'Fifty Shades' and the Art of Seeing | David Edmund Moody

February 17, 2015 6:38 PM

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The art of seeing is to see things fresh and clear, pristine, unclouded by the baggage of memory and preconceptions. That is a difficult task any time a book is made into a movie: the memory of the images formed from the printed page are almost impossible to erase when viewing the same story on the big screen; and this often results in a sense of discordance when the two images don't coincide. But when a film is not only transplanted from a book, but represents the embodiment of a cultural phenomenon, it is doubly difficult to see the film for what it actually is. Such is the case with Fifty Shades of Grey.

As an exercise in the art of seeing, therefore, Fifty Shades makes excellent fodder, and it was with that intention that I went to see the film. Would it be possible to see it fresh and clear, as if one had never been exposed to any of the publicity, never even heard of the book, much less read it? ...

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