By Nomad(Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated)Otto
As you may have noticed, I haven’t posted in a fair while, this is for three very important reasons:
THE GOOD: Quals, which I passed, meaning that I’m no longer a masters student, but, rather, a doctoral candidate…. whoooooooooo (this means nothing other than the fact that I’m closer to having an extra three letters after my name)
THE BAD: Research, which has been going not at all, since I can’t get the damn equipment set up right. Also, I need to pick my committee, which is a challenge and a half, considering one of the people I’d like to pick is on sabbatical.
THE UGLY: I’m teaching a bunch of pre-meds, and, as you should know, you can’t spell pre-meditated murder without pre-med, especially when they keep fighting over stupidly small numbers of points, even though I’m the “mean TA”.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is not only a fairly accurate summary of my life right now, but, also, for having a very unusual element, that the characters cannot see outside of the frame of the shot. To quote Ebert,
“Sergio Leone established a rule that he follows throughout The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. The rule is that the ability to see is limited by the sides of the frame. At important moments in the film, what the camera cannot see, the characters cannot see, and that gives Leone the freedom to surprise us with entrances that cannot be explained by the practical geography of his shots. There is a moment, for example, when men do not notice a vast encampment of the Union Army until they stumble upon it. And a moment in a cemetery when a man materializes out of thin air even though he should have been visible for a mile. And the way men walk down a street in full view and nobody is able to shoot them, maybe because they are not in the same frame with them.”
This is a pretty weird rule, and, at first, would seem to hurt the immersiveness of the film. However, rather than hurting our ability to understand the movie, it helps a great deal, because what we see is exactly what the characters see, which means that our understanding of the characters’ actions is deeper, since we know exactly what they’re reacting to. People can suspend their disbelief in weird ways, but, the more unusual the thing that we are being asked to believe, the less likely they are to belive it. The way around this, of course, is to do what Leone did, and to present the world, complete with the rule, and to not draw attention to what the audience is being asked to accept. What does this have to do with anime, you may ask? Well, below the fold will have the exact detail, but, to summarize:
Nodame Chokes again
Continue reading ‘On the Suspension of Disbelief’