Essay Sample on Deceptions and Misleading Concepts of the Film Industries

Published: 2023-03-16
Essay Sample on Deceptions and Misleading Concepts of the Film Industries
Type of paper:  Term paper
Categories:  Inspiration Movie Emotional intelligence
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1533 words
13 min read

Illusion and deception are inherent in cinema - the apparent movement of images results from the rapid sequence projection of still images, each slightly different from the previous one. An illusion is inherent in cinema - the apparent movement of images results from the rapid sequence projection of still images, each slightly different from the previous one. To this immanent feature is another: the impressions of reality - two-dimensional images, including images that simulate three dimensions, articulated according to dominant language conventions, and are seen as reproducing reality. There is also the chimera of providing the viewer with the experience of others, with the certainty that once the film is over and the lights are on, he will be back on safe, familiar ground.

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These interconnected ways of deceiving the senses are at the origin of the place conquered by cinema over the past century, recognized as an artistic expression and form of entertainment, as well as an industrial product of vast consumption capable of moving millions worldwide (Gunning 17). Being constitutive of cinema, illusion, and deception also has the effect of making industry professionals particularly prone to the pitfalls of self-deception.

The misery of self-deception is not reduced to the damage that self-deception - isolated in the individual or compound in society - can do to others. If calculating the deceiver's risk is his detection, followed by punishment and reproach, in the case of self-deception, the main victim is often the actor himself. Living with self-deception, on the other hand, imposes itself in defense of intrinsic values of all cinematography that purports to justify its existence. It is vital to reject the mimicry of the already established and the bureaucratization of the means of production, through betting on the imponderable on which depend not only the greatest creative achievements of humanity but the savage and inexplicable hope that feeds consumers.

The last part of the nineteenth century, in addition to cinema, saw the appearance of a new discipline, experimental psychology, founded by Wundt, which took on a considerable extension; on the other hand, the appearance of silent cinema, and then its evolution towards an autonomous and increasingly elaborate art form, coincides with the development of important theories of perception, mostly visual.

Thus cinema is the art of attention, memory, and imagination, of emotions (Gilead 50). Thus, from the simple illusion of movement to the whole complex range of emotions, passing through psychological phenomena like attention or memory, the cinema as a whole is made to address the human spirit by mimicking its mechanisms. Psychologically speaking, the film does not exist neither on lm, nor on the screen, but only in the spirit, which gives it its reality. The film tells about human history by going beyond the forms of the external world - space, time, causality - and adapting the events to the forms of the inner world just mentioned. The viewer is the one for whom the film ideally works; from the most basic level, the reproduction of movement to the most elaborate level, that of emotions and fictions.

The idea of deception in the cinema is collected by the Greek engineer and sound designer Tasos Frantzolas in a pleasant talk at TEDxAthens entitled" Everything you hear on film is a lie" (Everything you hear in the movie is a lie) (Adonis). Thasos says that the sound design is based on deception and that virtually all the sounds heard are false. During the talk, he presents several examples of tricks used in the production of sound to deceive the brain, thus showing its narrative role in the cinema. Tasos shows how sounds can be obtained that is associated with certain images that they accompany and that have been obtained in the most disparate ways (Adonis). Some of the funniest examples: the sound of falling rain is obtained from the crackling of a piece of bacon being fried, or a broken bone is achieved by crushing frozen pieces of lettuce.

Tasos speaks about the role of sound and how films get into the skin of a character and imagine what he is feeling. The sounds speak to the subconscious and make him evoke familiar situations (North 74). By association, the sound of birds can make us feel normal because it inspires us peace, especially after a sequence of horror. People associate sounds with concepts, such as thunder with anger, and breaking glass with an end of a relationship.

