The sense of transparency and self-evidency in any text is usually misleading and often rife with problems. That which is self-evident is usually that which has been able to naturalize itself sufficiently to appear beyond politics. In other words, it is ideological. There have been many strategies employed historically in cinematic texts to produce a sense of the artifice that one is viewing and to produce productive disjunctions such as the detournement of the Lettrists. This was, of course, in opposition to the seamless, immersive structure of the narrative film. An attempt to produce radical form itself.

In this project, the soundtrack served an important function, especially the spoken text as far as structuring and contextualizing images towards a purpose. If we imagine the standard cinematic text as structured according to the logic of self-evident unfolding through the well set up context and plot then the spoken text must be seen as messengers for all this. What is spoken contains information necessary for the reality set up. Action and image are significant but they are usually conditioned by the speech surrounding them so that it may be said that opening up significations of images can be done through a disturbance of the speech that usually contextualizes it. If one is interested in producing work where the images are not subordinated by a monovalent speech whether through voiceover or dialog then, I believe, the best options are excess or absence of speech.

In other words, speech can be subverted either by its minimization or by a deployment of it that is polyvalent and excessive thus destroying control. Absence is used in many of Tsai Ming-liang’s films such as Goodbye, Dragon Inn and you can see the use of excess in Godard’s Passion. The excess of speech was a conscious strategy by Godard meant as a binary inversion of the Hollywood film. In an interview Godard said that after realizing that Hollywood films often had very simple sound and highly complex imagery that he would invert the formula and produce films  with simple images and highly complex soundtracks. This excessive approach to speech is especially well done in the segment of Passion where factory workers are gathered together to discuss their desire to unionize. This is all to say that the goal of destroying the hold of the text over the subordinated image and allowing free play to occur on a flattened plane requires the use of such strategies.

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