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November 1996, Week 1


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"Do not read this line." <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 5 Nov 1996 11:25:15 -0400
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> At 01:54 PM 10/31/96 -0400, Mike Frank wrote:
> >my question: why do we privilege the video over the audio so automatically,
> >or intuitively [not to say "naturally"] that most of us--like peter--can
> >simply take it as a given requiring no further comment that when the video
> >and audio clash, the video is telling the truth??
>         I wonder if the clash isn't between sound and image but between
> "logocentrism" and other modes of communicating information. Take this
> anecdote from Stanley Kubrick concerning his film _2001_:
>         "A number of people thought Floyd went to the planet Clavius. Why
> they think there's a planet Clavius I'll never know. But they hear him
> asked: 'Where are you going?', and he says, 'I'm going to Clavius'. With
> many people - boom - that one word registers in their heads and they don't
> look at fifteen shots of the Moon; they don't see he's going to the moon."
>         The idea is that language (dialogue *or* titles, contained within
> the sound or the image track) is arguably a more explicit mode of
> transmitting information than more broadly iconic or acoustic elements of
> Philippe Mather
philippe provides a wonderful and--seems to me--intuitively right counter
example . . . note that often, perhaps even as a rule, we read the caption to
let us know what a photo is about, or what it "means" . . .
                                . . . but then this merely complicates
rather than resolves the problem . . . for if in fact we NEED some
"logocentric" clues to help us make sense of the flux of images that is the
visual world, why do we keep on privileging those images? . . . is it merely
on the basis of the convention of "mechanical reproduction" (as opposed to
human interpretation mediated by human will)? . . . or is there something
more going on here??
mike frank
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