The Photoplay and the Mind (Joshua Makower-Brown)

17 Apr

The events that take place in the 1905 film “The Kleptomaniac” are presented in very set, simplistic ways. The camera is always concentrated on the whole scene, with no special effects added. This style of presentation leads to a very natural feeling, and lets the viewer see everything  happening in a scene.

In the 1924 film “Sherlock Jr.”, the scenes are not presented so simply. The use of close-ups, fades, and special effects lead the viewer to kneed together the scene based solely on what is shown. The parts are given to the viewer to be able to put together as a whole. This exemplifies Münsterberg’s argument in his work “The Photoplay: A Psychological Study, that cameras are often very subjective in what is shown, thus leading to a new type of interpretation by the viewer. Unlike in “The Kleptomaniac”, where all of the actions were laid flat out to the viewer, the viewer must now interpret the connections, and can now lead to misinterpretation and deeper thoughts on the film. This new type of storytelling also further magnifies the idea that anything is possible in a movie and, in turn, adds to the “relief from reality” factor


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