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November 1996, Week 1


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Mike Frank <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 6 Nov 1996 08:52:53 -0400
text/plain (44 lines)
returning to the question of why, when the image track says A and the sound
track says B we tend to believe that A is true:  emily says
And I agree with Barbara Bernstein that it is easy to lie verbally.  To
"lie" behaviorally is far more complicated, as so many of our body language
communiques are unconscious.  Hence, when behavioral and verbal information
conflict, behavior (what we see) is a more reliable indicator of the truth.
i think this is undoubtedly true, but it leaves out a critical step:  when we
watch a movie we are NOT watching behavior at all, we're watching [as well as
listening to] representations of behavior, a representation of visual behavior
and a represntation of verbal behavior . . . and the question is why we
privilege one REPRESENTATION over the other . . . perhaps, despite the missing
step, emily is right that we do so by intuitive analogy to the "real" world
where, if someone says B even while doing A, we accept A as valid or true or
accurate . . .
. . . but i still think more--perhaps much more--is going on . . . as some
other replies to this speculative inquiry have suggested there are at least
three separate axis along which this ostensibly simple binary may be charted .
. . one is the binary of pictures [images] and words [ordinary
language] . . . a second, subtly but significantly different, is the binary of
the visual and the aural--keeping in mind that words can be written down and
then enter the universe of the visual despite retaining their status as symbols
rather than icons [this is the binary that emphasizes most strongly the
possible gender related characters of the two modes, suggesting that words that
we see and read work differently than words that we hear, that the mode of
perception is perhaps more important than the nature of the representation]
. . . and third, the binary syggested by emily of the real and the
representation . . .
more, i suspect, remains to be said on this
mike frank
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