Viewing Modes and Mise en Scene: 50 YEARS ON by Christian Keathley

Film Studies For Free is thrilled to present a brilliant video essay by Christian Keathley. Keathley’s latest video is a revision of a contribution made for the Society of Cinema and Media Studies’ 50th anniversary conference.

It beautifully posits and explores the idea of two different viewing strategies in the cinema: what Keathley calls a “literate” mode in which “a single-minded gaze is directed torward the obvious [cinematic] figure on offer” on the screen; and a “non-literate” mode, less narrowly focused, roaming instead “over the frame, sensitive to its textures and surfaces”.

Keathley’s work provides an interesting cinephilic counterpoint to Tim Smith‘s important psychological film studies research into how our eyes scan and sample images, as highlighted by David Bordwell at his website back in February.

See also Keathley’s excellent Pass the Salt  – a videographic study of a moment in Preminger’s Anatomy of a Murder,  as well as his written essay on the “obvious’ in Preminger at World Picture journal.

FSFF will be out of action until the beginning of July while an acute shoulder injury heals. It hopes you enjoy Keathley’s work, as well as other videos at Audiovisualcy, in the meantime.


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