WARNING
Approximately one in four thousand people suffers from Photosensitive Epilepsy (PSE). PSE is sensitivity to flickering or intermittent light stimulation and visual patterns. If you start to feel ill when looking at this page, do not persist as it is possible that you suffer from PSE and prolonged exposure to some of these images could result in a seizure.

Click on this link to go to an amazing experience of how the moving image is perceived .

Further examples of multistable images, which you will have seen in class, demonstrate how human perception INTERPRETS and CREATES a single stable image in order to satisfy our physiological requirements:







In order for us to understand and analyse film language, we need to understand cinematography and the visual conventions used by film makers to enable us to connect to, enter and intepret a film:

















A Model Analysis of a Short Film (Year 13)


We have recently watched The Game directed by Christopher Johnson, 2007, and a part of a compilation of film shorts on a DVD entitled Show Me Shorts Film Festival 2007. Show Me Shorts Festival is an annual National Film Festival bringing the best of Australian and Kiwi Short Films to New Zealand cinemas.
Further information can be found at www.showmeshorts.co.nz


A Model of Two Different Readings of a Media Text (Year 13)

In the assessment that is coming up you are required to provide two different readings of one media text and you need to provide two different readings of a second media text in the second part of the assessment in the first week of Term Two. So, what is meant by 'two different readings?'
When we say that a film can be read in various ways, we are referring to the fact that audiences read a text by constructing it from their own particular perspective. For example, a psychology student will read a film applying their knowledge of psychology whereas a student of politics will look at a film and read it through their 'political spectacles' and arrive at a different interpretation to that of the psychology student.
So, there are many ways to read a film. It could be read as:

  • Through a Historical perspective
  • Through a Psychological perspective
  • Through a Genre perspective
  • Through a Sociological perspective
  • Through Feminist Theory
  • Through Economic Theory
  • Through Individual Perspective
Each of which will result in different interpretations using the same evidence from the viewed film.

Equally a media text can be read in terms on another matrix of perspectives.
Audience reception theory can be traced back to work done by British Sociologist Stuart Hall and his communication model first revealed in an essay titled "Encoding/Decoding." Hall proposed a new model of mass communication which highlighted the importance of active interpretation within relevant codes. Hall's Theory moved away from the view that the media had the power to directly cause a certain behavior in an individual, while at the same time holding onto the role of media as an agenda-setting function. Hall's model put forward three central premises: 1) the same event can be encoded in more than one way; 2) the message contains more than one possible reading; and 3) understanding the message can be a problematic process, regardless of how natural it may seem.
In "Encoding/Decoding", Hall addressed the issue of how people make sense of media texts, and presented three hypothetical methods of decoding. Hall often used examples involving televised media to explain his ideas. Hall argued that the dominant ideology is typically inscribed as the 'preferred reading' in a media text, but that this is not automatically adopted by readers. The social situations of readers/viewers/listeners may lead them to adopt different stances. 'Dominant' readings are produced by those whose social situation favours the preferred reading; 'negotiated' readings are produced by those who inflect the preferred reading to take account of their social position; and 'oppositional' readings are produced by those whose social position puts them into direct conflict with the preferred reading.
The Hall/Morley model invites analysts to categorize readings as ‘dominant’, ‘negotiated’ or ‘oppositional’. This set of three presupposes that the media text itself is a vehicle of dominant ideology and that it hegemonically strives to get readers to accept the existing social order, with all its inequalities and oppression of underprivileged social groups.
Audience reception also has roots in uses and gratifications theory, structuralism and post-structuralism.

The Hall/Morley model invites analysts to categorize readings as ‘dominant’, ‘negotiated’ or ‘oppositional’. This set of three presupposes that the media text itself is a vehicle of dominant ideology and that it hegemonically strives to get readers to accept the existing social order, with all its inequalities and oppression of underprivileged social groups. The text could be labelled as having a dominant reading; namely the 'obvious' reading that most audiences would take away from the text. For example, the film we watched in class The Game would have a dominant reading that adultery is not acceptable within society - the dominant hegemous view and values of our current western society. There is little doubt that this is the self-evident purpose of the text.
Another reading might be oppositional. An oppositional reading is where the audience takes the opposite reading of what the media text intended to convey. Oppositional readings are produced by those whose social position puts them into direct conflict with the preferred reading. For example, The Game when given an oppositional reading would interpret the text as a celebration of ope n relationships because Marcus' wife, Katie, was involved in a sexual relationship with John with the blessing of her husband and John's wife. This would be indirect opposition to the hegemonous view of our society.
Negotiated readings are produced by those who adopt the preferred reading to take account of their social position.

Please note that the readings supplied below make specific references to psychological, sociological and audience theory.

THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT FOR YOU TO DO THIS IN YOUR ASSESSMENT.

(I'm just being posh!)
Here is the model of two readings of The Man Who Couldn't Dance:
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Here is another Model Answer which is a Psychological Reading of the Steven Spielberg masterpiece Jaws (1975)