Monday, March 5, 2012

Caste Tinkers

If seems polite as claiming elite per seek
Which never acquired behaving just geek,
Measuring attire never said to have learned
A level of grace though needs to be trained,
Imitating acts follow mere utterances blindly
As hardly achieve that humane stage friendly,
Tinkering emotional threads guise caste stride
Seems glossy coats rosy bizarrely innocent bride,
Ignoring warm tears dipping behind veil to try
Girls glory lives slaughtered such mad to cry,
Noticing stout wedding as symbol of status unjust
To Construct power relations at kids tearing thrust,
Mere glitters or attires ever unequalled pure love
As surpasses vices constructed through murky trove,
Castes and Religions just matter of beliefs temporal
Presume not a true spirit may stand against own will.

Wishing on

International Womens Day


G.Narsing Rao
Ph.D. Scholar
Department of Film Studies
The English and Foreign Languages University

Sunday, March 4, 2012

I am; What?

I am, What
I am;Though not you, because
I am; What, who never was
I am, But tout not so to seem
I am; Though recognized to be as
I am; Some may not recognize me as
I am, To think; to remember
I am; As if thought you; remember
I am; Strangely, not as you thought
I am; Is what I am, but never was
I am; Of yours to say so as
I am; What I am is remembered so
I am; Who never was
I am, But fortunately
I am; So because
I am; To be so remembered as
I am, Just benevolent
I am; Yes that's
I am.


G.Narsing Rao
Ph.D. Scholar
Department of Film Studies and Visual Communication
The English and Foreign Languages University

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Constitution of India and Social Justice

Author: G.Narsing Rao

“ We have got a habit here always of relying on the Government. We look to the Government for everything except to be taxed heavily ”-- Jawaharlal Nehru (1984:588)

Constitution of any country would be a sacred,ultimate, first and foremost statutory authority which in a true sense mandates a frame work that how a country to be governed and for whom? where every citizen has to abide by, and no one is above it even the constitutional mechanisms established by it in order to fulfill its objectives and visions enshrined in its preamble. Our constitution has been successful in establishing democratic constitutional mechanisms and stood against the test of difficult times and odd crises except the attempts occured or created against fair implementation.

Our constitution most of it has been devolved from Westminister model of English Constituiton which has been regarded as the mother of all parliamentary democratic systems for responsible governance through executive under the supreme authority of Parliament where the Government is answerable to elected Peoples Representatives. As everybody knows that our constitution has established the highest offices of governance – Legislature, Executive and Judiciary. Our constitution’s soul, for which, much has been debated and finally resolved to adopt, can be seen briefly in its Preamble which delineates the resolved objectives and vision as represented in Constituent Assembly. As been known, the Preamble mandates every citizen and its consequent Articles and Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties, which it contains, ought to be implemented to achieve the Objectives and the Vision enshrined in Preamble, that, resolves to establish India into a Sovereign, Democratic, Secular, Socialistic Republic. Besides, as laid down in the Preamble, to achieve the constitutional objectives of -- Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.

Any constitution is only a Supreme authoritative document to be interpreted for scholarly ‘reputation’ in public domain and in higher educational institutions unless the Objectives enshrined in Preamble are actually been implemented judiciously. Naturally, any result of any action usually can be guaged through its implementation that speaks for itself to connote in reality how the implementation mechanisms actually been performed according to the objectives of Preamble. And also exposes the due performance attended by the Government in achieving in true Vision. The implementation mechanism is a an agency administered by the Government through its Staff and Finance to lay a procedure to implement where in the services to end beneficiaries—usually citizens; for whom the entire mechanism is for-- should be delivered free of cost, except otherwise law requires to charge. When we say Government or system of governance, which indicates that the administration provided by “Individuals” as Politicians, Bureacrats and Staff according to laws in force--mandated by legislature’s approval by majority represented by elected Political parties and also the Party in Power to run the Govt. -- in carrying out their duties to implement the Laws and Constitutional obligations such as Equality and Social justice. Every individual in his/her individual capacity has certain opinion as ‘What to think?’ or ‘What to do?’ or even ‘How to act for what purpose?’. An individual may having been a human may have inclination towards a Philosophy or an Ideoplogy he believes in yet represented through systems of governance at various hierarchies, even at delivery points.


As Dr. Ambedkar attributes to Prof. A.B. Hart in his report as evidence before the Southborough Committee on Franchise: “ The most difficult and the most momentous question of Government (is) how to transmit the force of individual opinion and preferences into public action. This is the crux of popular institutons” (1989:247). Effective implementation of constitutional obligations can only be envisaged through individuals representing Government/Administration who are at different levels to carry out and to deliver impartially irrespective of any bias towards Ideology or “Others” factors—in India: Caste and Religion. Given the history of Caste and religious discrimination against targeted groups in india, it would be futile to expect the fair implementation of constituitonal and legal obligations to carry out.The effective and fair implementation can only achieved when there is a system of checks and balances where by allowing People to take part in implementation and decision making to represent their views and opinions because as Individuals they have their own way—otherwise may hurt their long held sentiments; of looking at things and expectations regarding how to implement to develop themselves.

Government is always an inclusive activity to represent the views of majority in any democratic nation because ‘popular government is not only government for the people, but, by the people”(Ambedkar 1989:247) where in the people not just as electors during the election but also during the governance keep constant watch at the government mechanism in order to, as in required, persuade the implementing officials and bringing out injustices into public sphere. Which is nothing but allowing people—because in democracy Government is ‘by the people’-- to participating during governance to achieve their constitutional objectives-- Equality and Social Justice—because ‘ government is the most important field for the excercise of individual capacities, it is in the interest of that no person as such should be denied the opportunity of actively participating in the process of Government’(Ambedkar 1989:247)

Social Justice: Through Inclusive path:

The concept of social justice has significance only when their are disparities among people,whether occured due to historical negligence or targeted, intimidate discrimination for centuries. When people, particularly indigenious or inhabitant, are being reduced to a level of 'Subjects' instead of treating as Citizens even in twentieth century where entire world even United Nation never though of. The term ‘Social Justice’ itself connote the aspiration of something that suppose to ‘bring about.’ It also means something which was not prevailing that makes to think to ‘bring about.’ In this case we can take that something to ‘bring about’ is “Justice” which was not prevailing. It is categorically clear that when the demand for social justice arise that to ‘bring about’ the “Justice” which is not prevailing to the people who are demanding—Victims. The people who are demanding justice are those “victims of systematised discrimination” working within system of apparent governance: in accessibility to essential lively hood resources; proper educational facilities and environment; to relegate or control that they should not think more than their daily bread in skewed dreams living in narrow slums. If they gets everything on par with ‘others’ it may leads to imbalance for ‘Others.’ This is contrary to, as Ambedkar said, the Government is not only ‘for the people’ but also ‘By the people’ that requires to represent the views and aspirations of people—indigenious or inhabitant-- who are in majority to decide the national factors by allowing into the system for ‘Fair’ and ‘Just’ governance. Because ‘to express the same in a different way, representation of opinions by itself is not sufficient to constitute popular government. To cover its true meaning it requires personal representation as well’(Ambedkar 1989:247).


Popular govermment meaning also can be seen in other dimension that by accommodating the views and aspirations of victimised poor into the system of governance where they are being given a chance to serve for society; for themselve by protecting their rights; for cross checking the balance enshrined in the constitution to bring about social justice that could meet the aims and vision of our Constitution’s Preamble. As stressing the popular form of government, When Dr.Ambedkar was appearing as evidence to the Southborough committee on Franchise and presenting his report of the Reform Committee (Franchise) in 1919, he demanded the Committee to accommodate the same principle in the scheme of Franchise and Constituency because ‘ for a franchises and constituencies for a popular governments in india, it provides for both, i.e., representation of Opinion and representation of Persons.’(Ambedkar 1989: 247)

This implies that a popular government can only represents the true opinion of people who are away from social justice for centuries by accommodating them in Person in the system of governance at all levels—particularly at delivary points of governance where people actually meet regularly with state mechanism as: dependents or beneficiaries or citizens. If the staff remaining at the delivery point and could not deliver the service despite the instructions of higher authority, it affects the citizenry which again boomarang as anti-imcumbancy against ruling party. What to observe here is the “Staff” at delivery machanisms at different hierarchies—particularly in Finance related points on which most of the victimized poor desperately depend upon—of state are actually deciding the fate of any government irrespective of any party at ruling.

