complextask. The meaning of a sequence can actually be undermined or reinforced byseveral factors which include the shot duration, lighting, angle,juxtaposition, cultural context and so on.2.2.2Apparatus film theoryApparatustheory has been derived in parts from semiotics, psychoanalysis and Marxistfilm theory. It was a very dominant film theory in the discourse of cinemastudies in the 1970s. Apparatus theory goes on to opine that cinema by its veryinnate nature is ideological as its mechanics of representation are actuallyideological.
These mechanics of representation include the camera as thecinematic apparatus and the editing.Furthermore,as per this approach, within the perspective of the composition the verycentral position of the spectator is, in fact, also ideological. Thistheory goes on to argue that cinema actually maintains the dominant ideology ofthe cultural domain within the audience. Cinema is not imposed with ideology, but ideology is anintegral part of its nature. This theory follows an institutional model of spectatorship.2.2.
3Marxist film theoryMarxistfilm theory is one of the oldest forms of film theory which has been present inacademics to help one comprehend the cinematic medium and its influence. Stalwartfilmmakers like Sergei Eisenstein and many other Soviet filmmakers in the 1920swent on to express their ideas of Communism through their works. Kuleshovcame up with his path-breaking editing which is known as Kuleshov Experimentand it is known to be the best display of Hegelian dialectics in the cinematicmedium.
The montage has come to beknown as one of the most effective film techniques across the globe. Thus, astructuralist approach was used in filmmaking from the Marxist perspective. TheRussian filmmakers who excelled in this form of art cried foul over thenarrative structure of Hollywood filmmaking.SergeiEisenstein was one famous filmmaker who delved deep into the cinematic mediumand its techniques.
He chose to shun the narrative structure of the film by theelimination of the individual protagonist. He opted for telling his storiesthrough the action of a group of people and the thus the story of the film wasexpressed through a clash of one image against the other which follows (whetherin composition, motion, or idea). Thus, the audience is never made to believethat they are seeing something which has not been worked over. The directorhimself was, however, accused by the Soviet authorities working under Stalinthat he was making “formalist error” by stressing on the form as an omnipotentthing rather than portraying the worker in a noble way.
Jean-LucGodard, the famous French Marxist filmmaker, used to employ radical editing andchoice of subject matter in his films. He also utilized subversive parody sothat the class consciousness could be heightened to promote Marxist ideals.Thus,Marxist film theory focuses on the societal conditions and endeavors to reflectthe reality on the large screen.
It identifies how film works as an ideologicalapparatus and can be utilized to bring in societal change though spreading ofideals and exposing the ills of the capitalist society which loots the peopleof their basic rights.2.2.4Screen Theory Screentheory is another form of Marxist film theory which is associated with Britishjournal Screen in the 1970s. ColinMacCabe, Stephen Heath and Laura Mulvey are the main theoreticians who dealwith this approach and delve into describing the cinematic apparatus as a versionof Althusser’s Ideological State Apparatus (ISA). According to this theory, thespectacle is something which creates the spectator and not vice versa.
Theapparent realism of the content that is communicated masks the subject of thefilm and the subjection. Both the subject and the subjection are created at thesame time on the large screen by the filmic narrative.2.2.5 Formalist film theoryFormalist filmtheory focuses on the formal aspect of films, namely the film techniques andthe other elements of a film like the sound and set design lighting, scoring,use of color, shot composition, and editing. Generally,formalism takes into account the synthesis or lack of synthesis of manyelements which are present in the procedure of film production and also theother effects like the intellectual and emotional effects. For example editingis one technique which is involved in the filmmaking process.
For example, aformalist theorist would look into the film technique of editing and mightstudy how the “continuity editing” which is standard in Hollywood has a morecomforting effect on the audience and jump-cut editing or non-continuityediting has more of volatility.Such atheorist might also go on to consider the synthesis of several elements likeediting, shot, music and composition. The Spaghetti Western Dollarstrilogy which was directed by Sergio Leone ends with a shootout which is aperfect example of this. These elements work togetherto give rise to an effect. The shot changes from being a wide angle shotto a close shot and the music starts in the background.
The tension of thescene is created by the amalgamation of all these elements and not just one ofthem in particular. Formalism actually embraces boththe auteurist and ideological branches of criticism and in both of these casesthe common denominator is style.2.2.6 Feminist film theory The theoreticalfilm criticism which is derived from feminist political discourse and feministtheory is known as feminist film theory.
