The Form of Limite
By Maria Christina Ennes Emmerick
The universe of photography in the movies comprises the selection of the type of camera and the type of lenses, the lighting, the composition of the scene and the movement of cameras and actors. In the editing, the parts of the film are joined in the form of enchained photograms in one band that rotating when projected will create a sequence of non permanent rectangular images.
“Limite” was made in B&W, in 35 mm film and filmed in 16 frames per second. At the time, equipment were expensive and rare. The production could afford the utilization of three photographic cameras, in hand and in tripod. There are no night scenes in “Limite”, the daylight was utilized most of the time and a huge umbrella as well which appears in several production photographs. Edgar Brasil built several devices to obtain the camera frames and movements that marked his work. Besides the material devices, as camera articulations and human traction boards, Edgar employed rigorous logical devices in camera frames and movements. The personality of the photographer is perceived in the technique and in the planned experimentation that resulted in the beautiful shots of “Limite”.
In the composition of shots, actors, objects and the elements of nature are framed always as parts of a whole. These elements and objects have the same importance as the characters as regards the dynamics of the editing.
The same formal pattern is kept all over the film. There are force lines that are circular, represented by scenery objects, camera movements and by the editing.
Other force lines are related to the diagonals of the quadrilateral formed by the photogram and to its vertical and horizontal subdivisions, which the photographer made use of in form of objects in the composition of the scene and in the angles and movements of the camera.
The close formal relation kept between the shots by the employment of details and geometry is very evident. These artists could be motivated by deep symbolic meanings originated in the art of communication without words which they were dominating with the technological and aesthetic resources of their environment. Meanwhile, the sound movie was introduced in the market extinguishing the silent movie.
The analyzed film will always provoke a strong movement between form and content. The repetition of photograms, the movements, the details, the silence of the characters, a musical background with piano or orchestra by classic authors allows for the evident perception of hidden things in the image that transports the message. New information will always be discovered, and this is the mystery of “Limite.”