also While an Oral text would be

also involvesusing cultural markers, understanding figures of speech and so on. However, thetext remains irrespective of the kind of interpretation which is attributed toit. It is like a script, in the words of Barthes (1967) in the seminal essay”The Death of the Author”, which finds completion in its comprehension by thereader or viewer.4.3 Similarities: Film text and Linguistic textWhiledistinguishing the types of text, one needs to take into account the differencein modalities and source. In our distinction, one form of text is Audio textwhich involves the functioning of the auditory inputs, the source beingexternal.

Audio form of text can further be subdivided into Oral and Auraltexts.What we are tryingto argue is the difference of origin and nature of these Audio texts. While anOral text would be constituted of spoken language, Aural text would find itsemergence in a non-linguistic form (e.g., music compositions, sound of arunning stream of water, etc.).Aural text canfurther be distinguished into Naturaland Artificial text forms.

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Natural text form is something which isnot created by human intervention, while Artificialtext form would need a human entity to produce and play the composition.Theother modality of text is Visual. Visual text has arranged visual data. Againit could be of two types, namely static and dynamic. Fig.

4.1Filmforms the complex inter-modal form of Audio-Visual text which involves thefunctioning of all these divisions and sub-divisions, thus rendering the textform a paramount complexity.Thereare certain similarities between Linguistic text and Film text. If an attemptis made to approach linguistic text from a compositional point of view, it canbe noted that it is composed of a set of paragraphs. These paragraphs can beseen as a set of sentences, which can further be reduced into a set of phrases.Phrases are finally broken down as a combination of words.Similarly,the film text can also be approached from the viewpoint of compositionality.

The film text as a unit is a set of sequences. These sequences each can be seenas a set of shots. A shot is actually a set of frames, while a frame canactually be understood as a set of entities at a particular time.4.4 Metaphorical nature of film and languageOneneeds to understand what is meant by the word ‘metaphor’. Metaphor isessentially a figure of speech which describes a particular subject to be thesame as another object which is otherwise unrelated to it and this is done onsome point of comparison between the two things in context. Metaphor isactually a kind of analogy and it is closely related to the other rhetoricalfigures of speech which achieve their desired effect through association,comparison or resemblance which includes hyperbole, allegory and simile.

Theprinciple of compositionality states that simple words the meaning isconventional or arbitrary. Also, the speakers need to learn to associate theword with its meaning on an item to item basis. In the case of complex words,meaning is motivated at least partly.

The speakers, in this case, learn toderive the meaning of the words from the meaning of the parts by the help ofthe general rules. Hence, it is said that meaning is derived compositionally. However,this principle is not followed in certain cases. In case of language and filmalike, context sensitive information can actually deviate from abiding by thetheory of compositionality which has been stated above. This deviation from theprinciple can also be context driven which is more aptly noticed in films. Infilms the nature of relation between the two things is determined contextually.

Another very important device through which this principle is defied isanalogy. Analogical references can be found in films in ample amount.Theuse of visual metaphor in film can be comparable with the linguistic metaphor.Linguistic metaphors like “time is money” or “life is journey” or “love isblind” etc. hardly follows the principle of compositionality. This essentiallymeans the meaning of the whole sentence cannot be reduced into the totality ofthe meaning of its constituent parts.

Same thing can also be noticed in film.Often visual metaphors are used to constitute the profundity of a literalsense. For example consider this audio-visual clipping related to the rising ofthe lion from Battleship Potemkin byEisenstein which indicates the inception of the revolt against the oppressivestate apparatus by the common people.

4.5 Film as metaphorSometheorists have suggested that metaphors are not merely stylistic, but that theyare cognitively important as well. In MetaphorsWe Live By, George Lakoff and Mark Johnson opine that metaphors arepervasive in everyday life, not just in language, but also in thought andaction. They explain how a metaphor is actually the simple understanding andexperiencing one kind of thing in terms of another where both are unlike oneanother. In films, metaphor can be described as a comparison that shows how twothings that are not alike in most ways are similar in another important way.Infilm quietness is as meaningful as the silence is in language. For example, wemight consider a sequence from Kolkata 71where the horrific condition of the poor people is accentuated through silenceafter the disturbing cacophony which surrounds the city of Kolkata in theprevious scenes. The director, Mrinal Sen, shows the enormity of buildings inthe city and the background score makes the audience accustomed to the humdrumof the busy city which has no time to spare.

Then, the sequence suddenly showsthe poor children in hapless situation and the director invests no sound inthis case to increase the effect. This is a very complex form of metaphor wheresilence might be seen to bring out the hopelessness of the poor people and thatthere is nothing which might give them respite from their ill-fate.Metaphorscan also map experience between two nonlinguistic realms. Nonlinguisticmetaphors may be the foundation of our experience of films. Background music infilms is such an example.Thereare numerous examples of nonlinguistic metaphor in films in the form ofbackground music.

To take just one among innumerable films, director StanleyKubrick, in the famous film The Shining,which is known across the globe to be one of the best horror films of all time,utilizes background music to the utmost degree to create tumultuous emotionalresponse among his audience. Amore apt example would be the Indian film, PushpakVimana (1987), by the director Singeetham Srinivasa Rao, where the directornever uses any dialogue and all the actions in the course of the film are shownwith the background music which evokes the emotional response of the audience.In The Dream Frontier, Mark Blechnerdescribes musical metaphors, in which a piece of music can “map” tothe personality and emotional life of a person.4.6 Film as a system of signsThus,it can now be safely inferred that film is actually a symbolic assembly ofsigns. From the advent of sound in cinema, the art form has been attributed aquintessential status which involves the activation of various modalitiesduring the film perception. The film text is a combination of different typesof signs that find meaning in the cognition of the audience who through theirperception of the film language form the corresponding decoding in their mind.Stuart Hall in the essay Encoding,Decoding talks about the process of encoding the cultural markers and themessage on the part of the creative artist, which then is decoded by theaudience according to his or her understanding of the text.

4.6.1On the structure of signFerdinandde Saussure’s ‘theory of the sign’ went on to define a sign as being constructedby the matched pair of signifier and signified.

The signifier is described as thesound-image, the visual image, etc. An image can be defined as simply a mesh ofentities. On the other hand, the signified can be defined as the concept, thething, and the meaning that get indicated by the contextual signifier. It neednot be a ‘real object’ but is some referent to which the signifier refers. Thething signified is created in the perceiver and is internal to them. Whilst weshare concepts, we do so via signifiers. Whilst the signifier is more stable,the signified varies between people and contexts. The signified does stabilizewith habit, as the signifier cues thoughts and images.

Hegoes on to explain that the connection between every signifier (sound images orlinguistic signs) and what it signifies (that is the concept or the signifiedobject) is arbitrary. This means it can be so that there is no logicalconnection between these two. This explains how human beings comprehend film asa text. The process of cognition is totally based on the principles of languagecomprehension as has been described in the section. This kind of arbitrary relation is found whilehuman beings cognize films. The sound images or the linguistic signs which areshown on the screen to the audience are the signifiers and what the audienceconceptualizes are the signified. It is to be kept in mind that therelationship between the two being arbitrary, the interpretation orunderstanding of the signifier is subjective.

This gives rise to individualexperiences and explains why different people have different aestheticexperiences while watching a movie. One person might like a film, while theother might not like it. Or the realization or affect can vary from person toperson when it comes to the experience of watching the movie. This reiteratesthe opinion of Roland Barthes in ‘The Death of the Author’ where he writes that”the text is a tissue of quotations” and it is upon the readers (in the case offilm, spectators) to understand the meaning of the text on their own based ontheir experiences, knowledge, life and environment.

4.6.2 On the relation between signifier andsignifiedCharlesS. Peirce, the father of Semiotics, who was also a mathematician by profession,first propagated the concept of this complex set of relationships between thesignifier and the signified. Three categorical distinctions were made accordingto his theoretical disposition: Iconicrepresentation, Indexicalrepresentation and Symbolicrepresentation. The kind of relationship between a signifier and signifiedwithin a representation can change from being analogous to sequential toarbitrary. Thus, one could safely say that the amount of arbitrariness goes onto enhance from iconic to symbolic representations.

In caseof iconic representation, if a person sees the picture of a dog, he or shethinks of a dog in the literal sense and this relationship is known to beanalogous in nature. On the other hand, in case of indexical representation, ifthe signifier is smoke, the signified would be fire. In this case, therelationship is sequential and the level or complexity increases a bit incomparison to the iconic relationship. In contrast to both of theserelationship types, symbolic relationship is the most complex of all. In thiscase, if the signifier is red roses, the signified would be passion.

Therelationship is obviously arbitrary or conventional in nature in symbolicrepresentation according to the model of Charles S. Peirce. Anexample which can make one understand this model better can be drawn fromSergei Eisenstein’s film, BattleshipPotemkin (1925). There is a sequence which shows the sculpture of a lionsitting and then rising up uprightly in chronology. This can be seen assymbolic relationship of the signifier and the signified as described byCharles S. Peirce. Here, in context of the film, it is easily understandablethat the common masses have united to rise up against the oppression of theauthorities and the standing up of the lion in the sequence of the filmsignifies the rage and revolution of the people against the baleful forces ofstate sponsored oppression.

4.7 ConclusionThus,it can be safely concluded that film techniques as the part of closed classsystem are important in construing the content of the film, just like the waygrammar of a language is useful in structuring human thoughts. An attempt ismade in this chapter to show that audio-visual text or films and other forms oftexts actually share very similar structures and hence represent the cognitivecomplexity which comes into play while comprehending them. Moreover, thecomprehension and production of a film are governed by those cognitiveprocesses which remain central in language comprehension and production. It isonly through substantial research in the discourse of cognitive linguisticsthat films and their structural complexity can be totally understood and therecan be meaningful advancement in the study of film cognition on the part ofhuman beings.    


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