Statistical Approach to the Aesthetic Communication of a Narrative film (with special reference to the film 'Charulata') (Volume I)

Item Code: IDK375
Author: Subhash Chandra Chakraborty
Publisher: Bitorka, Kolkata
Edition: 2005
Pages: 210 (7 B/W Illustrations)
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5" X 5.5"
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Book Description


The present volume is the technical approach to the analysis and study of the aesthetics of a narrative film. Its orientation and focus is towards the objective methods and treatment of the subject matter rather than towards the subjective treatment of the same as done in other similar studies in the area.

As such it is meant for those arduous and enthusiastic students, readers, practitioners and also general viewers and critics of film who would take interest to search, identify and analyze the aesthetic problem of a narrative film from the scientific, technical and analytical point of view and also who would be interested in the technical and statistical solution of the aesthetic problem of the narrative film.

The objective behind the adoption of such an approach is to gain precision, dependability and certainty in the identification, analysis and the solution of the aesthetic problem through the collection, compilation, analysis and interpretation of the real life statistical data of the spectators' aesthetic response to the narrative film. Such precision, dependability and certainty would help an artist, a director and a technician to make a more positive, accurate and confident decision regarding the content and form to be included and communicated in the textual discourse system of the narrative film in order to elicit the optimum aesthetic response from the spectator.

With that objective in view the whole work is divided into two volumes. The first volume concentrates on the step by step approach to the mention formulation and explanation of different kinds of conceptual tools and strategies which are available in the literature of film and to find out what kinds of aesthetic problems can be solved with those conceptual tools and strategies and also how they can be solved.

In the last three chapters, this volume also intends to describe a new unified strategy, based on psychophysical planning and multi-attribute utility theory represented in the form of a statistical model. Here I have attempted to develop the model with emphasis on its mathematical presentation and clarification of its conceptual aspects with a live example rather than detailed statistical aspects. The detailed statistical aspects will follow in the second volume

I am grateful to ex-Professor S.P. Mukherjee of Calcutta University in the field of statistics and to Mr. Dhiman Dasgupta, an eminent author, film critic and script-writer in the field of film for their help and guidance to carry on the research work on the subject and to Madhuparna Chatterjee for proof reading. I am grateful to Mr. Sandip Ray, eminent film director for providing me the pictures of film 'Charulata' for inclusion in this book.

I am also grateful to Prof. Anup Majumder, of Indian Statistical Institute to help me in the research work. I also acknowledge debts of gratitude to Prof. Bikash Sinha of Indian Statistical Institute for his inspiration and also for organizing a special seminar for me on 'Optimising the perceived utility of a feature film' in the math-stat division of Indian Statistical Institute on 2nd June, 1997.

I acknowledge debts of gratitude to Mr. Anup Ghose of FM, All India Radio and A.G. (A&E), West-Bengal, Mr. Nitosh Bhattacharjee, Mr. Lal Kumar Roy, Mr. Mrinal Manti Biswas, other friends & well wishers of A.G. (A&E), West-Bengal, to N.P. Enterprise, Mr. Subir Chakraborty, brother-in-law and also to Mr. Subir Mitra of Psychometric Department, ISI for their good wishes, help and inspiration in my creative and research work.

Above all, my endless gratitude goes to my dear wife Mrs. Mira Chakraborty for her help, inspiration, patience and tolerance during the progress of my research work.

Back of the Book

The aesthetic impact of a narrative film can be measured by elicting information from the spectator about how much he/she has enjoyed it. But the latter depends on the extent of pleasures derived by the spectator from the beauty of the discourse of its sensory stimuli emanated from the screen for impinging on his sense organs, from the beauty of the discourses of its actions and events and their logical and dramatic forms and also on the extent of pleasures derived by the spectator from the beauty of the discourse of its surface and deeper level of meaning. But it is also true that the spectator's experiential cognitive and affective impact of all those discourses are conditioned on his past exposures to such discursive stimuli and their consequent past cognitive and affective responses. But as the latter are dissimilar and different from spectator to spectator due to their different kinds and degrees of ideological orientation, inter-spectator variation to such discursive stimuli would also be markedly visible for all kinds of narrative films. This fact calls forth the need for adoption of a statistical and O.R. strategy, which would be empowered to manipulate ideologically conditioned spectator's response by suggesting means for controlling ideological orientation of the stimuli by investing them with different kinds and degrees of codedness.

With that end in view, Mr. Subhash Chandra Chakraborty, who after graduation from Calcutta University, 'holds Post Graduate diploma in statistics from I.S.I., Kolkata and Post Graduate diploma in Marketing Management from B.B.B. and thereafter completed a training course in film studies from Chitrabani, Kolkata, has carried on intensive research and study on the aforesaid problem of the subject under the guidance of Prof. S.P. Mukherjee of Calcutta University and Mr. Dhiman Dasgupta eminent author, film critic and script writer and Prof Anup Majumder of I.S.I., Kolkata. The outcome of his research work is his attempt to reshape already established theoretical concepts of film studies into objective, integrated and technical form and his invention of a statistical model of the psychophysical planning for Aesthetic Communication of a narrative film and also his attempt to embody the same in the form of this published work which consists of two volumes. The first volume emphasizes on the conceptual development and the second volume, which is forthcoming, emphasizes on detailed statistical aspects.


SI. No.ItemPage No.
Part one-General idea
01Scope and limitation of film as an artistic medium5
02By the selective association of those concepts17
a)Image, Representation, Reality some basic useful concepts and construction of conceptual tools
b)Space, Image, Movement and Spatiotemporal continuum
03Ideology and discourse40
04Definition and structural components of narratives, functions of narratives and its components and historical evolution of relevant film theories in support of different modes of narrative discourse.59
05Development of the concept of aesthetics and aesthetics fields and how aesthetic is generated an how aesthetic communication takes place in an artistic medium68
06Sources of aesthetic and identification of the aesthetic fields in a narrative film and the process of aesthetics development and communication in a narrative film and the problems encountered.77
07Character and characterization90
a)Definition of character, character attributes and characterization and the process of characterization90
Part two-Textual component
08Environment and environmentalism94
a)Definition of environment of the film and the concept of environmentalism and the process of building up the imsigns of environment of a situation and the aesthetic problems encountered94
b)Strategic solution of those problems
09Strategic solution of the problem of aesthetic communication101
a)Ideological strategy based on ideological doctrines of
i)Realism, Expressionism, Formalism
ii)Marxism, Capitalism
iii)Structuralism, Post-structuralism and modernism
iv)Postmodernism and Feminism
b)Narrative strategy
c)Technological strategy (Semiotic, Rhetorical and psychoanalytic) based on
d)Problems of aesthetic communication encountered during the process of characterization
i)Strategic solution of the problems of aesthetic communication by adopting
ii)Narrative strategy based on moral and social values
iii)Narrative strategy based on motive and motivational imagery of character and environment
iv)Technological strategy based on different forms of verbal and non-verbal behavioral
Part three-Components of spectatorship
10Spectatorship and its constituent components139
a)Definition of spectatorship and the psychological process of its development.
b)Spectatorship based on aesthetic experience of the spectator on viewing the narrative film through
i)Aesthetic experience gained by intellectual experience of the discourse of the characters and the environment by the spectator
ii)Emotional experience of the discourse of the characters and the environment by the spectator.
Part four – Development of the model and the operational definition of the Terms used in the model
11(a)Imsign, attribute, Ideas154
b)Power of Imsigns
12Construction of the model, its conceptual validity and uses and application173
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