This desperate dependency of victimised poor may be thrown into a pathetic condition that leads them only to listen to the “Staff instructions” which produce devastating results to any form of government rather than popular government. If there is no proper and just representation to any Religion or Caste or Region, then the governance does not fit into the category of popular government and the decisions taken by such government does not represent the majority views which finally culminates into a puppet government virtually run by “invisible hands” who does not claim any responsibility to the Legislature or the Parliament besides all their ‘desiresed’ or ‘vested’ actions becomes official instructions in the guise of ruling party decisions who for no gain has to face the curse of the voters in elections at the cost of irresponsible, “Invisible Official” governance where in themselves becomes the ‘Government.’ Who usually, in India, reflects the views of “Few” against ever dependent systematised poor existing on the ‘desires’ of Few as just as mere voting machines to even get their constitutionally allowed benfits at the mercy of “Few.”
Here, the term popular governance truly reflects that any government, if the constitutionally allocated benefits to reach their beneficiaries effectively, should be in a popular form that can only provides social justice by giving power to themselves at the delivery points to deliver effectively without any discriminatio: Caste or Religion or Region even Gender.Given the fact social justice depends upon the form of popular government , in India ‘success in this task will ultimately depend upon the accuracy of the defacto conception of the society which is to be given the popular form of Government.’ (Ambedkar 1989:247) because India as a Nation not a homogenous society and it would be hard to expect social justice for the systematically victimised poor to remain ever dependendent upon State “Delivery Official/Staff and their Desires” for getting their just and constitutionally allocated share.


Only answer to this is to give representation to the defacto social section in the governance that reflects and answers the questions and problems themselves without depending on any others’s “desires” to get their constitutionally allocated share. If to know about the defacto society in India, As, Ambedkar terms in Lord Dufferin words:

“ population... composed of large number of distinct nationalities, professing various religions, practising diverse rites, speaking different languages, while many of them... still further seperated from one another by discordant prejudices, by conflicting sources of usages, and even antogonist material interests. But perhaps the most patent characteristics of our indian cosmos is its division into two mighty political communities as distant from each other as the poles apart -- on the one hand the Hindus -- with their elaborate caste distinctions-- on the other hand, the mohammedans – with their social equality. To these must be added a host of minors nationalities most of them numbering millions – almost as widely differentiated from one another by ethnological or political distinctions as are the Hindus from the Mohammedans, such as Sikhs, with their warlike habits and traditions and their enthusiastic religious beliefs, the Rohillas, the Pathans, the Assamese, the Balicchis and other wild and martial tribes on our frontiers, the hillmen dwelling in the folds of Himalayas, our subjects in Burma, Mangols in race and Budhists in religion, the Gonds, Mhars, Bheels, and other non-Aryan people in the centre and south of india, and the enterprising Parsees, with their rapidly developing manufactures and commercial interests. Again among these numerous communities may be found at one and the same moment, all the various stages of civilization through which mankind has passed from pre-historic ages to the present days.” (1989:247)

If social justice is to be achieved with out any prejudice or bias there should be a popular government which reflects the defacto social fabric to not only effective representation but also to maintain checks and balance that no such discrimination could takes place either by ruling party or any bureaucratic ‘malfunctioning’ within the system of governance. Because given the nature of defacto society where the “like-mindedness” among bureacrats either the official or the Staff at levels, creates hurdles for those beneficiaries who were desperately been kept “systematically” outside the official key machanisms or portfolios and having been occupied by those who by nature against the will of system to provide benefits according to, the Law or, meet Constitutional obligations towards social justice. In this case, it very important to see that the “likemindedness” should not become an hurdle for the governance in general and to a Caste or Religion or Region in particular. Because these factors actually becomes crucial in bringing about the change the Constitution enshrined and envisaged in its preamble including the Social Justice,and laid down the sacred resposibility to achieve it through its organs to function in that direction irrespective of any apathy towards any institution or even any bias: Caste, Religion, Region and Gender.

To achieve this, the defacto indian society must be reflected in all institutions such as the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary and their consequent subsidaries till the bottom of the state governing hierarchies. Unless it would be futile to expect social justice from already established “likeminded” Official/staff within in the system of governance, because they tend to show bias towards their “likeminded” people, given the defacto nature of society in India, on the basis of Caste, Religion or Region or even on Gender also. ‘ Men live in a community by virtue of the things they have in common. What they must have in common in order to form a community are aims, beliefs, aspirations, knowledge, a commom understanding; or to use the language of the sociologists, they must be like -minded. But how do they come to have these things in common are how do they become like-minded?’( Ambedkar 1989:248-49).


In order to achieve the task of social justice, there must either be a system of governance with out prejudice, discrimination, systematised alienation of a particular sections of people from getting their constitutionally allocated share or a system which consists of Officials/Staff in governance that not only effectively deliver the benefits to the legally deserved people but also works as resistance force to cross check the biases or discrimination on any basis against any particular section of the society. The former may not be possible in the system of governance in India as it was already been established and having been accorded the legal protection for ‘bureaucrats’ and staff as ‘being’ Government Official/Staff at all levels which actually becoming an hurdle to remove for the sake of social justice, and the latter may be feasible to reform the system within the legal frame work without destabilising the existing governing mechanism, because the employment security given by ‘their’ law, and also the administrative reforms can be done forthwith for achieving the social justice which was foremost obligation of the constitution as enshrined in its Preamble in this regard.

Social Justice: Through Economic and Industrial Growth

‘I appeal to all the industrialists of India to consider industrialization in the context of appaling poverty of the people,’(Nehru 1984:585) this itself denotes the Nehru’s vision of modern india and he saw the future of this nation given the defacto nature of its society. He had a vision to make India a strong nation amidts the predicament that might hinder the very notion of social justice as enshrined in our constitution. While recognising to root out historically laiden burdens in forms of discrimination on the Caste or Religion, Nehru, categorically called on the industrialists of early independent india and even instructed them as prime minister, in his words: ‘Of course, we all want industrial progress but only of the kind which would benefit the 400 millions indians and not very few industrialists and capitalists’ (Nehru 1984:585). What we have to consider here is his vision of economic growth for future india through which he wanted to see the social justice can be achieved for entire population and for him, the industrialists and capitalists has pivotal role to play in ‘ raising the standard of living of the masses must be the first priority in any scheme of industrial advancement and not a subsidary benefit that may from industrial reconstruction’(Nehru 1984:585).

The repressentation of the will and wishes of the defacto society in industrial growth, to achieve social justice, can be seen as the term “mass” used by Nehru: ' we have to think in terms of the masses of this country. Their standard of living must be raised’(Nehru 1984:586), as it cannotes not only the defacto nature of indian society but also refers to the people as nation to be given equal opportunity to participate in economic governance, because, ‘I do not want industrial development if 400 million people are going to remain in a bad way’(Nehru 1984: 586), and while stressing to distribute the fruits of economic and industrial growth in order to reflect constitutional obligation of social justice and equal opportunities ‘progress must bring to all the people and not to a few chosen’(Nehru 1984:586). As contrary to the aim of social justice, When industrialists and capitalists expressed their corporate views regarding that ‘the government must help industries in every way by tarriffs and finances and other means. At the same time, the government must keep away and not interfere but just provide the sinews of the industries, (Nehru 1984:587) Nehru, denied their claims by terming ‘it is not logical position to take-up’(Nehru 1984:587). The inclusive growth while reflecting social justice should be aimed at producing more wealth and raise the standard of the people by ‘developing all industries, small, big and cottage, and wants to utilize every individual for efficient production’(Nehru 1984:587), while supporting the private participation, Nehru reiterated that ‘ there will have to be inevitably a grate deal of private enterprise. I do not want to interfere with them’(Nehru 1984:587).


This implies, that constitutional obligation of social justice and equal opportunities, for Nehru, should be identical with the form of popular government where the defacto society in india must be represented and the individual talent of every citizen irrespective Caste, Religion, Region and Gender be effectively utulized by giving equal opportunities at all levels while the dependents of state should get their legal and constituitonal share in just and fair way, finally, in order to make india a strong nation where every citizen emphatically feels as his own which would be the true achievement of the vision and aim of our Constitution and its Preamble.


--Ambedkar,B.R.(1989). Dr.Baba Saheb Ambedkar Writings and Speeches,Vol.:1, Compiled by Vasant Moon, Published by : Education Department , Govt. Of Maharastra.

