Review Cultures of Vision: Images, the Media, and the Imaginary
One of the first surprises awaiting the reader is that Burnett includes no photographs or other graphical elements in his work. Burnett does discuss his reasoning for not including movie stills. He notes that the extraction of a frame from a film for purposes of analysis and "quotation" implicitly advocates an interpretive method that views film as a series of still photographs that are to be analyzed as a linear combination. Viewing film in this way eliminates the audience's ability to factor the element of projection time into the analysis. Burnett notes that a film is not a photograph, nor is it text, and little will be accomplished by dissecting it into its components to "discover the hidden relationships among its parts" (77).
Burnett's demand that the elements of time and motion not be neglected in film analysis is a valid one, but it does not explain why he did not include samples of the still photographs he discusses in the first two chapters. These photos could be reproduced in order for readers to join more fully in the "circular process of interaction, the relationships between images, thought, language, and subjectivity" (24). As it is, readers must rely solely on Burnett's descriptions and analysis of the photos. Given the ambivalent relationship Burnett has with language throughout the book, his reliance on it alone seems odd.
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