Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What You Think You Saw You Did Not See

There's a famous experiment, carried out in the 1910s and 20s, which helped establish some of the ideas that underlay film editing. Russian filmmaker Lev Kuleshov took footage of a man and juxtaposed it with a soup bowl, a girl, and a little girl in a casket. The audiences raved about the quality of the acting, even though it was actually the same shot, repeated each time. The way their minds processed the sequence of images linked them intuitively. This unconscious act of linking unrelated but sequential images is known as the Kuleshov Effect.

The posters of this video claim it to be the original footage. I've no idea if it is (probably not), but it does a good job of illustrating the effect:

I tell you all this in order that you may understand why Swampland's front page--for the moment--is so funny. Scroll slowly and look at the pictures:

The plane(!) was in California, Obama and Grand Imam Ali Mustafa Yaqub were in Indonesia.

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