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COGN 21 Lecture Notes

COGN 21 Lecture Notes - COGN 21 Goal of this course to look...

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COGN 21 – 3/29/11 Goal of this course: to look at movies as text o As text, it has its own grammar, language, and conversation Skill: to look , read , and write about film Film: Playtime (1967) – What do you notice? o No direct dialogue o The viewer is not involved too much o Sounds disorienting; sense of alienation o Scale, architecture, overwhelming o No depiction of the “famous” places associated with Paris o This film is different from our expectations o Hidden nuances – could it be talking about the changes in our society? Film: Way Down East (1920) o Constructed around music o Notice how the film tells the story; how it creates urgency o This is achieved though form COGN 21 – 3/31/11
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What is a movie? It centers around meaning Movies (commercial value), film (education?), cinema (art?) All three have to do with motion pictures o Involve images moving quickly to create an illusion of movement and reality o Filmmakers manipulate this technology to put people within the world and make them believe that they are actually in the movie Film stock: 24 frames/second our mind registers it as a linear and uninterrupted movie When shots are moved around: relationships occur, creating a language with its own conventions and grammar o The editing of shots is called a ‘cut’ o Different types of shots: close-up, long shot Film: The Passion of Joan of Arc o Her eyes: close-up shot, trancelike, conveys her death but also her power o Relationship between the shots: close-up (looking down), low shot at the priest (power, authority) o This is all supposed to be invisible to our eyes; hidden meanings Our job is what the movie is trying to say through this invisibility o Russian films want their shots to be seen Another way cinema is powerful to us is because of the narrative/story: o It’s also a straight line and is linear and hence why we tend to believe it o Artists can also change the meaning of a narrative and the trajectory of the story Thus, cinema is made up of seamlessness and story Stories have a structure in order for them to be told Cinema, then, becomes a system made of different elements that needs to be analyzed for layers of meaning
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Playtime scene: there are objects, lines, and depth where the viewer is, Paris is not so linear, relationships of images, arrow semiotics The idea is to identify the tools and techniques that deliver these multiple layers of information and meaning Stories have a beginning and end structure The story begins with the self (our position within the film, which allows us to find structures of sensibility within the film) o A relationship between the personal, social, and universal o Seeing the world as something we care about The Passion of Joan of Arc o mediating experience of a visible camera changing with whom the viewer is identifying o repetition of shots used to create different meanings/interpretations o movies being constructed like music: determines rhythm of music (some kind of meaning)
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