What do we see in film?

Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 66 (2):149–159 (2008)
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Many films are made by a two-tier process: the photographing of events which themselves represent the story the film tells. The latter representation is often illusionistic. I explore two consequences. The first concerns what we see in film. I argue that we sometimes see in such films, not events representing the story told, but simply the events composing that story. The way is thereby opened to a unified aesthetic of film, whether made the two-tier way or not. The second consequence is that, since we see these films as photographic, we sometimes experience them as photographic recordings of the events, possibly fictional, that compose the story told.



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Robert Hopkins
New York University

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