Reading a Movie

Ebert describes many different ways movies can draw in an audience. In the beginning of the article, Ebert talks about the sessions that he does every afternoon. He watches a movie with an audience and stops the movie whenever someone says “stop”. They talk about what’s currently happening, different techniques the director, actors, visual FX people use for that shot/scene. This became so popular that they had to move to an actual auditorium because the attendance reached the thousands. He explains that for every possible scenario there was someone who could describe it in his audience. If there was a German speaking character, someone in the audience knew German and could translate. If there was a medical scene, someone would describe what’s happening. I’m shocked that this became so popular, but I suspect that most people just wanted to watch some free movies. I know I would.

He then gets into talking about camera panning. where the camera slowly turns to a certain direction. He explains how left is more negative and that right is more positive. He says this because we read from left to right. so going to the right yields the future, while going to the left yields the past. This makes sense because if we put everything into a timeline order we can read the events from left to right.

He also explains how certain areas of a setting can be more dominant or submissive. He explains that foreground is more dominant than background when it is present. This makes sense because viewers are more looking at the characters and their immediate surroundings. The only time when a background is dominant is with an absence of foreground, like breathtaking view shots.

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