The illusion of realism in film

British Journal of Aesthetics 42 (3):243-258 (2002)
Abstract
Gregory Currie, arguing against recent psychoanalytic and semiotic film theory, has defended various realist theses about film. The strongest of these is that ‘weak illusionism’—the view that the motion of film images is an illusion—is false. That is, Currie believes film images really do move. In this paper I defend the common-sense position of weak illusionism, firstly by showing that Currie underestimates the power of some arguments for it, especially one based on the mechanics of projection, and secondly by showing that film images exhibit neither garden-variety motion, nor a special response-dependent kind.
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