It’s interesting to be reading film criticism in Interaction Culture while I teach courses in screenwriting and filmmaking at the same time. There’s an interesting moment in Flitterman-Lewis that my screenwriting students would find… amusing. F.L. says:

“The turning point of Cleo’s transformation occurs during a song rehearsal session in which lyrrics evoking absence, lack, and death force Cleo into a sudden recognition of her identity, a recognition concomitant with both a new social awareness and a rejection of established definitions of her. In fact, this sequence occurs at the exact temporal middle of the film…”

I say they’d find it amusing because, at least in American films, there is always a point in every film where the identity of the hero breaks down, dies (metaphorically), and then starts over anew, with a new perspective on their mission and their role relative to it. It is in every well-constructed studio film.  This moment is called… the midpoint, because it always comes right in the middle of the film (though it’s the “narrative middle” of the film, and often comes later than the temporal middle).  To create this ‘shock to the senses’, the midpoint point moment “kills the hero” (metaphorically) in a moment that is simultaneously both the best moment and the worst moment in the life of the protagonist. For Cleo, it is a worst moment (to realize her whole life and existence was defined by others) and a best moment (this awareness means she can do something about it, and begin to define her own subjective vision). That’s textbook midpoint skillful stuff.

Thinking of it through an IC class perspective, it would seem to me as if Cleo of the end of the film is quite differnt than Cleo in the beginning, though only in a deep way. Many of the Gadamerian horizons of her lifeworld will stay the same. But some of her horizons would now be radically different. If I wanted to “play out” how a person can “fuse horizons” in the Gadamerian sense, do you think I could make an example by walking End-Cleo backward to the middle realization, and Start-Cleo forward to the middle realization, and seeing how the two identities converge at the midpoint moment?

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