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Screening OULIPO : From Potential Literature to Potential Film

Waschneck, Katja (2018) Screening OULIPO : From Potential Literature to Potential Film. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

This thesis documents a research and art project that explores the creative value of using constraints in film. The starting point is the Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle (Oulipo), the Potential Workshop of Literature, whose members explore the Potential of Literature by writing with constraints, and the films of the early twentieth century avant-garde, which demonstrate the promise of experimentalism in cinema. From these points of inspiration, the idea of using constraints to explore the potential of a field is transferred to film. As the practice of filmmaking with constraints is yet to be fully formalised and currently lacks substantial academic recognition, this thesis presents a theorisation of constraint filmmaking as a creative practice that cuts across cinematic genres and already established areas of filmmaking practice – those of short, feature, and documentary film. The cinematic work emerging from the Ouvroir de Videographie Potentielle (Ouvipo), the Potential Workshop of Video, and the movement of Dogme 95, are shown to be influential in the theorisation of constraint filmmaking practice, and several other examples of constraint films across cinema will be addressed to show how the use of constraints can enhance a filmmaker’s creativity. The thesis is accompanied by three constraint films: Project Cube, A Day in your Life, and Tales and Tellers, which were made in adherence to the stages of the constraint filmmaking process. Project Cube is an exploration of mathematically inspired constraints and is grounded in the idea of permutation. Twelve shots are used to create several different films, with their order being determined by the rolling of dice. A Day in Your Life focuses on the interplay between linguistic constraints and their visual counterparts, reality and fiction, and past and present. Tales and Tellers is a project that shows the power of images, as fairy tales from participants are illustrated in moving images, using constraints to create these pictures. These short films demonstrate both my theorisation of constraint filmmaking as a practice that can be adopted by other artists also, and my journey from Potential Literature to Potential Film.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: OULIPO
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Katja Waschneck
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2018 09:15
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2018 09:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/22413

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