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I look at life with detachment and distance, like a window shopper. Not only I study the window but also my own reflections in it.

Marilyn Monroe's Skirt

Sunday, April 03, 2005 1 comments

When I get excited by Marilyn Monroe's swirling skirt on the cinema screen, my brain is pulling a really fast on me. I am fooled into believing the movements - while actually what is shown to me, is a sequence of still-photographs.
What is on the Cinema Film is a series of frozen-time snaps (taken 1/24th of a second apart) not any smooth motion. Each snap actually records a scene, only during the period, the camera shutter was open (say 1/250 th of a second)- still-photo isn't absolutely still. It takes 1/12 to 1/16 th of a second, for the brains visual circuits, to wipe clean from its memory, image of the previous frame. So anything which is shown within this period gets surperimposed on the last image.
The cinema film shows 24 frames in a second. Even this superposition would leave a confusing collage of still-frames - not a perception of a movement. The circuits of brain step in and trick us into believing, that what we are seeing, is a movement - by generating the missing visual information, between the two frames.
The swirl of the skirt is a construct of my brain - not a reality.The brain can also be fooled in its own game.
One funny effect of this 24 frames a second projection, is seen when you see an old cinema film, which used to be shot at 16 frames a second, before WW II. When a film of Mahatma Gandhi, during his 'Dandi March' is shown (now projected at 24 frames/second), the frail old Mahatma is seen as running too fast with jerky motions, in a rather unseemly hurry. In reality, he was walking poderously slow at that time.
If you run the film backwards, you would actually see the action backwards. It really happened once in my college days. In an open air projection of 'Chengiz Khan' - we saw the Heroin giving birth to a child, then getting pregnant and then getting raped in the last scene!!!
Now what has this got to do with discussion on Time and 'arrow of Time'?I would write about it next.

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1 comments: to “ Marilyn Monroe's Skirt so far...

  • Jaspal April 05, 2005 2:10 AM

    May be over a period, our brains will evolve further and will be able to construct good view of what is under the skirt, if I bend down and look at the cinema screen.

    To some extent they already do. We don't even have to bend.

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