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Modern Film Theory....

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Modern Film Theory....

Old 05-14-04, 12:48 PM
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Modern Film Theory....

Can someone discuss how these methodological approaches are used with film theory? Thank you.

semiotics
psychoanalysis
phenomenology
poststructuralism
deconstruction

Last edited by scroll2b; 05-15-04 at 02:57 AM.
Old 05-14-04, 02:09 PM
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well, Im not a Film student nor do I claim to have any expertise in the applications of any of that in Film or otherwise, but I could dare to venture a guess on a couple of them.....

pyschoanalysis: the attempt to make an audience either relate to a character or instance with the realities of their own lives, or to show an aspect of the pyschology of a subject in the film, they would not realize or understand due to general lack of knowledge on teh subject.

phenomonology: the introduction of something so incredibly unbelievable, yet so indescribably possible that it grants a viewer with reflection of even though they "know" it couldnt possibly happen, they could also never describe or rationalize it being absolutely impossible, and it leaves them with a spark of imagination of "could it be?"

deconstruction: take the wonder or the existence of something normally taken for granted or just generally ignored, and present it such a manner so as reveal that object in a new light that they would have never have even bothered to think about - simple examples: what makes a flower alive, why is the sky blue, what happens to food when we eat, etc.

thats all i got and like I said, they are all just guesses and I could be completely wrong, but I'd to think that maybe I'm not too far off in my assumptions.

I'd also like to know the practical answers to the original question.
Old 05-14-04, 04:44 PM
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Sounds like your film theory course is a bunch of pretentious bullshit.
Old 05-14-04, 05:12 PM
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Deconstruction, as I recognize, is the the reinvention of genre. Famous examples include much of Altman's early work, ala McCabe and Mrs. Miller, a deconstruction of the traditional western of heroes and happy endings. Also see M*A*S*H for war deconstruction. I'm searching for the words to describe but, but the point of fact is that books have been filled analyzing it. Leone's Westerns were somewhat deconstructionalist of Hollywood westerns.

Semiotics is too broad to even really address, can you narrow what you seek?

Psychoanalysis in relation to film theory would be screen stimuli that often will function subconsciously. Certain innate imagery is generally often going to generate a mass response. Be it a cooing baby that will illicit warm feelings and "Awwwww""s from a woman to a stalker's eye view of a killer. Hitchcock was a superb purveyor and employer of various stimuli that functioned on this level and spoke to base fears that we all share.

Can't help you much on poststructialism, but good luck on whatever paper you're doing!
Old 05-15-04, 02:48 AM
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It's not pretentious bullshit, and it's not for a paper. Actually, I've been looking at MFA film schools, and this popped up. I thought it would be nice to get some background. If you can't be helpful, don't post in this thread. If you know what you're talking about, please post. Thanks again.
Old 05-15-04, 03:09 AM
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Originally posted by scroll2b
If you can't be helpful, don't post in this thread. If you know what you're talking about, please post. Thanks again. [/B]
and if you can't be open to others feedback even if it is not what you want to hear, please don't start a thread.

To begin with you give a request that sounds like someone asking another person to do their homework for them. The guy gave a pretty open answer. An answer I agree with. Regardless of the views, you should be open to get comical answers that you may not find to be all that funny, but others might. I doubt groucho would have anything to post if it wasn't for his off the wall funny comments in threads that aren't answering the question posed by the thread starter.
Old 05-15-04, 08:22 AM
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Originally posted by scroll2b
If you know what you're talking about, please post. Thanks again.
Well I guess thats a very nicely worded "sit down and shut the fuc& up" at my shot towards trying to help, but OK
Old 05-15-04, 09:03 AM
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Semiotics in film - Is the logical description of the languagelike phenomenon of film.

Example - When a viewer observes a film he or she understands the meaning behind each scene, which based on previously learned signs and syntax. These signs and syntax are based on a system of codes (e.g., high camera angle decreases the importance of the object in focus).

