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December 8, 2011

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The Dark Knight: Anatomy of a Flawed Action Scene
Mike Springer, Open Culture, December 8, 2011.

This is really interesting. What I want you to notice is that the medium of film is a language, with ways of saying things and rules - like the '180 degree rule' - of discourse. The understanding of these rules - whether it is intuitive or tacit - is what makes someone a more or less film-maker. These rules also tie into out understanding of the film action we are seeing. Now the discussion here suggests overtly that our comprehension of film is natural and intuitive. But it also remarks that we can be more or less illiterate film viewers - as, for example, when it cites various critics who have recognized, for whatever reason, that the action sequence in Batman is incoherent. Is it big news that there's such a thing as film literacy? No. The big news, I think, is that all perception, all endeavour, is like that. Which is why the depiction of knowing as the acquisition of knowledge is so flawed.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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