A person's vision is never reduced to a question of stimulation of the retina, but that it is a mental phenomenon, implying a whole field of perceptions, associations, and memorizations. We see in somehow more than our eyes show us; otherwise we would not be able to explain, for example, the fact that moving objects are always perceived of the same size. The central problem of cinema is therefore linked to the phenomenon of mechanical reproduction of the world: the film can automatically reproduce sensations similar to those that affect our sense organs, but it does so without the correction of mental processes: the film has to do with what is materially visible.

David Bordwell (1947), with his cognitive theory of cinema, is undoubtedly the most influential film theorist in the Anglo-Saxon world, while Andre Bazin (1918-1958) is also, without a doubt, the most influential theorist of film realism, and the problem of cinematographic illusion becomes a privileged point to compare the cinematographic theories of both authors. Still, beyond such comparison, the aesthetic illusion in the cinema is an important problem in itself that becomes more relevant with the development of animation techniques, which have given great impetus to the non-literary dimension of cinema, to its spectacular dimension.

Bazin does not give any systematic treatment of the problem of film illusion, as of any other problem, not even of its main theme, which is cinematographic realism. However, in this compilation, there are a few decisive passages regarding the film illusion that will be those that will help us to discuss this issue in opposition to Bordwell. For his part, David Bordwell his already classic text Narration in the Fiction Film(1985) does not touch on the subject of cinematographic illusion at all but silently excludes him through his criticism of what he calls the "mimetic theories of narration," a criticism that constitutes the first chapter of his work.

The mimetic plastic work is the objective side of a relationship in which the subjective side of it is precisely the mental state of the aesthetic illusion. But what is valid for the plastic work is valid for all figurative fiction, including technology, with a photographic base that is analog cinema (Perren 74). While, in this case, because photography and cinema are a record, the concept of mimesis requires important details, In any case, it is possible to speak of film mimesis and this corresponds to its subjective side of the cinematographic aesthetic illusion. It should not be surprising, then, that Bordwell's rejection of the idea of mimesis in cinema implies implicitly and correlatively the elimination of the concept of cinematographic illusion.

At the center of Bordwell's criticism of the idea of film images as mimesis is the virtually universal fact of film editing. Bordwell points out that a film does not record any story that occurs in front of the camera because, say, unlike what happens in the theater, where there is a reality - a "story" - that unfolds fluidly in front of the audience, in the cinema, there is no reality that develops fluidly in front of the camera so that, later, such fluid development is contemplated by the film audience (Voss et al. 140). On the contrary, Bazin, as the great theorist of film realism and illusion, highly values the fluid development of reality in front of the camera, even postulating aesthetic laws in this regard, as we will see in due course. For Bazin, such a fluid development of reality in front of the camera is not the only element of cinematic realism but it is its main media feature, that is, filmic and, as such, indispensable, necessary. Moreover, what is called the realistic cinematographic illusion - there are other types of cinematographic illusion such as, for example, that of cartoon films - basically depends on the fluid development of reality in front of the camera. On the contrary, in Bordwell, there is no space even to consider the problem of cinematographic illusion, be it realistic or not. Bazin's thesis of cinema is that it is a generator of illusion, an aesthetic illusion.

Works Cited

Adonis Diaries. Is Everything you hear in films a Lie? The Decay of Lying, 2019. Retrieved from

Gilead, Amihud. "Cinematic Illusion: An Empiricist-Rationalist Conundrum." The European Legacy 6.1 (2001): 49-63.

Gunning, Tom. "The Cinema of Attractions: Early Film, Its Spectators and the Avant-Garde." The Animation Studies Reader (2018): 17.

North, Dan. "Magic and illusion in early cinema." Studies in French Cinema 1.2 (2001): 70-79.

Perren, Alisa. "Business as unusual: Conglomerate-sized challenges for film and television in the digital arena." Journal of Popular Film & Television 38.2 (2010): 72-78.

Voss, Christiane, Vinzenz Hediger, and Inga Pollmann. "Film Experience and the Formation of Illusion: The Spectator as' Surrogate Body' for the Cinema," by Christiane Voss." Cinema Journal 50.4 (2011): 136-150.

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