The two-part article Time in Film (Part I Cinematograph and Modernity . Part II Trans- formation of Cinematograph into Cinema) is a kind of survey, with the author's comment, of the most important philosophical and film-studies conceptions which investigate this subject. Film time is examined in two principal aspects: as time arising from the possibility of recording reality by the camera and transforming it (reality) into moving pictures (the film-reality relation), and as time connected with a film's narrative capabilities (the film-spectator relation). The discussion on this subject is accompanied by a belief in the rich and surprising possibilities of transforming time by man (the creator and the specta-tor), which film affords. This determines the mental qualities of film time, which should be examined in close relationship to human temporality.
The essential subject of Part I (Cinematograph and Modernity') of the article presented in this volume is the mysterious character of the film recording of time which stems from the dialectics of continuity and discontinuity. The discourse begins by recalling two classic theories defining film as a temporal art: Roman Ingarden's phenomenological theory and Jan Mukarovsky's semiotic theory. Both the theories define the layered character of a film work and its temporal span, which makes the theories similar. For Ingarden, how- ever the time of a film work is first of all associated with the temporality of the perceiving subject, while Mukarovsky argues that the most significant aspect of film tune is one connected with the temporal span of the work as a sign. The two approaches stem from two different conceptions and cognitive possibilities, with which we also deal in the case of reception of a film: the possibility of direct inspection or symbolic (sign) representation.
The article then discusses the ‘ linking’' between the creation of film visibility, motion and time, as well as the mam paradox of the film recording of time. i.e. the phenomenon of creating an illusion of continuity of motion (and time) with the use of motionless pictures (movie camera and projection apparaftis). This paradox is referred, inter alia, to the philosophical conceptions advanced by Henri Bergson, who developed his own reflection on the continuity of time, motion, and specificity of human perception. Bergson's criti- cism of modern concepts of time as linear and divisible, which originated from empirical and rational tendencies of the epoch, found its reference in the possibilities provided by the mechanism of action of the cinematograph right after it was invented.
The paper then discusses expectations linked with the possibilities observ ed in the mechanical way of recording reality’ and time in the early silent cinema films (the so-called cinema of attraction). In their case, the duality of film time stemmed from the paradoxical properties provided by cinematographic reproduction and its impact on the spectator. On the one hand, it manifested a tendency to standardize and systematize phenomena and time, while on the other hand, the sphere of indeterminacy or even unawareness made itself felt. This part of die article is based on studies by Mary Ann Doane, who refers inter alia to the conceptions of Walter Benjamin. Sigmund Freud, and to Étienne-Jules Mareys photography experiments. According to M. A. Doane. the early cinema (Edison, Lumiere brothers, and Melies) was characterized by two opposing tendencies: a characteristic tendency of modernity' to record and organize the flow of present time (standardization) and at the same time a fascination with unpredictable phenomena (novelty). It was only at the next stage of cinema that temporal unpredictability- was adjusted by means of narrative patterns, which made it possible to include the viewer’s attention in the time of the plot being told.