POETIC DISCOURSE IN FILM
How to understand experimental film – cognitive approach
Very often experimental film puts our standard communicational expectations to test (it suffices to remember Stan Brakhage’s visions, Mihovil Pansini’s coincidences or the abstract dance of shapes and colours of Len Lye) and explores perceptional potentials of a viewer who has to cope with the break from standard relations. However, this does not mean that our understanding of experimental film is different from our understanding of any other type of film or other genres. The cognitive approach understands that everything must be based on our cognitive capacities. In the cognitive film theory the basis is the perception of the film so, on the example of experimental film, I will try to define some cognitive problems which are dealt with by way of specific standardized film procedures. I will also try and clarify the specific perceptive purpose to be achieved by way of these procedures. As an example, I will use the films by Ivan Martinac (Rondo, 1962), fixation films from 1960s (term coined by Dušan Stojanović) such as Tomislav Gotovac’ The Straight Line (1964), structural film (Larry Gottheim’s Four Shadows, 1978) and materialistic films (Vladimir Petek’s Encounters, 1963; Peter Gidal’s Clouds, 1969).