• ROOMS, a cinematographic experience (1/2)

    Par Zeltner Loïc, 19/02/20



    A cinematographic experience can mean two thing. The obvious, related to the medium, the cinema, will be explored with the help of a clip from Stanley Kubrik's Clockwork Orange. The second is in direct relation with the site, and will be explored in another post, where the camera is the observer, the set is the site itself. These two experiences share a few things: they present through a sensible mean a conditionned space commonly called a room. The movie lack the experience of some of the senses, but the real, sensible experience of the same site lack the more literal message of the director, the human feeling filtering through the medium.

    In Clockwork Orange (1971), Stanley Kubrick utilise the different rooms to picture the mindset of the caracter the place is in relation with. For instance, Alex's room is furnished with an extreme attention to detail. It is very modern for the time, and in strong contrast with the caracter outside of the room.

    The house in this clip is the Jaffe House, built by Team 4, the first team in witch Norman Foster participated. The house is divided in three half levels. The people living in this house, Mr. and Mrs. Alexander, are described as very compliant to the norm, slave to the hierarchy. They idealise a vertical system from witch they stand, as they view themselves, at the top. This idea strongly correlate to the architecture of the room, built with a system of three half levels, cascading from the most to the least public rooms. At the highest slab, there is the entrance, the room in witch one decide if the outside world can enter the privacy of the home or not. Then, in the middle, the kitchen and the dining room, a living room as well. In this slab, one can invite people of trust. Then, on the lower slab, the most intimate area, a study and some bedrooms. There, only the most trusted can enter, it is the most precious area of the house, a safe zone of confort. This is the room where the rape scene take place, the gang has managed to invade the most private part of the house, the most private part of the Alexanders' life.

    Alex' gang, who is by nature against this construction, disrupt greatly their world. The camera, witch had its angle locked in the axis of the house, accentuated by the lateral traveling motion, is facing the two inhabitants. When the gang arrives, the disruption is expressed by a rotation of the camera, it is now perpendicular to the first, witch was associated to the couple. This is a period of transition, the situation is evolving, but has not yet reached its climax. When the gang enter the house, the camera is phisically rotating, makes a close up of Mr. Alexanders face, and then is locked in the axis of the house again, but opposite to the first. The disruption is total, the climax is reached. By the gang's actions, the vertical hierarchy in the couple's mind is completely reversed by their inability to defend themselves. The violence took over the intellect (a scientistic view of society, if strength lack inteligence, it can take over power).