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Monday, 22 October 2012


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Sometimes a rock is just a rock. In this case, because such rock formations are rather unusual, I think it is simply meant to evoke the pre-human landscape that we just got finished seeing. In contrast with the millennia-old rock, however, the sudden presence of humans in the shot conveys (to me, at least) that they're almost intruders, or at the very least a surprising (miraculous?) addition to the mise-en-scene.


Yep, overdetermined. (See pareidolia.)

But since this student is looking for such things, surprised he missed the OBVIOUS 2001: A Space Odyssey protohuman head facing toward the sky just to the right of the Old Man of Storr (the spires). You've got the forehead, eyes, and the mouth slightly open in rapt awe of the universe. See it? (See pareidolia.)

Rebecca S.

I love the idea that the film might begin with a shot of a world planned by intelligent design, so kudos to your student for the idea. I'd urge the student to look for other clues, though--the point about the face seems overdetermined. Could he tone down the claim a bit? One (very old) argument for intelligent design looks for evidence of construction and planning in the features of the natural world. Perhaps the perfect "placement" of the rock features--the fact that they appear like sculptures that could not *possibly* have been produced by chance-- could be read as an argument for ID?

That said, I'd prefer that students overdo it rather than underdo it any day!
-Rebecca S.

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