|Semiotics of Film: An Investigation of Some Influences on the Language of Film|
|Written by Tomaselli, Keyan|
Semiotics of Film: An Investigation of Some Influences on the Language of Film
By Keyan Gray Tomaselli
ABSTRACTThis dissertation sets out to study in details C.S. Peirce’s theory of signs as it relates to a study of film language. This paradigm is shown to be more flexible and to have a wider application than the better known, linguistically based de Saussurean approach. The first section sets out to combine Pierce’s theory of signs with the more general theory of cybernetics. This entails an evaluation of the concepts of art and entertainment in relation to the notions of entropy and synergy.The next section considers the concept of reality as a system of signs and demonstrates how society’s existential perceptions are directly related to their understanding of different classes of sign.Important in the process of perception are neurophysiological influences which produce distortions in the reception of information. These distortions need to be taken account of within the semiotic framework. The rapproachment between art and science is discussed and it is shown how technology provides a potentially increased awareness of different orders of reality. The third stage of the analysis deals with some of the major film theories and develops the concept of synaesthetic cinema which models itself on concepts of modern physics where the artist’s function is to find rather than to impose. Finally, it is shown that Pierce’s theory is best equipped to account for all types of visual communication including non-narrative cinema. This represents a major advance in the study of film languages.