-- Nehru, Jawaharlal,(1984). Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru, Second series,Vol:2,
General Editor: S.Gopal, A Project of Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund,1984.


Ph.D. Scholar
Department of Film Studies and Visual Communication
The English and Foreign Languages University
Hyderabad, India.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Thinking Animal

It has legs in pair; though in fair
As to greet through hands to share
While eyes placed ears by near
Mouth remains shut in despair
Unfortunately, Nose only one
Shy led lips doesn't dance than
Being only one brain; not gain
That always has to train to strain
As limbs doesn’t work hardly
To fetch empty belly,but smartly
Organizing for a task in common
While managing functions for actions
As brains commands the sleazy body
Limbs reacts same though not so tardy
It may seem all traits to resemble minimal
Yet, fits the category infamously to, the Animal.

G.Narsing Rao
Ph.D. Scholar
Dept. Of Film Studies
English and Foreign Languages University

Friday, August 12, 2011



Ph.D (Reading Course-I)



Film and Realism : A Study on Interpretive Dependency

Authored & Submitted by:


Ph.D Participant
Admission Enrollment no : 10/P/185

Department of Film Studies & Visual Communication
The English and Foreign Languages University

Film and Realism : A Study on Interpretive Dependency

Author: G.Narsing Rao

“The text inert until a reader or listener or spectator does something to and with it”
--David Bordwell (1991:03)


‘If no knowledge is direct, all knowledges derives from “Interpretation,”’ (Bordwell 1991:2) as ‘psychologically and socially, knowledge involves “Inference.”’(Ibid) These philosophical arguementative notions about knowledge, were well known in the fields of various literary and hermeneutics. This is an attempt to study the interpretive dependencies of both the Realism and Film on each other in order to constitute their domains as field of academic study and its implications there of on its subsequent developments. Before knowing, what is an interpretation? How to relate the study of Film, as text and interpretation, to realism and their inter dependencies, it is better to know the foundational and philosophical background in which the definition termed as “Realism” emerged.

Realism as philosophy of arguement in modern times can be traced back to Rané Déscarte, French philosopher, who stressed and was prominent in establishing a rational and scientific relation between the unanswered speculative questions such as, The Universe, and who created it? as some believed in, the God, and also, The World, as believed to be, created by him, whether is real or not? Déscarte, brought a sufficient and believable rationale and a “realistic” philosophical explanation that could logically been accepted and was instrumental in paving a scientific path that later to evolve into a modern scientific thought and inspired somany inventions that had impacted phenomenal changes and our understanding of what is Realism? and, What is Idealism? And what ever knowledge we posses is nothing but a data which perceived through sense organs from External world which is a “Reality” and its impressions through senses produces knowledge that is also real and cannot be questioned as if, Déscarte says, the senses were created by God and he cannot deceive his own creation, means, that, If God is an “Absolute Realty”, then his entire creation is also a “Reality,” which is unquestionable as no one questions the “God.” If we consider, the term reality which manifests the world as it is, but ‘takes as its starting point a fundamental agreement with empiricism’(Allen.C and Gomery:14) as ‘realism departs from empiricism over the nature of that reality and what constitutes explanation of it’(Ibid) which ‘asserts that there is a world that exists independently of the scientist’(Ibid) as a realis[m]t—because he always strives to uncover scientifically the hidden realities of unseen phenomena— ‘sees the goal of science as the explanation of that world “assessed by reference to the “real” world,”’(Ibid) that ‘describing not only the observable layer of reality but also the workings of the generative mechanisms that produced the observable event.’(Ibid:15) The realist position assert ‘that answers to Why questions (Why did an event take place?) require answers to How and What question.’(Ibid)


Film as an Art and Medium

Before conceiving the Film as an art form, we should consider the theoretical background around which the scholarly inclination to recognize filmmaking as an art was started. There were somany situations which have had given impetus to the practice of filmmaking to emerge as an art form that have gone through different experimentations while inspired by early photographers who were,actually, started giving shape to a discourses in which the faculty of photography -film depends on photography- as an art were received much attention and being developed further as a progressive medium. ‘Like most contemporary artists, Eisenstein’-because he too considerd filmmaking as a form of craft with artistic milieu- ‘shared Lunacharsky’s belief that if art was to fulfill social purpose “involved the artists creativity in shaping the given material”(Kracauer 1960:05) had to arouse emotion, inspiring the masses with a dedication to the new society that was being built.’(Bordwell 2005: 115) During early photographic days where photographers were actually divided among the ‘realist’ and ‘artists-photographers’ camps had continued discussions about whether the photography’s primacy was to record reality of the nature or to be used an artist’s brush to create portraits which were near to reality, subsequently led to a stage, in which it ‘was inevitable that [this] turn to realism in art should bring photography into focus.’ (Kracauer 1960:05)

In their desire to highlight the artistic potentialities of their medium they ‘usually draw
attention the photographer’s selectivity because “art begins where dependence upon uncontrollable conditions ends”(Ibid) which, indeed, may account for prints suggestive of his personal vision.’(Kracauer 1960: 11) As Kevin.W.Sweenney says: ‘ Artists ought to produce works that recognize the formal restrictions and distinctive representational requirements of the medium; they ought not to employ stylistic strategies more appropriate to another medium’(2009:173) and ‘each art coincided with all that was unique to the nature of its medium.’(Ibid:174) Andreas Feininger suggests that “super fluous and disturbing details” should be supressed for the sake of “artistic simplification”; the goal of photography as an art medium, he stipulates, is “not the achievement of highest possible 'likeness' of the depicted subject, but the creation of an abstract work of art, featuring compassions ‘to desire to highlight the artistic potentialities’(Kracauer 1960:11) instead of documentation.”(Ibid:10) here we have to remember that “compassion” connote a state of mind which, is subjective in nature, “draws attention the photographer's selectivity”(Ibid:11)that always has an intent to express through a medium “suggestive of his personal vision and rich in aesthetic gratifications,”(Ibid:11) which reflected ' in a publication on the German experimental photographer, Otto Steinert's so called “subjective” photography is characterized as a deliberate departure from the realistic point of view.'(Ibid:10-11) while stressing film’s basic material dependence on the photographic medium‘Gregory Currie finds the common element in cinema to be moving image’ ( Livingston and Plantinga 2009:175) while ‘Gerald Mast has proposed that cinema is essential “an integrated succession of projected images and (recorded) sound.”’(Ibid) both indicating the essential nature of film always a continued development of photography.


This not only emphasises the artistic stance taken by early artist-photographers to record and reveal through camera practicalities but provides a transitional conditions in which the aesthetic practices of photography tranferred and copied to suit filmmaking, also exposes the desperate conditions to create new cinematic techniques in recording with film camera. 'Among the more special cinematic techniques are some which have been taken over from photography—e.g. The Close-Up, Soft focus practices, the use of negatives, double or multiple exposure etc. Other such as the Llap-dissolve, Slow and Quick motion, the reversal of time, certain “Special effects”, and so forth, are for obvious reasons exclusively peculiar to film.'(Kracauer 1960:29) All these developments in aesthetic practices were copied from photography and started making films aesthetically formative that serve for the purpose of artistic expressions of directors. Both the artistic expressions and practice of filmmakers has their roots in social conditions and practices through which they tend to reflect their expressive intent either realistically based or with pure artistic motives-such as fiction/story. Clement Greenberg claimed that ‘each art form should attempt to discover what is “unique and irreducible” about its nature’(Livingston and Plantinga;ed, 2009:174) ‘therefore each art would be rendered “pure”, and in its “purity” find the guarantee of its standards of quality as well as its independence.’( Ibid) In the words of André Bazin: ‘prior to any of the inventions of the early film pioneers, the cinematic medium existed as an ideal object in people’s imagination’(Ibid:175) while asserting “the cinema as an idealistic phenomenon.The concept men had of it existed so to speak fully armed in their minds as if in some platonic heaven.”(Ibid:176) Here,in practice, we can say that any filmmaker as an artist should true to the nature of the medium--here we can take photography/cinematography through which the moving images of film is being projected as an art-- which, claimed by Bazin, as ‘the reconstruction of a perfect illusion of the outside world in sound, colour, and relief.’((Ibid) As Sweenney attributes to Erwin Panofsky:

The cinematic medium is not an amorphous substance like the paint that painter uses or the Marble that a sculptor forms. Instead, the movies organize material things and persons, not as a neutral medium, into a composition that receives style and may even become fantastic or Preter voluntarily symbolic, not so much by an interpretation in the artists mind as by the actual manipulation of physical objects and recording macinery.( Livingston and Plantinga; ed, 2009:177)

A filmmaker as an artist has to consider the medium specific abilities through which he can render artistic milieu —such as stuffing certain meanings,or signs -- which may to become expressive where the role of the medium is only to serve the purpose through its mechanical operation while the artist(filmmaker) has to decide about functional and technical factor which are supposed to held appropriately to achieve , also stuffed
meaning, an intended effect. Film as the text, more of as an art work, is nothing but to be dealing with the medium which has certain potentialities which could emanates on demand to artists creative or artistic milieu. ‘The artwork or text is taken to be a container into which the artists has stuffed meanings for the perceiver to pullout.’(Bordwell 1991:02) In other words it-- as medium for text--container in which filmakers as artists try to invest their artistic skills to construct textual schemata into their favour.


