Perceiving Scenes in Film and in the World

Abstract

Watching a film is different than observing the real world. In particular, scenes in film are framed and set off from a larger context, they are divided up into shots that are composed from different points of view, separated by instantaneous cuts, and with the camera performing other feats impossible for the unaided eye, such as zooming in. Real life has none of this. How is it that we come to accept the wholeness and integrity of film with multiple shots and cuts? Given that we never evolved to see this structure, it is curious that it works so well. The reasons for film’s success, I claim, stem from our biological endowment, how it constrains and does not constrain our cognitive and perceptual systems in dealing with space and time. Directors and cinematographers exploit this in what is called Hollywood style.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Cutting2001PerceivingSI, title={Perceiving Scenes in Film and in the World}, author={James Cutting}, year={2001} }