Film as the modern tool of persuasion

contrasts | middle | finish

In a group of 2 or 4 answer these questions:

What is film?

"But this art has some unusual features we should note up front. More than most arts, film depends on complex technology. Without machines, movies wouldn't move and filmmakers would have no tools. In addition film art usually requires collaboration among many participants, people who follow well-proven work routines. Films are not only created but (performed and) produced. Just as important, they are firmly tied to their social and economic context. Films ...."

(p. 1. Film Art.)

In the group compare and contrast your summaries of your interviews and see if:

Did anyone in your interviews mention cinema or movies as a technology?

If so, what did they say?

If not, what does the absence of movies from your interviews say about cinema as a modern technology for the people you spoke to?

What is a movie?

film is? | start over | irony | film as media | contrasts | middle | finish



Two compatible ways to conceive of film as a technology
technical technological
roll filmcan
photographic exposures interdependent devices, sets and reliable organization must all be fit together.
images in sequence "shooting" a series of still photo "takes" from 700-7000 or more.
Kinetic + scope = Kinetiscopes cutting and piecing together of exposures.
Speed of the film run such that the frames appear to generate motion. The story board is translated into photography and spliced into a precise and rational order.
The illusion of motion because the eyes are limited in their capacity. Story telling through images and language, sound and light create symbolic meaning.

Select a film to see and ask yourself to what extent we are influenced by images, symbols and ideological perspectives we obtain from media.

Global Peace Film Festival.

film is? | start over | irony | film as media | contrasts | middle | finish


Media is from medium -- it refers to the means of transmitting the content of a message.

What we know of any messages' meaning depends on the technical ways we use to communicate?

A. Yes, it does depend on media's capabilities, or

B. No, it's meaning doesn't rely on the media used, or

C. I do not know?


film is? | start over | irony | film as media | contrasts | middle | finish


What we know is based on how we know it.

Not so simple:

How we know–determines to some great extent–what we can know.

That means the methods by which we know something determines what we are able to know.


film is? | start over | irony | film as media | contrasts | middle | finish

Complexity emerges:

Can both be true?

Such that knowledge is derived from reiterating knowing; over and over in language, images and emotions, what we know becomes an ever deepening internal dialogue about meaning.

Film is one such medium that visually, aurally, emotionally and imaginatively adds to our cognition–that is–knowledge of the world.

roll"Films are distributed and exhibited for audiences, and money matters at every step."

All of these elements shape and sustain film as art."

"We press a button, and our machines conjure up movies for our pleasure."

"Films are designed to have effects on viewers. Late in the nineteenth century, moving pictures emerged as a public amusement. They succeeded because they spoke to the imaginative needs of a broad-based audience."

"The particular origins of cinema suggest that some common way of talking won't help us much in understanding film . . . .art is highbrow whereas entertainment is superficial."

filmcan"Cinema is an art because it offers filmmakers ways to design experiences for viewers, and those experiences can be valuable regardless of their pedigree [origins]. Films for audiences both small and large belong to that very inclusive art we call cinema."

[pp., 1-2. Film Art.]

film is? | start over | irony | film as media | contrasts | middle | finish

Defining Mise en Scene | Narrative elements in film | Film structure | Documentary films

Global Peace Film Festival

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