Film as an Interpretation

As said above, Film as a container in which filmmakers stuff meanings, seems interesting to unravel the schemata through which the stuffed meanings are being operated and can be ‘interpreted’ to understand the film as text where the filmmakers always tries to see themselves. For the sake of deep understanding and interpretation of film text, it seems imperative to know about what an ‘interpretation’ means and what it constitutes in the process of understanding and analysing the film text.As David Borewell says ‘the Latin Interpretatio means “explanation” and derives from ‘interpres’, a negotiator or translator or go-between.’(1991:01) and further he says that ‘interpretation is then a kind of explanation inserted between one text or agent and another.’(Ibid) Originally, interpretation was conceived as wholly a verbal process, but in current usage the term can denote just about any act maker or transmits meaning. If we apply to film text, this process is to seen on par with the textual decoding as an act which brings out the potent meanings embedded boyond its textuality. While stressing this point on the basis of the Comprehension/Interpretation distinction, traditions identifies two sorts of meaning, summed up in Paul Ricoeur’s definition of Interpretation:

" the work of thought which consists in deciphering the hidden meaning in the
apparent meaning, in unfolding the levels of meaning implied in the literal meaning,” (Bordwell 1991:02)

This clearly indicates that both Comprehension and Interpretation meanings are relatively distinct in deciphering meaning from a text either film or literary text where ‘comprehension is concerned with apparent, manifest, or direct meanings, while interpetation is concerned with revealing hidden, nonobvious meanings.’(Ibid)The process of deciphering meanings out of any art work must have an objective outlook which departs or detaches the decoders—the person or perceiver who was engaged in an act of deciphering the hidden meanings -–of texts of study. The process of act-ing in search/research for meanings to be dechipered or to be interpreted should require imaprtiality or unbiased nature of study on the part of decipher or perceiver which could reflect in the final result/work. While considering about how to treat the text and the method that to be adopted to interprete or to decipher may points to, alternatively ‘an archaeological analogy’ which, ‘treats the texts as having strata, with layers or deposits of meanings that must be execavated.’(Ibid) If film text be considered in similar outlook, this process of archaeological analogy be adopted, which, through its treatment would give the unbiased interpreatation as it indicates to be consisting of layers of “deposits of meanings” and “must be execavated” by decipher/perceiver/Interpreter through certain “acts,” because in either case, ‘Comprehension and Interpretation are assumed to open up the text, penetrate its surface, and bring meanings to light’(Ibid) out of ‘a literary text, a painting, a play, or a film constitutes an activity in which the perceiver plays a crucial role.’(Ibid:2-3) whenever an interpreter attempts to decipher meaning they unconsciouly have been “previliged” to design and act on their own which may relatively be indifferent to the methods adopted by others -- between the perceivers and other’s texts being studied by him-- though the textual decipherment remains same and Moreover, ‘in any act of perception, the effects are “underdetermined” by the data: what E.H. Gombrich calls “the beholder’s share” consists in selecting and structuring the perceptual field.’(Ibid:03)


While interpreting the film text there should be some natural previliges or beholder’s share in deciding the acts or to design how to go through the ‘filmtexts’ to interprete, again, which is an unbiased reflection of both the interpreter and interpretation where the ‘understanding is mediated by transformative acts, both “ bottom-up”--mandatory,automatic psychological processes-- and “topdown”--conceptual, strategic ones.’(Ibid 03) The transformative acts refers to a change in thought process regarding a particular issue or point to be interpreted that as a result of an empirical indifferences faced by interpreter in certain intervals. His interpretation reflects the convergent knowledge of sensory data acquired through an act in an immediate situation/context he has been placed compared to the data acquired similarly earlier. Both the differential data forms a knowledge which is a result of both acts: first, that the act is mandatory to perceiving the film text directly, means, watching film, as an audience in which collecting the sensory data which is purely an automatic psychological process; and, second, the act which is being positioned himself in a point of view for interpretation on the same film text involving conepts and strategie to decipher the textual meanings that may sometimes goes beyond the actual film text as in both cases ‘the sensory data of the film at hand furnish the materials out of which inferential processes of perception and cognition build meaning’(Ibid) which is again a product of certain constructed assumptions or frame work drawn from outside world that might have impacted upon the perceiver and actively participating in the process of inference and cognition of sensory data or filmtext in which ‘meanings are not found but made’(Ibid) in order to reach at a meaningful interpretation.

Also, perceiver as an interpreter ‘is not a passive receiver of data but an active mobilizer of structures and processes (either “hardwired” or learned) which enables her to search for information relevant to the task and data at hand ’(Ibid) through which they tend to construct or act and to ‘speak of hidden meanings, levels of meanings, and revealing meaning that evokes the dominant framework within which perceivers understand interpretation.’(Ibid:02) In this respect, ‘meaning making is a psychological and social activity fundamentally akin to other cognitive processes’(Ibid) asserts that ‘Comprehension and Interpretation thus involves the construction of meaning out of textual cues.’(Ibid) This implies that any filmtext as container consists of stuffed meanings or cues in filmtext by the directors or filmmakers as artists through which they tend to communicate with the spectators/audience by encoding or constructing meanings coherently on the film-textual canvas as a whole. Here, the role of perceiver or interpreter in ‘watching a film identifies certain cues which prompt her to execute many inferential activities—ranging from mandatory and very fast activity of perceiving apparent motion, through the more “cognitively penetrable” process of constructing, say link between scenes, to the still more open process of ascribing abstract meanings to the film.’(Ibid) while the meanings emanting or constructing in this process have to go through a cognitive or inferential framework of perceiver which plays crucial role in not only understanding the textual cues but also to relate to their prioriknowledge of text that may stand against the purposive meaning of the filmtext/filmmakers. Because perceiver not only playing the role of interpreter yet he is also a spectator/audience experiencing the filmtext, in most cases, ‘spectators applies knowledge structures to cues’(Ibid) which are pre-existing and constructed by the social phenomenon.


This tends to stress that meaning ‘construction is not ex-nihilo creation; there must be
prior material’(ibid) which includes ‘higher level of textual data upon which variousinterpreters base their infrences’(Ibid) through which the perceiver or interpreter sometimes tend to ignore or highlighted by another certain cues in filmtext such as a Composition, a Camera movement, or a time of dialogue but each ‘datum remains an inter subjectively discriminable aspect of the film.’(Ibid) This shows that a perceiver is not beyond or not unbiased for this discriminable aspect of interpretation because he is also a social being succint to certain differential social textual schemata, may theoretical or traditional or cultural, that is operating upon every individual through out history. This seems synonimous to a notion that ‘the interpreter employs some theory in order to pick out relevant cues in the film, organize them into significant patterns, and arrives at an interpretation’(Ibid:04) within which the interpreter/perceiver as ‘spectator to apply conceptual schemes to data picked out in the film,’(Ibid) because ‘a film theory consists of a system of propositions that claims to explain the nature of cinema.’(Ibid) Sometimes non-theoretical understanding of filmtext seems gaining momentum as if the interpreters asserts that they doesn’t have any theory but claiming to ‘seek only to understand the film “in itself”(Ibid) yet not beyond the clutches of social schemata which—being non-theoretical scheme -- unconsciously governs the process of thinking ‘that can be shown to have a tacit theory (humanist, organicist,or whatever) that shapes the interpretive act (Ibid) which manifests through certains acts of perceiving and interpretation. Any interpreter/perceiver is a social being first, that, thinking beyond social schemata may not be possible, irrespective of whether being literate or illeterate, because the construction of personality formation depends upon the cultural grooming in which the social learning plays a crucial role in tranferring knowledge which handed down from generation to generation through structured or unstructured framework that finally converge into a concept/scheme at deep psychological level that filters and allows the
way of understanding the perception of either literay or filmtext. This social learning of any perceiver/interpreter provides broad ‘inductive skills govern everyday sensemaking’( Ibid:07) because, most generally ‘human beings posses these skills and these skills play a large role in interpreting artwork.’(Ibid) while any ‘perceiver arrive at interpretation by making certain conventions of reasoning and language’(Ibid) where as ‘critical interpretation chiefly consists of a “covert” or tacit conventionality’ (Ibid) which seeks to capture both psychological and social dimensions of the interpretive activity.’(Ibid) This implies that to interpret any artwork, such as Film, has certain conventions of reasoning and language that points to “covert” or tacit conventionality. ‘Psychologically, interpretive conventions rely upon reasoning practices,’(Ibid) and all such practices constitute interpretive expertise.’(Ibid) people who are involved in interpretive conventions, such as, “covert” or tacit conventionalities’ unaware of the conventions they obey’(Ibid) and even ‘imitations and habits leads agents to expect coordinated action from others but without any particular awareness of an underlying rule.’(Ibid) In most cases, the rule is largely synonymous with “norms” or “conventions” (Ibid) which we can assume as part of “covert” or tacit conventionalities that constitute interpretive expertise by expecting co-ordinated action from others without any awareness of rule or convention.


This implies and stresses the notion that ‘no description of anything is conceptually innocent; it is shot through with pre-suppositions and received categories’(Ibid:05) that perceiver’s interpretation pre-supposes a theory of film, of art, of society, of gender, and so on.’(Ibid)What perceiver sees may not be a theory per se, yet some cordinated actions that can serve the very pupose of interpretation can be sufficient. If we consider from social perspective, ‘conventions can be seen as co-ordinating agents, patterns of action for the benefit of the goals of a group.’(Ibid:07) To perform the role of film interpreters is to accept certain aims of the interpretive institution and to act in accordance with norms that enable those aims to be reached.

The interpretation of any film text based on mere ‘assumptions, pre-suppositions, opinions, and half-baked beliefs’(Ibid:05) doesn’t automatically qualifies for a claim of posing a theory because apparent qualities of film text such as, in the words of Bordwell:

‘credit sequences come at the begining and end of movies, that the film star is likely to portray the protogonist, and that techni colour is aesthetically superior to Eastman colour, doesn’t constitute a theory of film.Nor can a theory be inferred from my entire (very large) stock of such beliefs—a stock which, incidentally, contains fuzzy, slack, and contradictory formulations.’ (Ibid)

Perceiver or interpreter’s “covert” or tacit conventionalities which works in tandem with common expectations from others without any rule even though they might differ on their doctrinal arguement. While not having any underlying mandatory rule, their interpretations some time seek other established theoretical explanation across disciplines to adopt to the purpose of interpretation at hand, which ‘produces disparate interpretation.’(Ibid) and ‘in any event, no critics’--here we can assume perceiver/interpreter -- ‘acts as if every theory automatically extruded an interpretation that is challengable only in terms of that theory.’(Ibid)
This implies that film textual interpretation depends upon various complex issues that are not directly involved in either film text or with interpreter.These may have certain cues derived from different social strata over a period of time which causes the differential knowledge among perceivers that finally externalized in their interpretations. This can be demonstrated that even though their agreement might similar at doctrinal level or given value at theoretical explanations yet they tend to produce interpretation that differs among themselves. As said ealier, either stock of beliefs doesn’t constitute a theory or doesn’t extruded an interpretation for theory itself. In both cases, interpreter doesn’t have concrete theoretical ground as if in other discipline, besides, contrary to this, he trespasses across them. Because ‘if not every set of beliefs relevant to the interpretive act counts as a theory of cinema, then the interpretation may illustrate the beliefs but will not illustrate a theory.’(Ibid:06) This absurd nature of theory or uneven psychological condition of interpreter/perceiver leads to, in the process of claiming a theory, an illustration of interpreter’s hypothesis. Here, the film text becomes a tool for their hypothetical explanation of a theory in making or in question.


What ever theories proposed to test or to be adopted to the film text in question, interpreter ‘used films to illustrate the theories proposed.’(Ibid) While every perceiver/interpreter claiming a theory in making, they actually engaged in interpretation which does not concretely stand or explain as a theory yet continues as a convention.Where as irrespective of coherent interpretation, the illustration of beliefs seems synonymous with norms or conventions, as identified by David Lewis: ‘it creates regularities in behavior by coordinating the actions of agents who have expectations that common goals will be met.’(Ibid:07) This -- creating regularities -- stresses the notion of the conventions, are nothing but the acts of interpretation which has been carried out in the guise of interpreting film text either theoretically or not,but ended up against the very notion by which they have started for; the interpretation of film text, which became a toy for their ammusement of testing hypothetically-- “self-explanation.” Interpretation as construction: The process of meaning making As we have discussed earlier that every perceiver or interpreter would have certain priveleges or called beholder’s share for determining a position or engaging in an act/s through which he/she tries to interprete the filmtext. While attempting to decode textual cues from the film text, they happen to land on intellectual confusion in which it would difficult for them to say whether found any theory or adopting something for the sake of interpretation or just, out of confusion , unconsciously, ended up to illustrate their
interpretive acts, as said earlier, that in due course they just catering, or following the tacit conventions, to the need of acting by expecting from others some coordinated action without any rule that confirms to pre-existing psychic frame work or innate institutional protocals.

In this process, what ever, they may attempt to interpret film text, posses a theory in making or in question or may call abstract theoretical knowledge in pursuit of ratification. ‘Indeed, if the critic’-- or perceiver in this case, ‘is like an artisan, she will tend to “dwell within” the standard practices: abstract theoretical knowledge will fade into the background, tacit procedures will govern her inferences, and attention will focus on the minutiae of the task at hand.’(Ibid:07) Taking spectator as critic and to see how the beholder’s share as privelege can play a crucial role in constructing interpretation. In the words of David Bordwell:

A constructivist account of “the beholder’s share,” then, has the task of explaining how pragmatic reasoning practices guide the critic act of assumption, expectation, and exploraton; how cues are highlighted, arranged, and worked into the basics of critical inferences; how the film flashing on the screen is reconstructed into a meaningful whole by the perceiver’s perceptual and cognitive activity.(Ibid)

Here, perceiver has innate psychological schemata arising out of social empirical knowledge, irrespective of whether theoretical or not, but guides them with ‘certian conventions of reasoning and language’(Ibid:07) in their daily lives to act, read, judge certain issues in a context.


Like an artist using strategies derived from experience, the perceiver ‘draws upon a repertory of options and adjusts them to the particular task’(Ibid) of interpreting film text and finding cues through which he could construct meaning through certain meaning making practices, namely :

1. Referential meaning

2. Explicit meaning

3. Implicit meaning

4. Repressed or Symptomatic meaning.

Referential meaning:

This implies that perceiver or interpreter taking a position that gives him the path of constructing the meaning which he make sense of a film that may ‘construct a concrete “world,” be it avowedly fictional or putatively real.’(Ibid:08) while ‘making sense of a narrative film, the spectator builds up some versions of the diegesis, or spatio-temporal world, and creates an ongoing story(fabula) occuring within it ’(Ibid) that may ‘construe no narrative forms, such as rhetorical or taxonomic ones, as proposing a world that manifests structures of an argumentative or categorical nature.’(Ibid) In this process while constructing films’s world the perceiver draws not only ‘on knowledge of filmic and extrafilmic conventions but also on conceptions of causality, space, and time and on concrete items of information.’(Ibid) In the words of Bordwell: this very extensive process eventuates in what I shall call referential meaning, with the referents taken as either imagining or real.(Ibid)

This implies that the fabula construction may be succint to allow some unwanted or unrelated imaginary or referents to take over it and may disguise as participant of perceiving spactio-temporal world that constituted by film textual cues. The perceiver’s or interpreters outlook may not only confined by the referral world but,due to its nature of signified meaning process, it demands interpreter to derive from other sources that could be at hand to help construct a meaningful whole out of film textual cues. Here, we can find out some reasons what actually makes difference among several interpretations even based on same filmic textual cues. Because, every individual would have unique empirical knowledge that derived not only through activities or events but through continuous percetual acts which at the same time serve provide various dimentional knowledge that may differ among others.

