Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

Working toilets took movies over 50 years to depict

By nr39r Jun13,2024

An unanticipated taboo was broken by a film classic as a result of antiquated censorship regulations.

‘Psycho’ by Alfred Hitchcock, a director who, despite his immense economic success, specialized in breaking taboos of all types throughout his filmography, was a true cinematic classic that dared to depict something as seemingly innocent as a toilet cistern performing its function. It was a picture that was a true masterpiece. Certain ones were associated with the exhibition, such as the rule that spectators were not permitted to enter the theater after the movie had already begun. to name a few, all of which were connected to the iconography that was displayed on the screen.

The scene that we are discussing is the one that comes right before the well-known shower scene. In this moment, Marion Crane makes the decision to get rid of some evidence that could be used against her, and she does so by flushing it down the toilet and flushing it. The statement that “Psycho” was the first movie in which this piece of toilet furniture was seen is not entirely accurate. Similarly, the assertion that it was the first time the sound of the cistern was heard is also not entirely accurate. On the other hand, “Psycho” was the first film to depict water flowing down the drain, specifically with regard to the papers that Marion had discarded.

But what was the reason that we had to wait for more than half a century to see something that was so pure on the screen? The Hays law, a well-known censorship law that has been in effect since the 1930s, is to blame for this situation. This code has controlled everything that could be seen and not seen on screen, particularly in terms of morality. For example, criminals could not go unpunished, and males were required to be highly powerful. and women who were extremely feminine, harmful comments were not allowed to be heard, and unethical behavior was required to be penalized.

Since the beginning of his career, Alfred Hitchcock had been opposed to the Code, and a number of his pictures, including “The Noose” with its gay killers, had posed a challenge to it. However, ‘Psycho’ is replete with censoring manga cuts. For instance, the protagonists appear to be half-naked in bed, with Marion doing so while wearing only her underpants. Every single item that has to do with Norman Bates and his mother is, without a doubt, a poisonous substance under the Code. The Code did not permit the “bad taste” of displaying a cistern in operation, therefore Hitchcock took the pleasure of portraying it in all of its beauty. Even in the details: the Code did not allow it. Although it is true that censorship had already begun to loosen up by the year 1960, it was not as relaxed as it had been in the 1940s. However, milestones are milestones, and Hitchcock is what Hitchcock is.

Over the course of the last century, James Cutting, a psychologist at Cornell University, has been conducting research on the development of the film industry. He has identified a number of factors that have contributed to the evolution of movies, all of which, according to his argument, serve to maintain the interest of spectators.

The city of Hollywood, California—Films have evolved to take advantage of the technological advancements that have occurred in the filmmaking industry. Neither the appearance nor the sensation of the King Kong film from 1933 are there in the 2005 remake. The most recent version of Kong is shown in rich colors, and thanks to computer-generated imagery, he is extremely lifelike. The audio from the original version is shrill and tinny, however the more recent version features the big ape’s snorts and growls that are deep and lifelike.

According to James Cutting, a psychologist at Cornell University who has been researching the development of cinema, movies have also altered in ways that are less visible. At an event that took place not too long ago in this location and was sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Cutting shared some of his findings. The statement made by Cutting was that “all of these things are working to hold our attention better.”

According to Cutting, the following are some of the most significant changes that have occurred in the film industry over the course of the last century.

Cutting stated that the average shot duration of films made in the English language has decreased from approximately 12 seconds in 1930 to approximately 2.5 seconds in the present day. He presented a scatter plot that had data from the British film researcher Barry Salt, who had computed the average shot duration in more than 15,000 films that were produced between the years 1910 and 2010. This data was presented at the Academy event. A number of photos have been taken. In a study that was conducted in 2010, Cutting discovered that with a smaller sample size of 150 films that were produced between 1935 and 2010, there were an average of 1,132 shots per picture. The King Kong remake, interestingly, had the most shots. The staggering number of 3,099 shots compressed into 187 minutes.

By proposing a kind of video-killed-the-attention-span hypothesis, Cutting claims that some individuals have attempted to attribute the lengthening of shots on MTV to the decline in the number of shots. He is not convinced by it. One thing to note is that Salt’s graph of decreasing shot durations does not have a clear inflection point in or after the year 1982, which is the year that MTV was established. Before then, shot durations were decreasing, and after that, they continued to decrease at a rate that was comparable to before.

At this point, Cutting is unsure of what is causing the change. One possible explanation is that older movies had a predilection for cramming more characters into a single shot. As a consequence of this, the filmmakers were required to give the audience additional time to glance around and observe who was present. In a study that was conducted not too long ago, Cutting discovered that the length of a shot increased by an average of 1.5 seconds for every additional character.

Cutting asserts that a limited capacity for attention is a natural component of the human experience. It was more than a century ago when the American psychologist William James was aware of this discovery. “There is no such thing as voluntary attention sustained for more than a few seconds at a time,” James stated in 1890. “Voluntary attention is simply not possible.”

According to Cutting, this indicates that our attention has a natural tendency to wander, regardless of how hard we attempt to zero in on something and concentrate on it. According to what he claimed, “people flake out every few seconds.” “There is a natural pattern to this, and you fluctuate in and out of it,” the speaker said.

According to Cutting’s argument, the pattern of shot lengths throughout the course of a movie has altered throughout the years in a way that lets movies better mesh with the natural fluctuations in human attention. This argument was presented in a paper that was published in 2010. According to Cutting, the fact that each new shot challenges the spectator to re-orient their attention is crucial. A movie that solely has brief takes would need an excessive amount of attention from its audience. People could find their thoughts wandering if they watch a movie that exclusively contains long cuts. According to Cutting, the right combination increases the likelihood that an audience will remain interested throughout the film and get engrossed in the experience. In the case of The Empire Strikes Back, for instance, this was accomplished by the use of a rhythm consisting of short-take action sequences that were divided by intervals of relative stillness. There are some individuals who disagree with Cutting’s approach, and the study has sparked a spirited debate among specialists in the field of film studies.


By nr39r

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