When we talk about cinema, we usually talk about how the filmmaker guides us through the journey overall, and through each image he or she presents. We discuss the movements, the lights and the focus, and how that evokes moods and reactions in us, the moviegoer. (Check out Alison Nastasi's Framed for some of this discussion.)
But a wildly cool new series on David Bordwell's Website on Cinema turns the attention to the viewer. Not the overall reactions, mind you -- the shocked faces, intent looks and emotional reactions -- but rather the way our eyes absorb a scene. By tracking the eyes of a number of viewers watching a scene from 'There Will Be Blood,' psychological researcher Tim Smith attempts to discuss the importance of staging, and what, exactly, our attentions are drawn to as we watch a scene.