'nature' is most palpable precisely in the guise of time

word gumshoe

Senior Member
Hi every one,

In Elements of Cinema (p.202,penultimate paragraph) by Robert Bird I have seen the following sentence. Does the underlined sentence mean "It is by time which nature is understood"?

Indeed, 'nature' is most palpable precisely in the
guise of time
, as a friction that arises when the continuous flow of images
encounters its own internal resistance.
  • EStjarn

    Senior Member

    I understand that sentence a little differently.

    First, let's arrange some extra context (via Google Books). The author is musing over Andrei Tarkovsky's concept of 'nature', feeling understanding it is problematic, and having in particular the following in mind, written (or said) by Tarkovsky:
    The specificity of the cinema consists in capturing time, and the cinema works with time as with a unit of aesthetic measure that can be repeated indefinitely. [...] With respect to montage, my principle is the following: film is like a river; montage should be infinitely spontaneous like nature itself, and what obliges me to move from one shot to another by means of montage is not the desire to see the selected things or to force the spectator to hurry up by introducing very short sequences. I think that it always remains in the riverbed of time.
    I think the reason the word 'nature' in the underlined sentence is enclosed within single quotation marks is because it refers to Tarkovsky's concept of nature, not to nature itself.

    I further think that the author, by the underlined sentence, is saying that he best understands Tarkovsky's concept of nature when Tarkovsky refers to it in terms of time.
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >