First off, props to Stephanie for calling attention to something I’ve noticed but haven’t yet been able to put my finger on in terms of her “House of Cards” post. If you haven’t read it, check it out (shameless plug because I’m currently enthralled in that show)
I wanted to provide some comment on “In the Blink of an Eye” because although I think Murch makes an interesting (if somewhat unsubstantiated) insight into blinks serving as “cuts” from day to day experiences, I think another emphasis could be placed upon the waking mind as a tool that cuts or “splices” in past experiences into the present. Murch even quoted Huston as saying that film is “More like thought than anything else” and I would argue that along with brinks, our waking consciousness engages in a process of cutting together past events and memories into a meaningful composition that we then access throughout our experiences. For instance, when you look at an object, you don’t merely see an object, but your mind places that object into a context that calls together different cognitive-visual elements we watch in our mind’s eye. The harder we focus upon that particular object, the greater clarity is achieved with those elements until a narrative arises from past experiences. As an example (don’t kill me Gene), I’ll look at my turntable because it’s sitting here right in front of me (spinning Desperado by the Eagles I might add).
Now, a brief glance at the table might not evoke a particular “movie” but rather a random, almost stream-of-c0nsciousness-esque response that could be more emotional than anything else. But as I continue to interact with the turntable, that stream becomes more concrete. As a I pick up Desperado, I remember the events that led to my obtaining it – a friend of my dad offering him several LPs that he no longer wished to keep, which was originally passed on to me. Even in this process of remembrance, I’m splicing together the images I have of that particular moment of remembering. I apologize for the inception-like logic, but in a post-hoc method of rationalization, I’m cutting and pasting different memories, emotions, and bits of cognition to form a narrative that provides context to my surroundings. This happens, or can only be observed “after the fact” or after the experience is over. In that sense, perhaps I could propose a relationship between blinks and post-hoc rationalization. Blinks may be the “cuts” of our experiences, but I might classify them more as “takes”, or the raw footage after a director is done shooting. These “takes” then go through an editing process where the images are combined with other senses and emotions and finally cut and pasted together into a narrative when they are called upon in our rationalization “after the fact”. It could also be entirely possible that the previous paragraph made absolutely no sense, but I hope something of a coherent thought or argument could be determined.
On a separate note, I wanted to expand upon Mulhall’s idea of the ‘director as critic’, which is seen the discussion on how the various directors of the Alien franchise can be seen as critiquing each others’ vision as seen in the previous movie. I wanted to briefly return to Jeff’s idea (and I really apologize if I butcher this) of “existence as criticism” – that by merely releasing a design into the world we are inherently critiquing the designs that came before it. Can the same sentiment be applied to movies? Can we consider sequels, prequels, and remakes as critiques of the earlier movies that bear the same name or narrative?