Saturday, November 25, 2017
Shawn Loht on mood in film.
[T]he fact that the viewer is spatiotemporally removed form the situation depicted onscreen, while also experiencing an emotional affect, or being mooded, seems to be the strongest evidence indicating that attunement in Heidegger's sense informs the disclosure fostered in the film experience. The empirical fact that film scenes never before witnessed can nonetheless occasion distinct moods for their viewer is a strong piece of evidence. Consider a couple of opening scenes of films that convey a definite and palpable mood just by virtue of the world into which they bring the viewer. he opening scene of Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West fosters a mood of boredom. This scene is an unusual opening scene for a conventional major studio picture in that it contains several minutes of shots, all of the same scene, without dialog or action. The scene depicts three men sitting at a train stop in the old American West. They do nothing else aside from appearing to wait. Because they are at a train stop we assume they are waiting for someone to arrive. The only notable sensory stimuli are the sounds of dripping water, a creaky windmill, and the buzzing of a pesky fly. Yet how would we say the scene occasions the mood of boredom? The viewer can be bored precisely because she is "there," existentially present to this scene in which nothing is happening. The viewer's being-in-the-world occurs in a fashion that this world refuses to be engaging or interesting. The world presences itself as moving painfully slow, in a way that one cannot make time move any faster. The Dasein of one present at this scene is left in the lurch. All one can do is wait.
From Phenomenology of Film.
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