Look up to the sky and say it
December 3, 2013 10:56 AM   Subscribe

There Will Be Numbers

Filmmaker Ali Shirazi takes There Will Be Blood, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and shows how it employs a variety of film techniques, some derived directly from art through the centuries.
posted by Potomac Avenue (12 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This reminds me of the time I saw PT Anderson's face in a piece of toast.
posted by j03 at 11:08 AM on December 3, 2013

If you have a plate of beans, and I have a plate of beans, and I have a fork...
posted by emelenjr at 11:26 AM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Just tagged this pareidolia, which is a pretty awesome tag to browse.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:26 AM on December 3, 2013 [4 favorites]

Three men and a Golden Spiral, from the io9 comments.
posted by carsonb at 11:28 AM on December 3, 2013 [3 favorites]

My favorite bit on the Golden Ratio is in Donald in Mathmagic Land.
posted by carsonb at 11:31 AM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

The golden ratio is indeed a mathematically interesting number, but a whole lot of total bullshit has been attached to it in popular culture. To the point that "That's bullshit" is probably a good gut reaction to seeing the words "golden ratio" in almost any context.

At this point, though, pop has eaten itself, so I guess there's a possibility that an artist whose work is said to have been influenced by the golden ratio might actually have consciously put it into their art, just because they themselves have been taken in by the overwhelming bullshit claims about it.
posted by Flunkie at 12:12 PM on December 3, 2013 [5 favorites]

Can you give some examples of this florid BS? I Love creative Bullshit (obviously).
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:23 PM on December 3, 2013

Awesome movie, awesome music (Arvo Paert?) … and lots of scraggly numbers on the image that I couldn't figure out but didn't mind because: Awesome movie. Awesome music.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:31 PM on December 3, 2013

I feel like I just reread Aglie's analysis of a hotdog cart from Foucault's Pendulum.
posted by fatbird at 12:33 PM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Can you give some examples of this florid BS? I Love creative Bullshit (obviously).
Sorry, I don't have much time at the moment, so the following pages are just the result of a quick google for golden ratio bullshit, and I haven't vetted them at all; all I know is that there are pages out there that really do describe golden ratio bullshit, maybe these pages included:posted by Flunkie at 12:34 PM on December 3, 2013 [4 favorites]

Yeah, I've got to chime in to agree with flunkie that most of the popular culture stuff about the golden ratio is over-hyped at best, even having such a precise answer to a question about aesthetics should be setting off a few alarm bells. I've been playing around with some medical imaging software lately, and one thing it's really hammered into me is how easy it is to be fooled by apophenica when you're trying to match shapes to images, and some of his overlay's didn't even fool me that well.

A good paper on peoples reactions to the golden ratio is here (I hope that's the right one.)

He cocludes:
I am led to the judgment that the traditional aesthetic effects of the golden section
may well be real, but that if they are, they are fragile as well. Repeated efforts to
show them to be illusory have, in many instances, been followed up by efforts that
have restored them, even when taking the latest round of criticism into account.
Whether the effects, if they are in fact real, are grounded in learned or innate
structures is difficult to discern.

posted by Ned G at 5:04 PM on December 3, 2013

Reasons the Golden Ratio/Golden Spiral is bullshit:

1. Most spirals can appear to follow one or two turns of the spiral... and virtually any other general class of spirals, as well.

2. Most directors and camera men don't actually know shit about math, and even if they know about the GR, they don't use calculators to compose their shots.

3. It's the 2010's version of the "subliminal advertising" fad, which enabled every idiot to sound like an expert. ("SEX" is especially easy to find in patterns, BTW: one undulating curve, one triplet of lines, one intersection of lines. Likewise, virtually any group of objects/features can be claimed to be "spirals".)
posted by IAmBroom at 3:13 PM on December 4, 2013

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