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At the beginning, I had already confused about the meaning of ‘fringes’ because I am not familiar with Roman and I was thinking it might be has something to do with fashion. But then I read through the whole article, I found out that in the movie, Julius Caesar, everyone has hair on their foreheads and the director tried to use fringes to show how Roman the actors in this film are.

In the article, Barthes seems angry with these fringes in the film because I think he thinks that it is ludicrous to use physical characteristics to show what the soul, the meaning of people in a certain period. Although Barthes does not like the way the director did in the film, it seems fine to me because I am thinking maybe he was trying to make the film better and showing how real the actors in the film are by showing those physical characteristics of Roman. Unfortunately, he used the wrong way because in Barthes’s view, ‘Roman-ness’ is more than ‘fringes’, is more than something we can usually notice and obvious.

I really like the part that Barthes mentions about ‘sweating’. I think it is good to know that director used something physical to convey something mentally like emotions and feelings and I have never noticed that before. Films are different from novels that in some ways they cannot express one’s struggles in his/her mind. In addition, Barthes says ‘all the faces sweat constantly’ and ‘close-up are so frequent that evidently sweat here is an attribute with a purpose.’ . I can feel that he doesn’t like too many close ups for describing a sign and I think it is because it will destroy the atheistic sense of a film by making all the signs so noticeable and ‘openly intellectual’. Besides, people will not think deeply about what the film is trying to express – the spirit of Roman or how great the scenes look like.

I still confuse about idiosyncrasies and style because I think there are idiosyncrasies so that there is style. I even checked dictionary and recalled what Professor Ferguson said in the class in order to separate them. According to, ‘idiosyncrasy’ means a characteristic, habit, mannerism, or the like, that is peculiar to an individual and ‘style’ means a particular, distinctive, or characteristic mode of action or manner of acting: They do these things in a grand style. (They are abstract and the difference between them is so ambiguous! )

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We did few things in Wednesday’s class.

Prof. Ferguson asked us to post another picture if the picture we took is the same as one of the photos in ‘Filming locations’ and we will discuss them next class.
Then we moved on and talked about Eisenstein’s interview. We argued about Eisenstein’s and people’s views. We discussed the difference and the relationship between ‘denotative’ and ‘depictive’ and we talked about the ideogram of Chinese writing (the interview did not say it was Japanese writing) either it is depictive or denotative.

Prof. Ferguson said we needed to know what the difference between them so that we would be able learn something for our writings.

Eisenstein said ‘Montage is conflict.’ (P. 38). It is related to ‘linkage’ and ’collision’ and then Prof. Ferguson mentioned someone in the interview argued with Eisenstein about t the difference between them. In order to make us more clear about the idea of ‘conflict’ and ‘collision’, Prof. Ferguson showed us Kubrick’s video, A Space Odyssey, which can be found on blog in category ‘Ferguson’.
After playing the video, we started a debate. One side had to find out what examples about filming that Eisenstein made also work for writing and the other side had to against that and find out some dissimilarities.

At the end of the class, Prof. Ferguson said the report of class’s activities is not necessarily a comment on some things we did during the class, it’s kind of like an agenda.

By the way, here is something you may want to know or you have already known that we can print things out for free with using our I.D. cards since we are already given $15 for printing notes every semester!

Sorry if there is any mistakes about the class’s agenda.

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Cindy: Ugh. What’s your name?

Zarraf: Zarraf Choudhury.

C: O.K. Do you remember the name of the first movie in your life?

Z: My first movie I’ve ever seen?

C: Yeah.

Z: Babe.

C: What?

Z. Babe. I think it was the one with the pig, the talking pig.

C: Oh, I see. Have you ever watched a foreign language movie?

Z: Oh, yeah. Indian movie, probably.

C: Indian movie. O.K. So what’s your favorite class besides the English 110 and the Media class?

Z: Ugh…favorite class? Um… I don’t have any yet but philosophy up there, philosophy.

C: O.K. Is it difficult?

Z: It is difficult.

C: So what’s it so interesting in the class?

Z: Pardon?

C: Ugh. What’s it —

Z: Interesting?

C: Yeah.

Z: Ugh. Just a lot, like new information, thinking, asking questions.

C: O.K. So how do you feel about the Queens College?

Z: I like it very much.

C: You like it very much. O.K. How do you feel about the English 110 class?

Z: Ugh. It…it’s lot of take in, kind of it’s alot but I think, is like keep doing it. You keep, like, writing, however.

C: O.K. That’s it.


When I was asked to take a video, I felt very stressful because I’ve never taken a video as an assignment before. I was worrying about what if what I take is not perfect enough. And I also was worrying the communication with the team members because we have three people instead of two people. I was thinking the process of interviewing and asking questions to each other would be more difficult since we have more people and we didn’t know each other well. At last, I found out that there was not big problem when we were taking the videos and now I understand that this assignment is not about how perfect the video is, it is about getting to know each other.

During the shooting, I was observing body movements of my team members. I noticed that they were nervous as I was. I felt relief at that moment. Besides, I found out that I prepared insufficient questions to ask because I thought that preparing 5 questions would be okay, so I tried to solve this problem by developing the questions further but maybe it still seems a little bit but off. After that, it was my turn to be interviewed. I have to say that although I am not good at speaking at all, I did my best to answer those questions.

This assignment has taught me something. It taught me a little bit about the basic principle of making a video that is not to be shy for what you are doing. Plus, after reading Wiseman’s interview, I did realize that people would act differently if we asked their permissions before shooting the video. I saw those body movements which represents ‘uncomfortable’ and ‘nervous’ during my shooting. And I have a thought that observation is one of the elements of making a good video. If we have observed more about the interviewee or subject before shooting the video, maybe we could have asked more incisive questions so that the content of the video would be better. Maybe we should observe more before we make every single video. The more observation, the richer the video’s content is. That is what I have learnt in this assignment!

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Interview with Zarraf!

Hope you like it.

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