PQD (2) – Aside

Just a wee aside. I know I’m late to this party, but wondered how many of you have tracked down what Guy Pearce is miming to in this scene?:

“È Strano! Ah, Fors’è Lui”

It is the aria “È Strano! Ah, Fors’è Lui” from Verdi’s La Traviata. I mention this simply because it was not chosen by accident as a quick look at the lyrics show (you can click this image to see the full lyric):

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 13.38.20

QUESTION: Does knowing the song/lyrics add or detract from your reading of the film?

For Pity’s Sake… Think Of The Baby!

And, talking about editing, here are the two clips I showed. The first is from Act IV of Battleship Potemkin (dir. Sergei Eisenstein, Russia, 1925). The Odessa Steps clip is one of the most famous in film history because on a technical level it broke new ground in editing and montage.

The second is an homage to Battleship Potemkin and comes from The Untouchables (dir. Brian De Palma, USA, 1987).

The parallels are obvious (the steps, the baby in the pram, sailors). This is an example of a technique called intertextuality. A prior text is used to shape and inform a new text… or put another way… when you see something in a film (or any other text) and it reminds you of something else, you should consider whether it is evidence of intertextuality. As a final wee example, consider this interesting reading of Terminator: Salvation and its use of intertextuality. Enjoy! 🙂