There are many approaches to theanalysis of cinema which are undertaken by the feminists. They analyze theelements of film and also their theoretical underpinnings.It was the secondwave feminism and the development of women’s studies as an academic discoursewhich influenced the development of feminist film theory. The feminist scholarsstarted applying the new theoretical set ups which were arising from thesemovements to analyze the cinematic medium and its aesthetics. The very initialattempts which were made in the United States in the early 70s were actuallyhaving the foundation on sociological theory and the function of the womencharacters in the film narratives were delved into.
The genres and the rolestereotypes were also looked into as a reflection of the societal view of thewomen folk.Therewere certain works like Marjorie Rosen’s PopcornVenus; Women, Movies, and theAmerican Dream (1973) and Molly Haskell’s From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in Movies (1974)which went on to focus on the analysis of portrayal of women in films inrelation to the historical context of the society. The stereotypeswhich were depicted were analyzed in these works. It was also seen whether thewomen portrayed on the screen were shown as active or passive and also how muchscreen time was given to the women characters.2.2.7 Auteur TheoryIn the 1950s, themost famous film theory was the Auteur theory which held the idea that thedirector’s film actually goes on to reflect the director’s personal creativevision and he or she is the primary “Auteur” (the French word for”author”).
In specific cases, the film producers are considered tohave similar role of the “auteur” for films that they have produced. The auteuris the creator of a film as a work of art and is the original copyright holderin the eyes of law. The European Union law grants thefilm director the right to be known as the author or the auteur of a film. This theory offilm criticism has had a huge impact on film criticism right from the time whenit was advocated by the famous film director and critic François Truffaut in1954. This method is the way in which the filmic work is analyzed on the basisof the characteristics of the director’s work which collectively make him theAuteur. The auteur theoryand Auteurism method film analysis get frequently associated with the FrenchNew Wave and also the critics who wrote the French film review periodical Cahiers du cinema which was veryinfluential.
2.2.8 Psychoanalytic film theoryFilmshave seen the influence of the concepts related to psychoanalysis in a numberof ways. In the 1970s and 1980s, however, the advancement of the film theory delvedinto the concepts developed by the French psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan. Thistheory applied these concepts by Lacan to the very experience of watching afilm. The film viewer went on to be seen as the subject of the “gaze” that isgreatly “constructed” by the film on its own. Also, the things that are showedon the screen transform into the objects of the subject’s desire.
Thesubject generally identifies with a male protagonist shown on the screen.Psychoanalytic film theory goes on to stress that the subject longs forcompleteness with the film by identifying with an image. According to the Lacaniantheory, the process of identification with the image is nothing but simply anillusion, while the subject in context is split by the virtue of coming intoexistence.2.3 The significance of the cognitive approach to the filmThecognitive approach to the study of films was introduced as an academic pursuitfrom the mid to late 1980s.
The cognitive theory was having its influence onthe discourse of study and research along this direction was only practiced bya minority of film scholars and these people were definitely not the ones whocould be considered among the mainstream researchers of film studies. Apartfrom Sergei Eisenstein and Hugo Munsterberg, theorists like Bordwell andCarroll are the most influential figures in the propagation of the cognitiveapproach in the field of studying films.At apoint of time it was believed that the cognitive approach was weak enough as itwas unable to deal with the elicitation of emotion in movie. However, thecognitive approach to the emotions have been of paramount importance inpsychology, philosophy and other very important disciplines of study in thenext twenty years and very recently there have been much development in themethodology to bear on movie.2.3.1Cognitive Film Theory and ItsAchievementsItwill not be very appropriate to claim that the cognitive theorists go on tooppose the discourse of psychoanalysis, though the majority would come to agreeon the fact that psychoanalysis has not been of much result when practiced inrelation to film studies.
Also, psychoanalysis is not properly suited todescribe the normative behaviors like perception, social cognition, narrativecomprehension and the experience of other types of emotions like pity and fear.Ithas been the tradition of the discourse of cognitive science to search for theprocesses which underlie information processing, intelligent problem solving,utilization of the computer as a metaphor for the mind of humans. The computeranalogy has been left behind in course of time by the cognitivists. But, theyhave come forward to approach certain elements of perception and narrativecomprehension by the use of models of rationality and practicalproblem-solving.Bordwell (1985)talks of the schémas, assumptions, inferences, hypotheses that are used in filmviewing and actually takes for granted that the audience is engaged inprimarily non-conscious procedures which are goal-directed to make sense of thenarratives of the films. For him, the audience goes on to construct the fabulaor story of the film during the process of watching it. The degree ofconsistency of the constructed fabula from viewer to viewer is dependent on thekind of processes which are involved in the construction of the fabula.
