Thursday, October 28, 2010

Seeing What We Want to See


Is this woman holding a cell phone?

More importantly, if this woman is holding a cell phone and is a time-traveler who happened to get caught on camera in a clip from Charlie Chaplin’s 1928 movie “The Circus,” then who is she talking to? Obviously, she’s not alone. Obviously, whoever came with her also brought a cell tower so they could converse.

Or, you could say this:

Look at the shadows. They’re dark and crisp, made darker and crisper by the bright lights that have to be used even now to record film footage properly, be it on celluloid or in the ethers. She’s shielding her face from the light.

Or she’s just a wanderer on the street who suddenly saw the camera – they didn’t block off streets to film little scenes like this back then; Chaplin was very much into verisimilitude as well – so she was being coy, or shy, but still wanting to walk on through.

It’s true she’s holding her hand up to hear head as if she’s talking on a cell phone. But is that because we’re used to seeing hands in that position, used to thinking of people walking briskly down the street talking on cell phones? Of course. And when I see an African-American woman holding her head to hear ear like this:


I naturally assume she’s a time-traveler from the future who is communicating with one of those ear-pieces Lieutenant Uhura has, so I naturally understand those who think the woman in the Chaplin film is talking into a cell phone.

1 comment:

arshad said...

Hi its really very nice blog,very useful information..Mobiles