Noël Carroll's Power of Movies & Umberto Eco's Television & Aesthetics
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:
- Philosophy of Art: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy)
- Post-Theory : Reconstructing Film Studies (Wisconsin Studies in Film) by David Bordwell(Editor), Noel Carroll(Editor)
- Accidental Encounter by Noel Carroll (Paperback - October 1999)
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.
- Porto Ludovica: The Eco Image Gallery: This site features the images and writings of Eco.
- Eco's views on computer technology: An interview with Umberto Eco, by Patrick Coppock, February, 1995
- Wired Magazine: The World According to Eco. An interview with Lee Marshall
Studies of Virtual Reality:
- the HUB explores the sociological implications of multi-user online gaming
- Sherry Turkle's MIT Initiative on Technology and Self: this project explores the ways in which our uses of technology affect the context for self-exploration and social encounters
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:
- Why is pictorial narrative easy to follow?
- How do movies work to divert our attention differently than stage productions?
- Describe the processes of variable framing and bracketing.
- What is scaling and how is it used to create expressive effects?
- Describe the process of storytelling that Carroll dubs the "erotetic model of narrative."
- How does Carroll's erotetic model of storytelling work to give viewers a complete picture of events in a film?
- What is Carroll's conclusion concerning the "power of movies?"
Eco Guide Questions:
- List and describe the features of mass-media products.
- Describe the aesthetic use of the term iteration and give examples from popular television.
- Define Eco's use of the term a "new aesthetics of seriality."
- 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?
- 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?
- What is special about seriality on TV?
- Describe the "fundamental aspects of [the] neo-baroque aesthetic."
- What is Eco's final assertion concerning the future of theoretical inquiry and the aesthetics of television?
Smartboard Notes from Carroll Lectures: