Revisiting the Kuleshov effect with first-time viewers

Sermin Ildirar, Louise Ewing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Researchers have recently suggested that historically mixed fi ndings in studies of the Kuleshov effect (a classic film editing-related phenomenon whereby meaning is extracted from the interaction of sequential camera shots) might reflect differences in the relative sophistication of early versus modern cinema audiences. Relative to experienced audiences, first-time film viewers might be less predisposed and/or able to forge the required conceptual and perceptual links between the edited shots in order to demonstrate the effect. This article recreates the conditions that traditionally elicit this effect (whereby a neutral face comes to be perceived as expressive after being juxtaposed with independent images: a bowl of soup, a gravestone, a child playing) to directly compare "continuity" perception in first-time and more experienced film viewers. Results confirm the presence of the Kuleshov effect for experienced viewers (explicitly only in the sadness condition) but not the first-time viewers, who failed to perceive continuity between the shots.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-38
Number of pages20
JournalProjections (New York)
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

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