The cognitive processes that works in the minds of perceivers during any act does not stand on the same plane as the religious and cultural background that constantly might have inscripted on psychic plane on which the film textual cues actually battling for their place that may cause for any psychological stigma that goes beyond the perceptual world and even try to mislead or disguise the filmmaker’s intended fiction world into the world that constituted by the interpreter.


Explicit Meaning:

Where as the explicit meaning is concerned, the abstract meaning which perceiver formed
may demand to assign certain meanign with a conception to fabula or a parallel story constructed by him while watching the film text that may go sometimes beyond the conception itself, in other words, the ‘“points” to the fabula and diegesis she constructs’(Ibid:08) and narration. As said earlier the conceptual meaning which might be assigned in this course may seek perceiver to extract relevant information from other domain of knowledge or faculties the perceiver posses in order to construct meaning. Here, the textual cues perceiver receives through film text may not always be the same which filmmakers tend to express, yet , it differs on the grounds that the cues as “signs” may have contextual meaning that corresponds to the context itself irrespective of the
meaning the filmmakers intends to make or to construct. Because, as Roland Barthe, says every sign has certain referal meaning in a context that corresponds to the world of meanings in which it was born or tranformed until. As he categorized their semantics into Signifier, Signified and Signification, through which every textual cues in film text performs the same “duty” of signs that works independently of the filmmaker’s
assignment of meaning as Signifier.

As above, the fabula or diegesis, perceiver constructs simultaneously would suffice to the meanings acquired through the process of signification which finally the perceiver conceives or experience. This may not be the filmmaker’s intended signification because perceiver or interpreter ‘may seek out extra cues of various sorts of this, assuming that the film “intentionally” indicates how it is to be taken.’(Ibid) And interpretations seems
differing amongst the interpreters given the film text remains same because the process of signification goes from Signifier to Signified and to signification. The meanings derived at the stage of Signifier, denotative --what is seen or perceived directly through senses -- may have the same yet differs at the level of Signified meaning, because, it is connotative meaning of the perceiver that may not directly refers to the filmmakers’s intended meaning , that is not being addressed directly, though ‘the film is assumed to “speak directly”,(Ibid) but, contrary to this, in words of bordwell: ‘when the viewer or critic takes the film to be, in one way or another, “stating” abstract meaning, he is constructing what shall I call explicit meaning,’(Ibid) The abstraction is an outcome perceived by the interpreter because the filmmakers may have treated or projected textual cues on the screen in order to construct the meaning he wants by re-arranging ‘signs’ in a peculiar manner or placed in a specific context which provides perceiver no option other than searching for certain referal or explicit meanings which are being established well and can serve for the purpose of arriving at a meaningful whole where as both ‘referential and explicit meanings make-up what are usually considered “literal meanings” that are well established and having been accredited faithfully. Literal meanings are not constructed by the perceiver/interpreter themselves that they are relying upon the established meanings making practices by people in a specific context which are being obeyed in those specific/peculiar conditions in which the explicit/referential meaning has relevance and serves as referent for the meaning making process.


The Implicit meaning:

Any perceiver ‘may also construct covert, symbolic, or implicit meanings’(Ibid:08) where
filmmakers through film text ‘now assumed to speak “indirectly,”’(Ibid) that points to the way perceivers or interpreter understands the context created by the filmmakers implicitly in film text. Some times filmmakers want to express thematically by voluntarily undertaking certain stand which may challenge perceiver his already held opinion or notion about the issues, problems being dealt with through filmic textual cues to bring perceivers at his point. In this process, the film text need be studied carefully by interpreter as it may mislead to an unwanted meanings because the construction of implicit meanings ‘to be consistent, at some level, with the referential and explicit meanings assigned to the work’(Ibid:09) and only then ‘spectator may seek to construct implicit meanings when she cannot find a way to reconcile an anomalous element with a referential or explicit aspects of the work; or the “symbolic impulse” may be brought into warrant the hypothesis that any element anomalous or not, may seems as the basis of implicit meanings.’(Ibid)

Above image shows from Vottorio De Sica’s Bi-cycle thief, in which the story of a Worker, in post-war italy ravaged by World War-II, who was unemployed and to sail out his war-fear stricken family from poverty and for livelihood along with his innocent son, coming out of his home carrying a bi-cycle on his shoulders-which is unusual to see in nornal situations because, usually bicycle carries men-to do a menial job as poster-sticking man, which demands an hardly acquired bi-cycle against mortgage of his least house holds which were more than anything else in the world, to protect his family. In this image, director wants to speak indirectly by placing spectator/interpreter in a context which serves to constitute as narrative element to forms the fabula while constructing meaning implicitly in interpreter’s mind that may or not having any referential /explicit meaning. Here, directors exposing the protogonist in a peculiar way which has implicatons for meaning constructon at both levels into his favour. First, which-through interpretation- denotes at fabula: father is going for a job as his son wanted to help him as both are coming out from their home as father carefully carrying bi-cycle on shoulder as if it is more than his son on ground. Yet at, Second level, well attire of both, wearing scarfs, badged Caps(as textual cues) with a promised gesture as father carrying by-cyle on his shoulder connotes: their immediate precedence came to an end to a promised day for a guarantee for their livelihood with bi-cycle as a weapon carrying on the shoulder to fight odd days in offing as last resort. Where director implicitly constructing meaning to a referent beyond film text-war ravaged italian life- in a context to as he wanted to say: how brutal war has rooted out not only economic and political life but also personal and human relations at large in post-war italy manifesting the italian neo-realistic
This process works in both ways that one is through , Abstraction , and another is through, Irony. Implicit meaning being the nature of posing an unanswerable questions, issues and problems to the interpreter yet “demanding” to answer and to take a position to avoid these abstraction that hardly finds any solace as there was no established world of referential or explicit meanings available.


In this process, the “symbolic impulse” that drawn by interpreter may have the possibility to inculcate an imaginary symbolism that has niether been directly related to the film text nor to the perceiver’s empirical knowledge which finally may culminate into a self comtempt and place in an ironical situation ‘as in the process of irony, implicit meanings may be posited as contradictory other sorts.’(Ibid) Here, to know the reasons behind making filmmakers to adopt or take a stance that posited as ironic, there must be “themes” which filmmakers wanted to create by implicit meaning construction where ‘units of implicit meanings are commonly called “themes”, though may also be identified as “problems,” “issues,” “questions,” which are being undertaken to be resolved or to divulge intricasies involved in for a noble cause. In this process, the construction of meaning or arrangement or re-arrangements of textual cues or signs at works should have to be “dealt” with due deligence and with an outlook to the ‘theme,” which again may go beyond the established world of meanings in a context or society at large. Another interesting aspect here is, what kind of symbolic impulse been drawn? and what is its culminating meaning? Depends on the cognitive process in which the required symbolic impulse is being considered to be drawn and the information provided to construct or form
that symbolic impulse is crucial to reconcile anamolous element caused due to unavailability of referential or explicit meaning. This reflects that any meaning construction results in a meaningful whole as this process does not conceive any lacunae that could become a cause for unwarranted symbolic impulse. If in case anything found so, has to seek reconciliation through symbolic impulse that might ask to make meaning beyond which drawn from the filmic textual cues rather perceivers “individual” expression which cognitively crepted into the process of meaning making that manifest through fabula. because, ‘meaning are not found but made.’(Ibid:03)

Repressed or Symptomatic Meaning:

This refers to a psychological state where any person can’t just by looking objects or things confirm to a specific meaning, even in turn, may mislead to a meaning which is contradict to itself or disguise the same. In all meaning making processes, as discussed above, the viewer ‘assume that the film “knows” more or less what it is doing.’(Ibid:09) But, sometimes there are situations in which the, perceiver ‘may also construct repressed or symptomatic meaning that the work divulges “Involuntarily.”’(Ibid) has to respond to the actual conditions of the film textual cues in a text that presumes unvoluntary meaning making processes, irrespective of where or to which it is being pointed to or referring to for arriving at a meaningful whole. This way of meaning is purely dependent on unvoluntary conditions that implicitly governs and will get meaning only when until or unless been associated with any meamimg making processes as mentioned above such as:
Referential, Explict, or Implicit meaning making practices. Equating meaning making practice with a garment, David Bordwell, gives a good example:

If explicit meaning is like a transparent garment, and implicit meaning is like a semiopaque veil, symptomatic meaning is like a disguise. (Ibid) Symptomatic meanings are ‘assumed to be at odds with referential, explicit or implcit ones,’(Ibid)

which were as resultant of film textual cues unvoluntarily ascribing meaning
that to make a sense to perceiver, irrespective of whether or not, referring to any meaning making practices, yet subsumes certain meaning that could disguise interpreter into another, to take for granted and mislead for false inference or interpretation.


