Interpretation Essay - Term Paper
Carrera Final Interpretation Essay Frankenstein VS
Rather than even attempt to synthesize Sontag’s far ranging criticism, I have decided to concentrate on a single piece of criticism which has had a profound influence on the way many people analyze film, myself included. The essay in question is “Against Interpretation,” which appeared in the same titled collection of essays, Against Interpretation. My aim here is to moderate what appears to be an unabated call to arms against interpretation in art by situating the piece within its historical context.
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To help moderate Sontag’s anti-interpretation position, I will momentarily shift my attention to a point made by V.F. Perkins in his essay “Must We Say What We Mean?” Perkins’ main point in this essay is that the descriptive component of film analysis, when done correctly, accurately, and with an awareness of character and plot nuance, is an operation of interpretation in its own right. The example he provides is from a scene from Max Ophul’s (1949). The following is a very long extract where Perkins describes a brief gesture that the character of Leonora Eames (Barbara Bel Geddes) makes while driving with the millionaire Smith Ohrlig (Robert Ryan):