Sunday, November 24, 2013

Remediation and Film

     I picked the film chapter because I knew it would interest me and I believed I could understand what it was about.  Thankfully I was right, and this chapter was actually interesting and made sense.  This is what I learned from my chapter.
     Hypermediation was prevalent in early animated movies because of the lack of visual aids.  It wasn't like people were watching the movies and felt like they were really feeling it.  At he same time the strong human connections and the emotions that heartwarming movies like "Snow White" and "Dumbo" evoke brought some transparency to the movies as well.  Later on when films like "Beauty and the Beast" came out and digital animations looked like live action film, they became very transparent because it wasn't only the emotions that the movies had, but they matched it with good cinematography.
     Movies operate under a specific transparent immediacy that Bolter and Grusin call the "Hollywood Style".  In a good movie we see events take place and consider them to be a natural occurrence.  Whether or not these events would happen in real life isn't the question, but if the movie makes the audience believe what they are seeing then they are making the movie transparent.  On the flip side, when a movie has a scene or a camera angle that is too weird or unnatural, the film looses transparency and the audience becomes aware of the film as a medium.
     There are times in a movie or a scene in which the film calls for hypermediation.  In scenes of movies (in particular earlier movies) where the character is experiencing a dream or a mental disorder the camera may show things in a disoriented view, and when a character is in perfect balance and everything is ok, the camera would go back to it's normal way of viewing things.  This concept is a very intentional one, and the intentions of it are clear; the audience will come out of the transparency and see that something is different about the scene that is unfolding.
     There is another scenario that looks at hypermediacy and transparency that mixes the two together.  In fact, the line becomes blurred because in this scenario, the film has computer graphics that aid live action.  This interesting combo walks the line between the two.  On one hand the director wants the audience to be visually impressed which leans closer to hypermediacy.  On the other hand, the director wants the graphics to be credible and that leans closer to transparency.
     Finally the last point that the chapter makes is the idea that plots of a movie are all well and good, but sometimes all it comes down to for a movie to be transparent or not is the cinema of attractions.  If the audience is emerged in what they are seeing on the screen with car chases that feel like they are present in the car, or roof dangling scenes in which it seems as if they are about to fall, then the level of transparency grows.
     Transparency requires hypermediacy and vice versa.  When you watch a scene from a movie and it seems real to you then it is transparent, but when you break it down the moment following your observance and realize you've been fooled that moment requires hypermediacy.

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