome journey to perfection
  • We are not rulers of some fake creation, but people trying to give shape and form to the real world — its beauty and ugliness, its compassion and cruelty, its infinity and its limitations
  • We are not recopying life — we are creating a new cinematic life
  • Art is not in the mind but in the eye, the ear, the memory of the senses
  • We will capture life drifting, in its continuous, unpredictable flow — extraordinary people with extraordinary human spirits on an unextraordinary day in an unextraordinary town at an unextraordinary time
  • A love for the human body, the human face, youthful expressiveness
  • The film is not readymade. It will make itself as it goes along under our careful gaze
  • A film of people bound to each other by proximity, by objects, by looks
  • To shoot in a state of ignorance and curiosity (with everything planned in advance)
  • Stylistically: Like we dropped a camera and sound recorder down into one night in late May of 1976 and followed a bunch of teenagers around for one night. Our goal is to capture their moment-to-moment reality with an almost documentary honesty.

No “Acting” but being

No “Design” but how it was

No “Costumes” but what they were wearing

  • In our language of images, we must lose completely the notion of image. Our images must exclude the idea of image. Not beautiful photography, not beautiful images, but necessary photography, necessary images
  • The greater our possible success, the closer we verge on failure. Success will only come into being when we are totally sincere in our treatment of the material