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Philosophy of Film

Oct 24, 2018 | 0 comments

Oct 24, 2018 | Essays | 0 comments

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Philosophy of Film

Munsterberg based his formalism film theory on the notion that film is influenced by the mind’s operations since he believed that film production explores ideas and its purpose was to entertain. Thus, he held the notion that film production ought to be based on a particular style in order to achieve both intellectual and emotional effects. Munsterberg emphasized that film production should focus on attracting attention, being memorable, bring out emotions and imaginations. Therefore, Munsterberg advocated for film production to apply technical or formal elements like sound, lighting, shot composition, scoring, picture formation use of color and editing appropriately to produce the desired emotional effects as explained by Sinnerbrink (23).

In the film The Seventh Seal, for instance, the producer has employed film formalism by synthesizing different technical elements to create fantasy. The author presents extraordinary events as the main protagonist, Knight, seeks answers concerning life, death, and existence of God by playing a game of chess alone thus expressing ideas. In the scene where Knight plays a game of chess with death on the beach, the producer employs figure personification since he shows death dressed in black like a monk in an attempt to indicate the distinction between dark and light and expressing death’s dark and dangerous personality thus instilling fear as well as fostering imagination. Just before death appears, the producers brings the sound of the sea to an abrupt halt attracting the audience attention. The producer also uses music which makes the film more interesting and memorable.

Work Cited

Robert Sinnerbrink. “Hugo Munsterberg”. Film, theory, and philosophy. McGill-Queens’s University. (2009).Print.


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