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The language of film

Suspension of disbelief

One of the topics that came up as a point of interest and curiosity from this week is suspension of disbelief and film. What persuades you to suspend disbelief when watching a movie? What do film makers need to give you for this to happen? To what extent do all films, whether fantastic in nature or more mundane, require suspension of disbelief on the part of the audience?


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I love the concept of the suspension of disbelief. I see a lot of the inconsistancies of film but I try very hard to stay within my view of the film. I have even been nknow to tell someone pointed oout stuff in a film to leave me allone with my suspesion of disbelief.
I think what helps me the most with this is good characters. If I like (or like to hate) a character or characters, i can get really into the movie. This is easier if it is now a big star who I have seen in several films. Sometimes actors act the same even when they are indifferent roles. I love Jake Gyllanhall (spelling?) in Brokeback Mountain but know everytime I see him, I think of that movie, which makes it hard to see him in another role. The same with Travolta, Cage and others.
Each film requires us to let go of here and now, and sometimes of things we know as correct and truly let go and be part of the movie. I think action movies really have this, because in our mind we know that people dont really shoot at someone 10 tims with a six shooter and still miss, or they ride speeding buses, or fight with Robots.
One movie that really requires this is paranomal activity.

Drew E.

I have a pretty good suspension of disbelief, I think this comes mostly from watching a lot of anime. If I can believe that the human body contains over 80 gallons of blood which will come shooting out if the character gets so much as a nosebleed, I can believe pretty much anything. I help reinforce my suspension of disbelief by always following my number one rule of movie viewing, and that rule is that "In film, the normal rules of physics do not apply." They can be present, but the writer is by no means obligated to follow them. All movies require suspension of disbelief to at least some extent. Even movies that are supposed to be grounded in realism have it to at least some extent, you need to be willing to believe that the nerdy guy actually has a chance with the hot girl who until now had only been into the pretty-boy jocks, that good will always triumph over evil, and that there will be a happy ending. These things don't usually happen in real life, but we have been programmed to expect it in movies.

Connor Courtney

I grew up watching tv. So for me it's pretty easy to accept things going on in movies. I understand that these things make sense within the framework of the movie, so i don't question things too much. My brother on the other hand likes to complain about everything that isn't realistic. It's a movie, it doesn't have to be realistic in our world. I'm very excited for this class, and that may be an understatement.

Mohammed Alsalman

I watch films to pass time, or to entertain me. Films are mostly imaginative. If a film has a lot of action and good affects I'm going to enjoy watching it and if I like it I'll recommend it to a friend. I agree that the characters most be developed. I also feel that there needs to be a good plot to the film. When I watch a film I get lost in it. For a few short hours I'm in the movie watching the characters evolve. There may be some events and feelings I relate to. There are also things that are not possible or unlikely in real life. Like Drew said before me we expect to see a happy ending in movies. For instance in the book The Count of Monte Cristo the ending is not wrapped up neatly and the main character living happily ever after like the way the ending is portrayed in the film.

Alexander Bellairs

My suspension of disbelief will work to a point. Even if I'm not vocal about it, I'm usually one of those people like Glenda mentioned in her post that notices the inconsistencies with reality or within a movie. That does not, however, detract from my enjoyment of film!

The two main aspects of a movie that will allow for my greatest suspension of disbelief is (1) the characters go along with whatever's needing disbelief entirely. If the characters portray the world as completely normal in their reactions and interactions, even when I know it isn't normal, then it becomes believable; (2) the movie is consistent with itself whenever its doing something unbelievable. When a character can leap off a five story building without injury, but a single punch floors them, something's not right.

A level of disbelief that all movies have is that there are camera crews everywhere that are never getting in the way of the action, never spoiling a perfect moment. The watcher almost has to disbelieve himself in order to really get into the movie, because no one could really be where he is catching every view just right.

cullen manley

To me suspension of disbelief is more the climax of a movie and requires strong character development and a good plot leading up to this event in order to really grab the attention of the audience. I think the genre of the movie is important too, action or drama movies are more likely to have an action-based or emotional appeal that an audience might find sad, dramatic, or be able to relate to. Horror and thriller movies can also create disbelief by presenting stories that scare or shock an audience.

Aurea Escobedo

I feel like you have to relate to the character or the film and what is happening, I also think that the director gives the movies similar backgrounds. Also you need a good story line that would follow the story and to make it believable. I m really excited to watch the films and get a better understanding of the suspension of disbelief.

Mychal Bowden

Suspension of disbelief is a interesting yet misunderstood concept. I think those who lack the understanding of this tend to think in real life terms when watching the movies and if it doesn't match up with their concepts or preconcieved notions, they will usually 'trash' the film. However, I don't buy into that because not every film is realistic and we need that escape from the real world in order to enjoy ourselves; that means we have to step out of our boundaries and immerse ourselves in worlds that don't make sense and learn all about the boundaries that surround this new and foreign world. That, in my opinion, is what the suspension of disbelief concept is all about.

Kathleen Olmstead

I agree with Mychal. It's more about allowing yourself as a viewer to be immersed in a film and accept concepts proposed as reality in the context of the film. I believe there may be times when a film may ask the viewer to lend too much without giving enough grounds to base it on, but I think that generally, suspension of disbelief lies in the viewer ignoring their reality for a time and temporarily accepting a new one.

Brandon F

I think all films in some way require the audience to suspend their disbelief, some more than others but, at the very least, as someone mentioned earlier most movies we see have actors that we have seen in other roles so we must allow our selves to see them as a different characters. I think the writing can make a big difference. the characters have to be believable and the film has to unfold in a way that allows us identify with the world of the movie. in any film there are a lot of detail that have to be implied there is back story that cant be shown so the writer must find a way to inform the audience that makes the characters seem fully developed even though in reality we are only seeing a small portion of their lives. I think that we are so used to TV and movies today that we do not think of this as the suspension of disbelief any more we just think of it as how we felt about the movie. if the writer and director do not do a good job then we are not able to suspend our disbelief and we do not like the film.

Sultan Alkhelaif

It is very hard for me to suspend my disbelieve. The whole idea does not suite my personality although I think it helps audience to be better engaged with the movie

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