Less like science, more like film : the use of non-redundant images to facilitate critical thinking in science film

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Arts & Architecture


It is the tendency of films and television programs promoting scientific subject matter to use semantically redundant images in juxtaposition with expository narration. Producers and filmmakers alike recognize that this powerful combination bolsters the appearance of objectivity in the piece, and thusly the scientific credibility of the presentation. Critics Carl Gardner and Robert Young argue that this type of stylistic self-containment hurts the advancement of science, and call for a new method of presentation that would encourage discourse and openness instead of closure. This essay highlights the atypical science films of Charles and Ray Eames, Errol Morris, and Jean Painlevé to show how the incorporation non-redundant visuals can facilitate a personal, critical reading amongst their viewing audience.


Big, dramatic is a film that is part of the student's thesis project.



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