(From Scientific Blogging.com)
There is something about the rhythm and texture of early cinema that has a very different feel than modern films.
But it's hard to put one's finger on just what that something is.
New research may help explain this elusive quality.
Cognitive psychologist (and film buff) JAMES CUTTING of CORNELL UNIVERSITY, along with his students JORDAN DeLONG and CHRISTINE NOTHELFER, decided to use the sophisticated tools of modern perception research to deconstruct 70 years of film, shot by shot.
They measured the duration of every shot in every scene of 150 of the most popular films released from 1935 to 2005.
The films represented five major genres -- action, adventure, animation, comedy and drama.
Using a complex mathematical formula, they translated these sequences of shot lengths into "waves" for each film.
What these researchers looked for were patterns of attention.
Specifically, they looked for a pattern called the 1/f FLUCTUATION.
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