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At first, I did not understand what exactly Barthes was message Barthes was trying to convey using the examples of fringes and how exactly fringes relate to the play of Julius Caesar. But, as I read on, I came to understand that Barthes was using the example of fringes to tell us that in the play Julius Caesar, Romans are easily identified by their fringes. Now that I understood this, I began thinking what could Barthes main point be using this is example of fringes standing for Romans? Well I definitely knew that it had to be a much bigger picture than just how we can identify Romans in film by their fringes.

As I read on, he started to mention all of the characters’ sweating in Julius Caesar. I thought: well if I am to look at this as a sign, the sweating must be a sign of apprehension. But as I read on, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that one little action such as sweating can be a sign of  “everyone debating something within himself”. I believe this statement is true because in Julius Caesar, everyone is indeed debating, worried, or thinking about something. For example Brutus is debating how to kill Caesar, Calpurnia is worried about Caesar going to the Senate on the Ides of March, and so on.  Then I see that Barthes says “…that thought is a violent, cataclysmic operation, of which sweat is only the most benign symptom.” At this point I was so lost, I really did not understand what Barthes was trying to say. How can “thought” be violent? Well if you think about something for an extensive period of time to the point that it actually makes you go crazy, then that could be violent in an unhealthy sort of way. But other than that, I still do not understand how exactly thought could be violent.

I think Barthes was trying to say that if you do not look at the small “signs” in a movie, you will never fully grasp a complete understanding of it. It is those small signs that make the movie. However, these small signs can present themselves through film in two ways : either “openly intellectual” or “deeply rooted”. If the sign is “openly intellectual” it is very noticeable and most viewers will immediately be able to notice it and at least make some type of connection. If the sign is “deeply rooted” you kind of have to read between the lines and think about such connections that could be made. Overall, I’m still not sure whether Barthes likes the “openly intellectual” or the “deeply rooted” sign.

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I think Eisenstein would say that this was exactly his point: A single image can mean one thing but when being put together with other images to form a montage, it collides to enforce a bigger picture. I think through this clip, his argument to linkage can be seen. For example, the movie progresses even in linkage but it doesn’t make you question anything, a film is supposed to bring out different emotions through its progression, but if it progresses in a boring pattern and you understand everything from the beginning then, its not really making you question anything or see anything in different light. That right there is linkage: A series of images put together that come to the same conclusion. However, collision, although it is a series of images put together as well, it makes you question motives.

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Jenny: Ok hi, my name’s Jenny and Beatrice is interviewing me. And yeah.

Beatrice:Ok hi, so what high school did you come from?

Jenny: I came from Queens Gateway, it’s a health science secondary school, you guys probably’ve never heard of that but yeah.

Beatrice: Uh, so what’s your favorite film?

Jenny: Um my favorite film, I have a bunch but I think my favorite would be Romi and Michelle’s High School Reunion because I just think its so funny and yeah (nods).

Beatrice: Oh ok. So what was your first impression of English class?

Jenny: I thought it was a bit intimidating but um I don’t know I think I’ll learn a lot from it, especially about making films and editing and stuff because I’m not really used to things like that. (nods)

Beatrice: That’s good. Uh why did you choose to come to Queens College?

Jenny: (Pause) I chose to come to this college because um I really like the campus and some of the programs they offer so yeah.

Beatrice: Uh how is your freshman year experience going so far?

Jenny: So far it’s a bit boring honestly but hopefully I don’t know throughout the weeks it’ll get better and I’ll make friends. (laughs)

Beatrice: Uh so whats your favorite course that you’re taking this semester?

Jenny: I think my favorite course would be my sociology class because the teacher’s really cool and I’m hoping to become more open-minded so yeah (nods).

Beatrice: Uh what, what’s your major?

Jenny: I don’t have a major yet so I’m still undecided.

Beatrice: Are you looking into something or…(Jenny smiles)

Jenny: Um I’m thinking about design but I’m not sure what kind yet.

Beatrice: Oh ok, where, what do you see yourself doing ten years from now career-wise?

Jenny: Ten years (brief pause) well if I do get into design hopefully I’ll be like I don’t know a businesswoman like I don’t know.(Film cuts off)

Reflection:

Looking at the syllabus, I knew that the first assignment was going to be a tricky task because of my past nerve-wrecking experiences with public speaking. At that moment I thought we could choose to be partners with someone we already knew and had met before. Little did I know, that was not the case. When Professor Ferguson partnered me up with Jenny, I started getting a little nervous about the idea of being interviewed by a complete stranger in front of a camera.

To my surprise, I was not nervous at all during my interview, but actually quite comfortable. Maybe that was partially due to the fact that we had each written out the questions we were going to ask and got time to review them before being interviewed. In any case, being interviewed was a good experience for me and I learned a lot by reviewing the video. Although I’m very proud of myself for not saying like and umm so many times, I believe I could improve on certain things. In future interviews, I need to work on my body language and responding quicker. While I felt more comfortable interviewing, I was worried about asking a question in which the interviewee could not respond to. In this aspect, I am certain that reviewing the questions before the interview helped a lot.

Overall, I think the project fulfilled the goals of getting us acquainted with each other as classmates, becoming familiar with the camera, and becoming less nervous about being in such an awkward predicament Through this project, I realized that public speaking is not easy and takes a great deal of experience and practice. Though it was my first experience conducting an interview and being interviewed myself, I enjoyed it and look forward to such assignments in the future!

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