Thursday, August 18, 2005

ECVP and Thesis Progress

So, it’s been a while. What have I been up to? Well, in short I have been writing my thesis. Actually there is nothing short about it. Not the time it is taking to write it, the length of the produced material, or the time I still foresee it taking to finish. However, I have a deadline (end of December) and a schedule that I am, mostly, sticking to so I guess that is all I can do. The act of writing the thesis is actually quite enjoyable. It is really satisfying to finally put in to words the ideas I have had throughout my PhD and take time to research the questions that have always been in the back of my mind. Some of the topics I have already written about are: before the second World War to initiate the drama. The cinematography and score of Nirgendwo are absolutely beautiful. Wah-Wah captured some of the beauty of the African landscape but Nirgendwo really caught its soul.

  • Continuity editing rules and their evolution
  • The Kuleshov Effect
  • Pudovkin’s Constructive Editing
  • Eisenstein’s Dialectical Montage
  • Facial Expression perception
  • Distribution of attention about a dynamic visual scene
  • Matched Exit/Entrance cuts
  • Cuing and Expecting a cut
  • Attention and the cut
  • Eye movements
  • Saccadic Suppression
  • How to empirically investigate film perception
  • As well as describing my first experiment.

This may sound like a lot but some of the sections are only partially complete and there are still a lot of other topics to address. I am going to have to be super productive over the next few months. I’ll try my best to keep the blog updated with my progress as I get closer to completion.

However, this period of intense writing will have to be temporarily put on hold whilst I attend the European Conference of Visual Perception (ECVP). The conference is being held in A Coruna, Spain from Monday 22nd August to the 26th. I’m flying out there tomorrow morning for a pre-conference workshop on Art and the Visual system. Should be interesting. I’ll be presenting a poster at the main conference on the Friday morning. It should be really useful to get some feedback from people highly experienced in visual perception research. Precisely the kind of input I need at this point in my write-up. Well, as long as it is positive J. I’ve posted the poster on my website front page for anybody to read who isn’t at the conference. Feel free to send me any comments or questions.

So that’s where I’ll be for the next week and I’ll try and blog the conference on my return.

On an completely unconnected note, the Edinburgh International Film festival ( opened last night with Richard E. Grant’s autobiographical ‘Wah-Wah’. It was a wonderful film to open the film festival: very satisfying, finely crafted and acted, and very, very British in a way that British film rarely is. It concentrated on the disintegration of the British Empire and its parallels within a family in Swaziland. I found it fascinating to see the life of the colonials, their desperate grasp of a ‘Britishness’ that didn’t really exist anymore in Britain at that time and is long deceased now. I think the topic of ‘British colonial guilt’ should really be dealt with more often as it was such a significant part of our history. Wah-Wah was very brave for tackling it, however incidentally. Check it out when it gets a general release. If you enjoy it I could also highly recommend a German film called ‘Nirgendwo in Afrika’ (Nowhere in Africa) which won the Best Foreign language film in the 2003 Oscars. It tells a similar story about European immigrants in rural Africa but uses the flight of Jews from Germany