Recommended Reading:
How to Read a Film: Movies, Media, Multimedia by James Monaco
Old 05-15-04, 10:21 AM
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Originally posted by Fincher Fan
Sounds like your film theory course is a bunch of pretentious bullshit.
So where's the "threadcrapping" bells, whisltes, alarms, claxons and sirens on this post? Or am I the only one worthy of telling that too when I have a topic-opposing opinion?

Sorry Finch, but I've getting and taking a lot of threadcrap bullshit finger-pointing lately and I'll be damned if I'm gonna take it laying down or alone.
Old 05-15-04, 11:09 AM
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Jupiter, relax. I was referring to Fincher's threadcap, not your stab at trying to help. And what do I care how Groucho functions on this thread? We all know what threadcrapping is.

Smurf, I may have that book but I'll have to check. Have you read it? Does it break down these areas in full, or it just so happens to have an explanation for semiotics? If this is a great book, can you recommend more on the same topics? Thanks.
Old 05-15-04, 11:59 AM
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Originally posted by scroll2b
Have you read it? Does it break down these areas in full, or it just so happens to have an explanation for semiotics? If this is a great book, can you recommend more on the same topics? Thanks.
The book explains the semiotics "of film" in detail as well explaining all aspects for how to read film, which is essential for film makers. As we all know, it is not enough with a video camera and a have a couple of friends reading their lines. Build yourself an understanding of the concepts and this will help you.

I would recommend almost all books on following topics:

Cinematography
Montage
Mise-en-scene
Perceptional Psychology (as it deals with human perception, visual illusions, and the meaning of what we see.)

I like this book in cinematography:

The Five C's of Cinematography by Joseph V. Mascelli
It shows the basics and what is needed in order to get ones own creativity a kick-start in film making.
Old 05-15-04, 12:21 PM
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I would go into more detail but I just had my film class final exam a couple days ago and my brain is about fried from semiotics and psychoanalysis but an example of semiotics would be (in a nutshell):

In the film Vertigo when they are at the museum looking at the painting and the camera focused on the lady's hair. The hair is in a bun style which is a sign for a spiral which signifies confusion, dissorientation, dizziness (vertigo), etc... downward spiral.

Same with the staircase in the bell tower. Those were the examples we used in class.

Last edited by mljones99; 05-15-04 at 12:26 PM.
Old 05-15-04, 12:34 PM
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Originally posted by JupiterPrime
So where's the "threadcrapping" bells, whisltes, alarms, claxons and sirens on this post? Or am I the only one worthy of telling that too when I have a topic-opposing opinion?

Sorry Finch, but I've getting and taking a lot of threadcrap bullshit finger-pointing lately and I'll be damned if I'm gonna take it laying down or alone.
Actually I had reported the post when I first saw it, but like many of the reporting I do, nothing ever seems to come of it (at least not publicly).
Old 05-15-04, 02:18 PM
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Originally posted by mljones99
In the film Vertigo when they are at the museum looking at the painting and the camera focused on the lady's hair. The hair is in a bun style which is a sign for a spiral which signifies confusion, dissorientation, dizziness (vertigo), etc... downward spiral.

Same with the staircase in the bell tower. Those were the examples we used in class.
A great examples, and Hitchcock was a master at it as well, which can be seen in his other films as well. For example, Psycho and Rebecca.

Vertigo brings my mind to the bizarre Japanese film, Uzumaki, which is not even close to Vertigo. Uzumaki created vortex's everywhere (e.g., snail shells and hair), including creating CGI vortex's hidden in the background and foreground.
Old 05-15-04, 11:27 PM
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I can appreciate when symbols or such depictions need to be thought out to be realized. When it's blatant, and all over the place, it does me nothing usually. Then I would call it "pretentious." I think I understand poststructuralism and deconstruction fairly well, but phenomenology still needs another explanation for me. (I am doing research online, keep in mind, but a discussion on this board couldn't hurt.)

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