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Reading Notes

Reading philosophical essays is more challenging in that you often have to scan once, read once, and review once before you can adequately explain the author's position. In order to be sure that you are receiving maximum benefit from your time spent studying, try to answer the guide questions posed below. If you cannot answer them, it is time to read or review to be sure you understand the main arguments presented. See more tips here.

Noël Carroll's Power of Movies & Umberto Eco's Television & Aesthetics

  1. Resources
  2. Guide Questions
  3. Smartboard Notes
Noel Carroll:

Noel Carroll makes the claim that movies have the power to direct our attention to images with a technique that is unique to film. He has also written extensively on the philosophy of art in the following texts:

Here is a recent review of Carroll's writing from the American Aesthetics Organization Matthew Kieran's review of Philosophy of Art

Umberto Eco :

Umberto Eco is a fine philosopher who also writes and produces works of fiction. Most notably one of his works, The Name of the Rose, set in medieval Europe, was filmed as a movie in the late 1980s.

Studies of Virtual Reality:

Guide Questions:

The following questions are designed to fine tune your understanding of the reading. The subject matter and answers to these questions form the basis of what you will be required to know for exams.

Objective: to understand the ways in which movies adn television use visual data to manipulate the viewer's experience. For the Eco reading students should be able to to describe the new aesthetics of post-modern imagery in television and popular culture.

Carroll Guide Questions:

  1. Why is pictorial narrative easy to follow?
  2. How do movies work to divert our attention differently than stage productions?
  3. Describe the processes of variable framing and bracketing.
  4. What is scaling and how is it used to create expressive effects?
  5. Describe the process of storytelling that Carroll dubs the "erotetic model of narrative."
  6. How does Carroll's erotetic model of storytelling work to give viewers a complete picture of events in a film?
  7. What is Carroll's conclusion concerning the "power of movies?"
Eco Guide Questions:
  1. List and describe the features of mass-media products.
  2. Describe the aesthetic use of the term iteration and give examples from popular television.
  3. Define Eco's use of the term a "new aesthetics of seriality."
  4. Describe the differences between a retake, remake and series as it applies to post-modern television programming. What are the characteristics that make each technique recognizable?
  5. How are flashbacks, loops and spirals used in television or movies to create a story. Why is each technique used by writers? To achieve what effect?
  6. What is special about seriality on TV?
  7. Describe the "fundamental aspects of [the] neo-baroque aesthetic."
  8. What is Eco's final assertion concerning the future of theoretical inquiry and the aesthetics of television?

Smartboard Notes

Smartboard Notes from Carroll Lectures:

Eco lectures:




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