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film and hyper reading

Marina's picture

In class, we briefly discussed how the narrative film "Conceiving Ada" would be read differently if it was presented in the context of a film studies class. I agree with this completely. I have taken two film studies courses both of which were also included in the gender and sexualities concentration (women & cinema and video practices) and films presented in the context of these classes are viewed very differently than films viewed for an English class, such as "Conceiving Ada." As I was viewing the film I found myself doing a close reading and finding it extremely frustrating since the film, at least when read closely, made very little sense and it was difficult to suspend my disbelief since the subject matter seemed so ridiculous. For the second half of the film, I found myself doing more hyper reading as I let the film sort of wash over me without trying to pick apart the details which allowed me to appreciate the film more since I was no longer bothered by details that seemed to not make any sense and was more interested in the overall theme of the film. After my hyper reading I managed to see the connection in the movie between gender and technology as it put a female character at the fore front of a male dominated industry and showed her in a position of intellectual power- a rare find in narrative films today. In my film classes, I rarely find myself doing any sort of hyper reading since some films, especially experimental, require intense focus on the details and subtle decisions made by the filmmaker to discern certain meanings out of the film. This could include angles, colors used, the overall quality of the video, the sound, images used in the film, among other things. There was one film in my video practices course we viewed which for me provided a visual representation of hyper reading that we have been discussing in class. The video is a onslaught of images that goes on for 9 minutes. Each image is only on the screen for a fraction of a second and is paired with music that is also only seconds long. For me this represents how many images we are bombarded with and our ability to hyper read them and somehow still manage to remember these images despite the short amount of time we had with them. Maybe the mind is at times meant to hyper read? 


Here is the film if you would like to see, I recommend it:


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