The Visual Experience In Thomas Geleesser By Thomas Elsaessers

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Among our most intrinsic human characteristics, we strive to express ourselves both creatively and socially. Combining these two traits creates an artistic interaction between an audience and a medium. Cinema, arguably the most visually astounding form of art, not only stimulates visually, but subjects viewers to haptic and acoustic experiences as well. The film scholar, Thomas Elsaesser, makes various points in his book “Film Theory” describing several ways in which we can experience the film as a spectator. A particular type of metaphor that stood out to me that Elsaesser mentioned was cinema as a visual experience, more precisely cinema as eye or as a look and gaze. All of Elsaesser’s ideas can be related to and exemplified in the mystery/thriller …show more content…
It is arguably one of the most important things we experience when viewing a film, without it we would just be looking at a black screen with just sound. But, films can be seen as more than just a visual experience but rather as a look or gaze. For example, Elsaesser explains that, “If we regard the eye as an interface between spectator and film, we can distinguish among several configurations that shape the look and the activity of seeing in many different ways” (84). Our perception can be altered or extended when we think of viewing cinema in this way, since “the cinematic lens serves as a mechanical extension of human perception” (96). In other words, we can see things clearer through the help of the camera. Through the use of “gaze”, as explained by Elsaesser, “it controls the visual field from “another scene” and enters the domain of the visible at best as a phantasm because, in a psychoanalytic sense, it belongs to the realm of real, which is to say, it functions as force that is consistently outside any form of representation” (102). Specifically, the gaze is a power that the viewers are given in which they can look upon the characters. The exploration of viewing cinema as a look or gaze can help us identify with a film and better understand what is

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