But another situation where the symptomatic meanings are used as an individual expression in that case ‘symptomatic meanings may be treated as the consequence of artists obsession’(Ibid) When filmmaker’s work that has a specific style or form that intentionally exerting upon the interpreter or perceiver to take a stance considered artistic obsession that could remain exclusivity of its own which actually serves to provide information or textual cues which cater to construct meaning that is not intended for and may totally contradictory to the perceiver’s world or some time points to alien forms subject to its imagery of fictional or real. Here, unvoluntary, aspect of film text makes sense that way meaning created on the screen where the role of diegetic/non-diegetic elements seems to have prominence in the process of meaning making. Because, the practice of film making has its own significance which has gone through various societal and developmental phases of theoretical and philosophical discourses out of which the present way filmmaking has been converged. If symptomatic meaning of film text is ‘taken as part of a social dynamics, it may be traced to Economic, Political, or Ideological processes’(Ibid:09) which seems very hard to assume that they does not have any implications on perceivers or interpreter which at any cost influence the perception about the film text. We assume that disguise or even artistic obsession that cause for symptomatic meaning may also traced to the conventions of film practices which has certain influence upon the non-diegetic elements through diegetic elements which can change the perception or interpretation, irrespective of the film textual
meaning, that comes from outside to the world of fiction. Nonetheless, perceivers or critics have ‘tended to assume that framing, editing, and certain sounds come from “ouside” the world of the fiction, while in most cases the techniques of mise-en-scene and diegetic sounds are constructed as operating “within” that world.’(Ibid:174)

Realism for Film: A Search for Potentiality

As known, seeing the process of filming or recording apart from philosophical and discursive practices is difficult because ‘movies are evaluated primarily in terms of how accurately they reflect the external reality.’(Giannetti 1987 :364) as stressed by ‘realist theorists like Cesare Zavattini and Siegfried Kracauer believe that cinema is essentially an extension of photography and “Cinema tend to leave the raw material of reality more or less intact”(Ibid) and shares with it a pronounced affinity for recording the visible world around us.’(Ibid) This clearly indicates that the definition of the term ‘affinity’ cannot be ruled out on the ground that it is a nature of any concomitant relations which are always been away from lucid explanation for strong philosophical argumentation or for the purpose of scientific discourses yet keeping the discursive conditions live by keep extending the process of discourses by inviting new dimensions, ideas into its fold cutting across all walks of life and academic protocals that having been reflected through its ever expanding domain of the knowledge – Realism. For the purpose of Film Studies and is dependence for interpretation along with realism, was the major cause for the expansion of film studies one way or another. Because, Realism, was one of the oldest faculties that were deliberated, discussed and developed further which was not away from integrating the film studies into its fold that naturally attracted at films earlier stages.


What we can find here is, the natural affinity of the subject matter the film/filmmaking/filmmakers dealt with at ealier stage was not beyond then well established faculties such as Philosophy and Fine Arts that later continued by Linguistics, Economics and Psychology which all together have contributed for the further development of academic scholarship that shaped present day Visual and Communaction studies, including Film Studies as a specialised domain of knowledge due to its nature of being one of the the “mass” communcation weapons through which billions of people can be “influenced” or in other sense “educated” or “communicated” towards a particular task. Again coming back to the relation between realism and filmmaking, have to study and explore into the phenomena that being the core field of filmmaking such as being a “Subject Matter” and the “way” it supposed to be dealt with. The concomitant relation between the subject matter taken up for filmmaking and treatment because’there is a minimum of interference and manipulation on the artists’s part,’(Ibid) which stressing the notion of concomitancy of both where ‘film is an art of invention so much as an art of “being there.”(Ibid) These philosophical discourses around which the entire film realism is trying to explore was actually taken place right from the invention of the camera that continued through photography and then to filmmaking yet, still, discussing about film realism without concerning the nature and practices evolved through photography is a futile excercise. It is unimaginable to think film without photography and its practices in filmmaking even today. Most of early filmmakers who have not seen filmmaking as just a practice for profit making or as a brush for photographic art as these were in later
phenomenon occured due to dynamics of political and socio-cultural transformation that eventually recorded, manifested through film screens. But the Photographer/filmmakers, who followed filmmaking immediately after continuing photographic developments tried to retain those photographic practices within the ambit of filmmaking, that manifested through works of initial filmmakers, who concentrated mostly on realistic subject matters and, with further development, which was a continuance of philosophical arguements
engaged in such as realism and neo-realism that appeared and attributed to filmmaking as generic pattern.

What we have to observe here is, that whether both the philosophical discourses regarding realism as subject matter and practices evolved during this process of filmmaking were actually serving the purpose of disseminating to construct the meaning in tandem with engaging discourse. The realism as discourse engaged through cinematic representation and counter arguements such as artistic or formative tendency pravailed which again responded to the realistists arguements in their style were the phenomenon occured in later stages of filmmaking. If we have to consider the realism as an arguement, should have to consider the arguements regarding the Photography, Image depiction and Cinematic techniques and practices or traditions of filmmaking along with its allied arguements and counter arguements regarding with realistic representation in film and the socio-political contexts in which the film realism tends to seek again its space through cinematic representation. If starts from Photography, which was first and foremost stage for both photogrpahy itself and film as making and production, that both cannot deny the concomitant relationship with philosophical arguementative questions it deals with such as the validity of the truth an image is revealing and recording and the level of trust and belief posed in it and carried through out in both realistic and artistic photography in filmmaking.


The basic question of realism in film starts that ‘realists have shown a persistent hostilitytowards plot and neatly structured stories,’(Ibid:367) which realists, such as Siegfried Kracauer ‘also attacks Plots as a natural enemy of realism’, (Giannetti 1987:367) because they have considered them as an outcome of artistic or formative tradition, being the nature of fictional or theatrical or dramatic manifestations, which they usually averse to it on the grounds that they are mere representation of an imagination and ‘substituting staged illusion for unstaged reality, and contrived plots for everyday incidents.’(Kracauer 1960:32)

As Lumièr, being one of the foremost realist filmmaker, told Mélès that ‘ he
considered film nothing more than a “scientific curiosity,” there by implying that his cinematograph could not possibly sense artistic purposes,’(Ibid) which Mélès and Renlos ‘specialize mainly in fantastic or artistic scenes, reproductions of theatrical scenes, etc...thus creating a special genre which differs entirely from the customary views supplied by the cinematograph—streets or scenes of everyday life.’(Ibid) these indicates the reasons why realists were aversed to the artistic or formative tendency in film making practice. They believed and equated the depition of reality with daily life events assuming ‘there should be no barriers between reality and the spectators, no directorial virtuosity to “deform” the integrity of life as it is’(Giannetti 1987:367) while as, Cesare Zavattini claimed, that ‘ideal movie would consist of ninety consecutive minutes from a personal actual life.’(Ibid) in which ‘the artistry should be invisible, the materials “found” rather than shaped or manipulated’(Ibid) expecting that ‘filmakers should be emphasize facts and all “ethos and reverberations.”(Ibid) This philosphical stand of realisic filmmaking later culminated into a tradition of filmmaking which we all know as Neo-realism.

