Friday, March 24, 2006

planet telex at the video store

in 'intro to film theory', we were assigned to develop our own theory about watching movies. mine was 'neo-pseudo-post-phenomenalism', building off the theory that we perceive movies as a mixture of what the movie contains and what we bring to it with our personal experiences: it's like tang--where the powdered image and the watered us meet, the movie viewing experience is made.

i took that idea further by saying that the environment in which we watch a movie is also critical to the experience. whether we watch a movie by ourselves at the end of a long day, in class after having just studied the civil war, or after having stood in line for hours to be at the premiere with similar enthusiasts, it catalyzes the viewing immensely.
what others have told us about it, what we have seen and what we are expecting, preferences based upon other favorites in the genre, or maybe we know nothing about the film going into it--all of those can be for good or ill in how we connect with the show.

sad that so much of how we receive movies is affected by such a myriad of variables.

the general
is always a classic, but the showing at the capitol theater created an atmosphere where it was impossible not to fall in love with buster keaton.

i wish i could see more movies that way.

he that hath an ear, let him hear.


Em said...

So Jeff, what film and context and argument did you use describing "'neo-pseudo-post-phenomenalism'"?

I wrote about post-modern suture and about.... Amelie.

I'm such a sucker for happy thoughts.

Alyssa Rock said...

Hey Jeff... It's me Alyssa. I read your blog occasionally and I really like it. I also just want to let you know that Chris reads your blog regularly and he really, really likes it. It makes him miss the good times in #104.

Random question: did you ever see the Centennial Bunny while you were there? I'm just curious if he still hung out there after I left.


Anyhow, since everyone is sharing, I just thought I'd mention that my theory in Sharon's class was called "The Acquired Psychological Needs of the American Viewer." I theorized that the codes of the Institutionalized Mode of Representation in Hollywood filmmaking has caused the average American viewer to expect three needs to be met while viewing a film:

1. The viewer needs to identify with the protagonist of the film.

2. The narrative structure must have verisimilitude or some identifiable form of logic.

3. The film must have narrative closure of some sort.

And I theorized a lot about what happens when those needs aren't met, the "coping mechanisms" people develop to respond to films which deny one or all of those needs, etc. Blah blah blah, yakety schmakety.

Fun assignment, eh? :)


I've noticed that phenomenon you're talking about. Dean once made a statement that "films are like people." The more I've thought about that statement, the more I think the analogy works. I think that goes along with your theory... The context in which we meet people definitely affects our perception of them and how we respond to them.

Whoa this comment is really long. I'll stop now.

-->jeff * said...

while i did not care much for the film anymore, i showed 'the rocky horror picture show' and danced the 'time warp', the ultimate experience in environmental cinematical influence.

i still smile at the surprised look on eric's face in 114 when, after all of my questions about morality and r-rated movies, i was the only one who raised my hand when he asked if any could do the 'time warp' with him.