Avoiding Spoilers Gives You a Superficial Appreciation of Art
Telling your friend how a TV show, movie, or piece of live theatre ends may incur his or her wrath, so determined are we to preserve the element of surprise.
Telling your friend how a TV show, movie, or piece of live theatre ends may incur his or her wrath, so determined are we to preserve the element of surprise. Film critic Noah Berlatsky reports in the L.A. Review of Books that his editors have even taken spoilers out of his reviews for fear of receiving hate mail from readers.
But artistic appreciation, which reviewers are tasked with cultivating, should mean more than stoking anticipation for a surprise ending. As reviewer Adam Sternburgh argues, "[a]nticipation is certainly one of the pleasures fine films and TV can offer us, but it’s not the only one, and frankly, it’s probably the cheapest."
Actually, people's enjoyment of entertainment increases when they know the ending before it happens, according to research done at the University of California, San Diego: knowing the conclusion of a story while you watch opens new critical avenues, increasing your appreciation of acting, dialogue, characterization, staging.
Bill Brown, professor of English and Visual arts at the University of Chicago, explains in his Big Think interview that the practice and enjoyment of art criticism means slowing down to appreciate a work from different angles:
Read more at the L.A. Review of Books
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We take fewer mental pictures per second.
- Recent memories run in our brains like sped-up old movies.
- In childhood, we capture images in our memory much more quickly.
- The complexities of grownup neural pathways are no match for the direct routes of young brains.
It's not just a case of "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
- A new study suggests children who endure trauma grow up to be adults with more empathy than others.
- The effect is not universal, however. Only one kind of empathy was greatly effected.
- The study may lead to further investigations into how people cope with trauma and lead to new ways to help victims bounce back.
It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?
- Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
- Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
- Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.
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