Neo-realism, which started in Italy, in the words of Zavattini, ‘filmmaking is not a matter of “inventing fables” that are super imposed over the factual materials of life, but of searching unrelenting to uncover the dramatic implications of these facts’(Ibid) which supports the ‘truth is that Italian neo-realism cinema represents a hybrid of traditional and more experimental techniques’ (Bondenella 2006:32) and its most original characteristic was ‘the brilliant use made of non-professional actors, especially by Rosellini, De Sica and Visconti.’(Ibid) The realism dealt with in cinema has always been the philosophical in nature which was difficult to explain and establish the concomitant relation between nature and the cinematic medium as Kracauer ‘makes it clear that the technical properties are only indirectly related to content’(Andrew 1976:109) that ‘the subject matter of is the photographable world, the reality which seems to give itself naturally to the photogrpaher’(Ibid:110) Another premise for realistic films that ‘filmmakers to use the technical properties only to support the primary function of the medium: the recording and revealing of the visible world around us’(Ibid) which as a practice evidently followed through neo-realistic filmmaking in italy which as stressing above notion, was to have ‘privileged on-location shooting than studio work,(Bondanella 2006:32) that ‘depend upon excellent performance by seasonal professionals. (Ibid) Celebrated film director who was considered as father of Italian neo-realist cinema, Roberto Rosellini, as director ‘employed a realistic style that he had first learned while making government documantaries’(Ibid:31) and later the triology he made, namely: Open City, (Roma Città aperta,1945), Paisan (Paisà, 1946), and Germany Years Zero,( Germenia, anno zero, 1947), are considered classics of italian neo-realistic filmmaking which reflects ‘the use of authentic loations rather than studios, non-professional actors, graining photography’(Ibid) with seasonal or unprofessional actors ‘typical of news reels and the fictionalized storylines of the ‘fictional documentary’ variety’.(Ibid)


Later neo-realist filmmaker ‘compared to the daring experimentalism and use of nonprofessionals in Paisan, Vittorio De Sica’s neo-realist work seem more traditional and closure to Hollywood narratives,(Ibid:32), yet, De Sica ‘uses non-professionals— particularly children—in both Shoeline and Bi-cycle thief even more brilliantly than Rosellini.’(Ibid) Later neo-realist directors, while influnced by hollywood narrative and Eisenstein’s formative tendency, have shown slightly different approach towards realism that was ‘for the first time in a neo-realist film, Ginseppe De Santis, introduced sex appeal in the form of Silvana Mangano, whose light sweaters and ample cleavage begins the tradition of the Italian maggioratta or ‘(sweater girl).’

In The Vilelloni (1953), Fedirico Fellini, ‘provides a portrait of six provincial characters which another neo-realist director might have employed as an indictment of small-town italian society’(Ibid:37-38) as his later works clearly indicates that he is ‘more interested in creating a private poetic universe of his own than in social criticism.’(Ibid) The transformation from earlier practices of projecting indiluted realism to inculcating
formative aspects to cinema which Kracauer sees that ‘two possible motivations available to every filmmaker, that of realism and that of formalism’(Andrew 1976:112) that even going further to exert, ‘the latter destroys the cinematic approach only when it operates unauthorized on its own,’ if ‘used properly, it can help perform the second of the filmmakers’s double duties: to let reality in, and then to penetrate it’ (Ibid) through which filmmakers must, and ought to, render their own views of reality,’(Ibid:113) because ‘it is a human realism he demanded, a realism not of facts but of intention,’(Ibid) which had been practiced to the intention of filmmakers until he voluntarily disrupted the process of recording and revealing nature of the medium that being faithful to the subject matter and also to the intention of the directors, irrespective of style and form of the film. This again illumines the concomitant relations between the subject matter—on which the subject is being focused -- and the treatment meted out to it -- coupled with an intention of the director. Both together contributes or even determines what kind of approach should be taken or what kind of treatment may take while adopting manipulative functionalities of the medium’s specific attributes to suit for the purpose of bringing out derectors intention.

Here, it seems that without any subject matter it would be difficult to think of recording and revealing that seems secondary to the making or practice of film. Because, the subject matter is always been external to the medium’s specific abilities to record or reveal which again dependent on the natural phenomenon that serve as a source, because, ‘cinema is heir to still photograph and to its unquestioned link to visible reality’(Andrew 1976:109) which being the subject matter of cinema ‘must therefore be the world which the still photograph was invented to serve: the “endless,” “spontaneous,” “accidental occurrences” and infinitely minute repercussions.’(Ibid) Though, the ‘technical aspects of the medium (photography) determines to some extent the subject matter of the medium’(Ibid) yet its ‘raw material of cinema is in all cases the visible, natural world qualified by its suitability for the photographer.’(Ibid) Not only the aspects of recording or revealing nature of
medium’s specific ability itself does assume the sense of realism in filmmaking, the nature and attribution of depiction has its own role not only in construction of meaning making but also in creating a sense of realism through cinematic representation that addresses the style adopted by directors.


In this case, the term “Likeness” or “Resemblance” was coined by philosopher and film scholar, Gregory Currie, who equates the likeness to realism and stresses that rejection of it amounts to rejecting the realism. He further says: I want to defend the thesis of Likeness, which has been under attack for while now from those who reject the notion of likeness or resemblance between images and the things they are images of, and who stress the artifice, the conventionality, the “codeness” of cinema. This is one aspect of their rejection of realism.(Currie 1995:79) He argues that ‘Likeness is coherent thesis, and that it is possible to achieve a considerable degree of this kind of realism in film’(Ibid) which is ‘meta-physical, not aesthetic.’(Ibid)

The depiction of things as images not only achieved through coexistence of medium’s specific ability to record or reveal the subject matter but stresses reality if depiction in terms of likeness exactly between the nature of depiction(the images seen) and things captured in images (as subject matter) in successive photographs. Currie’s main arguement remains between both the depiction and of things depicted. As far as he says both are inseperable so as the recording of natural events and revealing through a inematic device. But question remains to explore how far the recorded or depicted things are authentic to its original nature—like things before the depiction and after—which matters and crucial for photography as still or for filmmaking as successions of images rapidly moving to create an animation of the depicted things subject to depicted nature
and attributes which is crucial in meaning making and interpretation of film text. In this regard, as Currie points, ‘offer a general theory of pictorial representation, or depiction, according to which depictions are like the things they depict’(Ibid) and characterization of depiction ‘allow us to say that film depicts space and time; film does, or can, represent space and time realistically’(Ibid) where ‘certain pictures do seem to be like their subjects; not so like them as,’ “depiction are, to various degrees, realistic”(Ibid) ‘to be indistinguishable, except under very peculiar circumstances, but like them nonetheless.’(Ibid:80)


--Kracauer,Siegfried (1960). Theory of Film: The redemption of physical reality, with an Introduction by
Mariam Bratu Hansen,UK: Princeton University Press.

-- Currie, Gregory (1995). Image and Mind : Film, Philosophy and Cognitive science,Cambridge
University Press.

-- Allen, Robet.C and Gomery, Douglas (1985). Film History : Theory and Practice,
New York: Mc Graw Hill.

-- Bordwell, David (2005). The Cinema of Eisenstein, New York: Routledge.
_________(1991). “Making Meaning: Interference and Rhetoric in the Interpretation of Cinema”,
USA:Harward University Press.

-- Eisenstein, Sergei (1923b). “The Montage of Attractions”. In Writings:33-38.

-- Bondanella,Peter (2006).“Italian neo-realism:The postwar renaissance of Italian Cinema,” In
Traditions in World Cinema, edited by Linda Badley, R.Barton Palmer and Steven Jay Schneider,
Edinburgh University Press.

-- Andrew, Dudley (1976). The Major Film Theories: An Introduction,New York: Oxford University
--Giannetti, Louis (1987). Understanding Movies, New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc.

--Bazin André (2005). What is Cinema—Selected Essays,Tran. by Hugh Gray:University of California

-- Sweeney, Kevin.W (2009). “Medium,” In The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film,
edited by Paisley Livingston and Carl Platinga; New York and Oxon: Routledge. 17


--Eisenstein,Sergei (1957). “Film form and Film Sense: Essays in Film theory”, edited by Jay
Leyda,Cleveland and New York:Meridian Books.

--Ray,Sathyajit (1981). “Sathyajit Ray: An anthology of Ray by Ray”, edited by Chandana das
gupta,Ministry of Information and Broadcasting,Govt. Of India.

--Kracauer,Segfried(1997). “Theory of Film: The redemption of Physical Reality”, Princeton
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--Bordwell,David(2005). “The Cinema of Eisenstein”, New York:Routledge.

_________(1991). “Making Meaning: Interference and Rhetoric in the Interpretation of Cinema”,
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--Elsaessar,Thomas (1990). “Early Cinema: Space, Frame, Narrative”, (ed); British Film

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and Lother Lutze, New Delhi: Manohar Publication.21


Vittorio De Sica:
-- Shoeline
-- Bicycle Thief

Fedirico Fellini:

-- Velliloni, (1953)
Roberto Rossellini:
-- Open City (Roma, Citta aperta, 1945),
-- Paisan (Paisa, 1946)

Sergei Eisenstein:

-- Battleship Putemkin

Lumièr brothers:

-- LUNCH HOUR AT THE LUMIER FACTORY, (Sortie des usines Lumier),
-- ARRIVAL OF TRAIN. ( L' Arrivee d' un train),