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Posts Tagged ‘contrived eye’

The camera writes with light into the dark recesses of a viewer’s soul.
Think of a shot given here below. It is also taken as with other sketches from Vampyr.
To continue from where I left of, by setting the stage for the viewer to follow a predetermined path,-from A to B and beyond,the viewer gets more than what he or she bargained for.
While we followed the protagonist Allan Gray we are also shown some images he could not have possibly seen. We see a figure with a scythe slung over his shoulder heading towards the river. He rings the bell as indicated in the sketch.
The figure with his back towards us is indistinguishable. Being primed for a spooky world the first image that comes into our mind is of the grim reaper. Our sensibilities owing to the Western culture have decided that- Grim Reaper as death. It is thus we have seen it many times symbolized. Is he death or a peasant? He is in all probability ringing the bell for the boatman to ferry him across.
Be that as it may we have already become participants to do as the all-seeing eye bids us to do.

Cinema as an art is all about a ‘contrived eye’ with which the viewer is more than willing to go with what it wants to supply us. We also bring in our level of understanding and prejudices. In short by suspending our disbelief we have become more than passive accomplices in order to complete the visual experience.
In order to understand we only need to think of the film Psycho, the bathroom scene where Janet Leigh is murdered. A viewer believes she was stabbed several times but it was all in the mind. Cinematic art has conspired to give you that added proof of complicity: from what was actually presented to view you concluded the murder was indeed part of it.
You look at the images and want to believe what you ought to have seen.
In conclusion let me put it thus. We claim that we belong to a visual generation. We often look than see things. Cinema as an art has power to move us and is cathartic experience to put ourselves in someone else shoes and understand our world. Being a visual generation we have also been assailed with commercials. We may switch it off where we exercise our rational mind. What if let ourselves taken in and watch? By suspending disbelief have we not made ourselves vulnerable? In a consumer society is it art or your money that they are after? How many commercials we see? Can wee see through the jingle and understand we have been shortchanged by what images and sounds thrown at us? No wonder the deceptive art has made us buy more things than we really need.
Cinema has the power to elevate our experience as well as debase us. Vampyr is not one of the best in the body of Carl Theodor Dreyer’s works. Yet the work of genius Dreyer,Ozu,Bergman offers us many things to learn from. The Day of Wrath,the Passion of Joan of Arc, Ordet are great works of Dreyer that will stand the test of time.
benny

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