Something that came up for discussion over breakfast this morning … this is purely a filmy discussion, but that goes back to what a fraction of a second’s action can mean in the framework of the larger picture. It could be an insignificant detail which could be a story on it own.. going behind such a story, a story of a moment… about a look of two people, a man and a woman, strangers in the linear time frame of this film, for a second longer than required. Now that is subjective, the second longer that required part of it! Therefore, it led some of us who watched the film to ask a question and ponder over it for more than a fraction of a second..
The look had impregnated itself as having a history of on its own count… about the history of the two characters who in the film had just met, and had spent very little time together.. the longer than needed look made us ask .. if it was possible if the two characters knew each other before this first meeting of theirs on the screen. I think this is where editing and storytelling as a combination in film making need to be appreciated. A magical combinations creates multiple perspectives.. even for passing shots! But was it, is the deeper question..
To drive the point home for further clarity, let’s use the word finally in a sentence. For instance, if the sentence is “finally I had a meal today.” it adds that element of time and repeated attempts with respect to the particular action, here of a meal. As listeners we understand that there is a history about the taking of the meal on this particular day for this particular person, let’s name her A. At once we sense that A has tried to have a meal many times on this given day, but could not because of some reason. Now is the time, and this now is when the sentence is spoken A has had an opportunity to have a meal, uninterrupted or to finish the meal without further obstacles and shhh the hunger 😉 Finally therefore gives us a sense of many failed attempts for this particular act of taking a meal
Similarly, with the extended look in the film between the protagonists. The setting is a remote village, the male protagonist is the new parish priest of the local catholic church, young, vibrant to add a few adjectives, the woman is a resident of the village, who works in the city. The current scene depicts the meeting of the priest accompanied by his layman assistant and the woman with her father.
Later in the film, when the woman visits the church before taking a decision to leave the village forever she meets the priest again on her way out….. that is when they have a conversation for the first time in the time frame of the film.
Now, the conversation over the breakfast table was —– one set of people arguing towards a narrative possibility of a romantic relationship between the two characters, and the other set crumbling the same possibility and throwing it into the dustbin without a second thought.
The marvels of editing and narration.. How far can we stretch the interpretation…. an observer can argue eloquently about anything…. but when should it jump the fence of the existing reality of a social context, if at all…. suspension of disbelief to what extent…..