The Photo Play and the Mind (Eric Spears)

18 Apr

In “The Kleptomaniac” the shots are slow and dramatic, with each new scene being labeled.  Overall throughout the film there isn’t anything special being done, the story is simple and so is how it is presented.  In contrast “Sherlock, Jr.” is more complicated in the way it is presented rather than just having one shot from the camera that follows the action, it has different cuts that allowing the viewer to grasp smaller details creating a more comprehensive story.

From the 1916 The Photoplay: A Psychological Study by Hugo Münsterberg we can understand why the different cuts and camera tricks matter to the viewer.  As Münsterberg states “The photoplay obeys the laws of the mind rather than those of the outer world.”, what we see in movies is not what is real but rather what we perceive to be real.  In “The Kleptomaniac” by seeing the descriptive black screens and the actions that were going on our minds could perceive the film as a whole, when the people moved from scene to scene our mind still connected these actions and rationalized them as it being a part of the same story, even when the character of the story switched to that of the poor woman our mind still made us see it as the same story.  Over time the ways to make these connections clearer to the viewer has grown as shown by “Sherlock, Jr.” which used many more tricks to keep the viewer connected and understanding the narrative as a whole.

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2 Responses to “The Photo Play and the Mind (Eric Spears)”

  1. serracanca April 18, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    The contrast you made between “Sherlock, Jr.” and “The Kleptomaniac” was something I noticed very quickly, and something I agree with. However, the side-by-side storytelling seen in “The Kleptomaniac” had a similar outcome to all the crazy angles and effects “Sherlock, Jr.” had, in that it helped convey a specific meaning/message to the audience.

  2. kimberlyspring2013 April 22, 2013 at 1:59 am #

    The technology advancement definitely helps directors tell a story the way the they see it and force us to view it this way instead of assuming things out of the storyline (like with The Kleptomaniac).

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