Majority ofcognitivists, including Bordwell and Currie, are in vehement favor of thenaturalistic explanations of the phenomena of film. This entails that theaudience makes sense of films in many of the similar ways in which the sense ofthe real world is made. The primary interest of cognitive theory in the presentday is how the audience makes sense and responds to movies and also the textualstructures and the filmic techniques which lead to the audience’s response andactivity.From the viewpointof cognitive theory, Bordwell has set up a constructivist approach and hasadvanced to develop a very compelling theory of cinematic narration and thistheory is quite an useful one. A major area of research in this discourse isthe means by which films elicit emotions.
Cognitive film theory is delving deepinto this matter of late and the basic assumption which has been propagated isthat emotions have reasons. To put differently, the emotional response of theaudience or readers to the texts (and the other phenomena) is partly dependenton how the people evaluate and assimilate the information which the textcarries. The argument of cognitive film theory is that in response to thefilms, thinking and feeling are very closely related to each other.
Murray Smith callscharacter identification as character “engagement” and it is one of the verydominant means through which the audience gets involved with the movieemotionally. Smith goes on to argue that the structure of sympathy which is oneprimary mode of engagement to the film is a process which involves threecomponents which are recognition, alignment and allegiance. Recognition is themeans by which the spectator goes on to construct a character, while alignmentmeans how the audience is placed in relation to the characters shown in themovie both visually and epistemically. It is through allegiance that theaudience evaluates the characters shown on the large screen morally.
2.4 Getting emotional response through cinema One of the mostuseful ways in which the text primes the emotional response of the viewer isthrough character engagement. It can be so that an emotion is having its rootsin the result in part from a detailed evaluation of a particular situation in afilm. As such, the assessment of the meaning of the situation of the film forthe character which is favored by the particular viewer will obviously become agreat part of that evaluation. The emotional response of the audience alsodepends on the very nature of situation which is presented in the film and alsoon the way in which this situation is unfolded in the course of the movie.Thus, specific types of narrative scenarios are associated with certainemotions like an action film is associated with suspense and excitement, afamily melodrama with sentiment and a romantic comedy film with sentiment andamusement and so on. This relationship between narrative and emotion in cinemais the subject of research in the recent times in this discourse, but it isstill in a very primary stage. One major question of concern is to identify theamount of similarity between the emotions which are generated in watching afilm and those emotions which are experienced by human beings in our real,non-filmic lives.
2.5 Fiction and Non-fiction The non-fictionfilms are taken by the traditional and post-structuralist critics as a kind ofreconstruction or imitation of reality. This view does give rise to impedimentsfor the notion of documentary films as it is easily possible to find thetechniques which are used by documentaries to manipulate their materials. Thus,it initiates the debate that the distinction between the fiction andnon-fiction is illicit and documentary films utilize techniques which are usedin fictional films and they even are duplicitous as they pretend to deliver theactual reality while the fact remains that they are simply manipulated and arerhetorically purposeful in nature.What makes moresense is that one should think of non-fiction film in light of action theorywhich is broad derivation of the speech act theory.
Non-fiction films are thosevia which the directors assert what they wish to portray and the audienceassumes that the objects, entities and events or situations which are shown onthe screen actually exist(ed) in the real world just like it has been portrayedin the movie.Both fiction andnon-fiction films use same techniques for the process of filmmaking and hencethe spectator has the onus on himself or herself to comprehend the films. Thespectator may use similar, although not identical, ways of perception,comprehension and interpretation while watching both types of films.
2.6 Types of Cognitive ResearchFilm studies as adiscourse is of great importance due to the fact that film is prominent as acontemporary form of art and also because a lot remains to be known about thecognitive response which is evoked in the audience by the stimulations whichare provided by the film.The paramount needis to find the theoretical model which extends and even modifies the generalcognitive principles like assimilation and accommodation, schema formation,memory, and meta-cognition with respect to film presentation. From aneducational perspective, the process by which the viewer constructs meaningfrom the film, and thereby reshapes and extends his or her thoughts, is themore important matter. 2.
6.1 Three Types of Cognitive ResearchThe study of filmand cognition has been pursued along three distinct conceptual lines, eachcorresponding to a different sense of the term cognition. These can besubdivided as skills, states and knowledge.2.
