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> What would a freshman student with no experience in
>film studies answer if  you asked him/her which film
>shows more "skill" or "effort", Titanic (or Pearl

What I was getting at is that it doesn't matter how much effort actually went into the work or whether a viewer determined that correctly.  I'm interested in how the display and perception of effort function as part of aesthetic responses.  Clearly this varies so much that even generalizations might be even more suspect that usual.  Some freshmen students might think Titanic or Citizen Kane "better" than My Night at Maud's because of the visible effort; then again this student might think the Rohmer film more honest because it's not as flashy.

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Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite
http://www.tcf.ua.edu/ScreenSite