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Movie Basics and Some Epistemology

I love the serendipity of the Internet.

I just love it.

You go through life and struggle to come up with ways of explaining existence and your own mind to yourself, then you come across someone who takes you ideas to a place you never considered. The wonder of it all is that you and that person were never aware of each other, did not know each other's expressions of ideas.

This just happened with me. Readers of OL know about my cognitive before normative epistemological approach. Those are big words that mean you have to identify something correctly before you can evaluate it correctly. That's not true for the automatic functions of the brain, but for the conscious awareness part, it's true. A lot of trouble can happen when people do the contrary. How many individuals do you know who love or hate something, then go around trying to find evidence that they are right to do so? Or in group, how about moral panics or mass formation psychosis? 

But let's do it right for now. In my understanding, when Rand says the fundamental choice for humans is to think or not to think, a critical part of volitional thinking is consciously using the cognitive before normative method, although she did not use those words.


Imagine my pleasure on finding my cognitive before normative approach used explicitly to explain art, specifically cinema. And not only that, explain the different components of movie-making.

I am in awe, and I don't mean that as a quip.

If you take the time to watch the video below, you will learn more about cinema than in 2 years of film school. That includes story, camera angles, lighting, music, editing, all of it. It's in laypeople's terms and conceptually easy since Patrick Willems uses the cognitive before normative approach as a fractal. He does this with the broadest concepts down to the most minute details.

Basically, as he says, he uses a two-step approach to evaluating a movie and its parts. He said he evaluates all art this way for that matter.

1. He describes what he observes in simple language. This can be the overall work or a detail or technique used.
2. Then he asks what that means. In other words, why the artist chose that, what effect it has, how it compares to other similar things, and so on.


I had never heard of Patrick Willems before this morning when I stumbled across this video. But I'm asking myself: where has he been all my life? I intend to devour his videos and learn a lot more about his output. And hopefully a lot more about a lot more.

And it's fun. For this video, Patrick demonstrates all his different concepts and techniques with a commercial film, Home Alone.

Who knew there was so much I never saw before, even in a film like that?



How To Analyze Movies – Film Studies 101



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