6.1.1 SkillsIt signifies a setof cognitive skills that would be necessary or enhancing to the effectiveviewing of film.
Salomon’s method of conceptualizing film viewing skills, then,was to define the psycho-logically pertinent elements of film making techniquesand to infer a specific cognitive skill associated with the reception of thoseelements. The problem remains whether this identification of cognitivefunctions (things that cognition accomplishes) is a valid way to identifycognitive skills (what cognition is).Piaget (1952)offers a more complex, and at the same time more parsimonious, model ofcognition. The central construct of Piaget’s model is the schema, the cognitiveunit of understanding that is formed through inter-action with the environment.Through a dynamic balance of assimilation and accommodation schema are formed,generalized, and differentiated, becoming equilibrated structures that arecapable of repeated functioning even as they are continually open to change andreformation. Piaget’s model is parsimonious because it poses a single dynamicstructure (the schema) applicable to all varieties of cognitive experience.
Ithas been understood that the viewer’s response to film, in any model ofcognition, must bridge the conceptual gap between intelligence and perception.Arnheim (1969)explicates a notion of visual cognition that adds to, while remainingcompatible with, Piaget’s structuralist view. Arnheim develops the concept ofperception as an intelligent act, comprising such operations as activeexplorations, election, grasping of essentials, simplification, abstraction,analysis, synthesis, completion, and correction. The unit for model-buildingpurposes of visual intelligence is the Gestalt. The gestalt is the principle oforganization that searches out reality and creates meaningful form, and itselfbecomes differentiated through the inter-action.Researchers of amore rigorous bent have approached the problem of visual cognition by extendingtheir experience with verbal language to create the metaphor of visualliteracy.
They have then sought out a visual alphabet, visual grammar, andvisual syntax and conceptualized the cognitive response in relation to thisessentially verbal metaphor. For Arnheim,visual understanding begins with active visual perception and concludes withmeanings that are internally represented in visual form. Neisser (1976)highlights the cognitive time period necessary for schema to develop inresponse to a perceptual situation, that is, the time it takes for a viewer toexplore and focus upon a painting or sculpture.
The question ishow this fixed time span affects the cognitive time period in which the viewerassimilates and accommodates the object of attention. These are centralquestions that a full psychology of the film will want to address. Arnheim’sand Neisser’s model of visual cognition emerges as a promising foundation forthe study of film and cognition. Thus, the study proceeded in the direction ofhaving a better view about the matter.2.6.
1.2 StatesThe film viewingexperience has been described as being like a dream state. Langer (1966) givesconcise statement of the idea of film as dream. As in a dream, she observes,the film presents an ongoing series of images and events, with the vieweralways at the center of those events. These images seem as though they are theviewer’s creation.
Furthermore, as in a dream, boundaries of space and time arenot observed: series of situations are related by feeling, not by naturalproximity. Television differs cognitively from film mainly because the lack ofperipheral visual experience and image quality cannot induce the dream state sofully.Mast (1977) hasput forth a theory of film experience that shares Petric’s image of a passiveviewer overtaken by illusion. For Mast, the film is an especially convincingillusion of reality because of its dual powers of mimesis (photographicrepresentation) and kinesis (movement over time).Metz (1977) adds acautionary note, however. He poses the question of whether film viewing is likedreaming and concludes that it is not, for at least three reasons: theperception of film is real perception, not an internal psychic event; films aremore structured than dreams; and they are not as absurd.
Film, Metz concludes,is more like a daydream.184.108.40.206 KnowledgeThe visual arts ingeneral, and film in particular, possess the capacity to initiate anepistemological cycle, a cycle that begins with a symbolic presentation andends with the viewer’s cognition. The knowledge that is somehow embodied in thepresentation, and that is somehow understood through cognition, is the commonfactor throughout this cycle. The non-discursive symbols of the visual artspresent to the viewer a wider range of meaning than language can convey.
Film shares thecapacity of the arts in general to present affectively compelling presentationsof world views. Film also possesses unique representational capacities thatenable it to present additional aspects of the artist’s world view. Thetemporal and sequential nature of film allows it to organize images in a patternthat simulates the pattern of the artist’s perception and thought.For Ingarden(1973), the reader functions with the work as a co-creator of meaning. The worksuggests mental images, which the reader must objectify. The work suppliespotential meanings that are concretized by the reader’s formation of anaesthetic object.
Thephenomenological model of reading, and especially its treatment of temporalconcerns, is also applicable to film. How synthetic images are formed inresponse to a series of discrete sequential presentations, over time, is anissue common to both film and the novel. With this concern for temporalsequence comes a range of problems in the development of cognitive schema,including the interactive effects of past and future, the formation of wholesfrom parts, and the establishing of foreground and background.Humanbeings are continually constructing internal meanings at the same time that weare absorbed in retinal reality. Viewers cannot absorb cinematic images anymore than they can absorb reality.
Instead they undertake a perceptualdialogue, seeing in part what their schemas