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Morris is familiar as the Oscar-winning director of haunting, enigmati

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Morris is familiar as the Oscar-winning director of haunting, enigmati [#permalink]

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New post 11 Apr 2018, 21:24
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Morris is familiar as the Oscar-winning director of haunting, enigmatic documentary feature films. Yet running through all of Morris’ movies as an obsessive leitmotif, are questions, about the misleading nature of visual representation, the ethical shadows lurking in the margins of the picture frame or the movie still, the myriad ways in which we interpret images selectively to confirm our pre-existing biases.

Virtually never seen on-camera, Morris as an interviewer typically adopts an attitude that suggests a film noir detective or forensic scientist with a PhD in philosophy. He’s an erudite gumshoe, weighing the facts , now and then interjecting a wisecracking observation, always more intent on exposing his subjects’ (and the audience’s) blind spots than on arriving at comforting conclusions. Moral ambiguity is his métier, enlightened doubtfulness is his default mode.

In “Believing Is Seeing”, Morris again assumes his sphinx-like stance, posing endless riddles and rhetorical questions throughout the six thematically concentric essays that make up the book.

His opening chapter recounts the fascinating, long-running debate over whether the esteemed British photographer Roger Fenton artfully rearranged clusters of Russian cannon balls on a desolate road to create his famous, iconic shot of a Crimean War landscape. A Susan Sontag essay, asserting that Fenton did in fact stage this chilling vision of arbitrary death in April 1855, sets Morris’ restless mind in motion.

In the concluding essay, “Whose Father Is He?” Morris similarly revisits a long-ago visual crime scene, so to speak. This time it’s the Gettysburg battlefield of July 1863, where among the thousands of dead was an otherwise unidentifiable Union solider clutching in his hand an ambrotype of three young children. The story of the ensuing inquiry into the fallen patriot’s identity is a shaggy-dog tale with a gothic-horror twist.

So in a way are Morris’ probings of the stomach-churning acts committed by U. S. troops at Abu Ghraib. Although much of the material presented here was previously laid out in “Standard Operating Procedure,” Morris’ assertion, that the repellent photos of soldiers leering over an Iraqi corpse helped camouflage the crimes’ higher-ranking perpetrators, is an argument that warrants retelling – and national soul-searching.

At its core, though, “Believing is Seeing” is an elegantly conceived and ingeniously constructed work of cultural psycho-anthropology wrapped around a warning about the dangers of drawing inferences about the motives of photographers based on the split-second snapshots of life that they present to us. It’s also a cautionary lesson for navigating apparitions dancing before our eyes.

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A) Summarize Morris’ exposition on the vindicative aspects of photographs.

B) make a case that photographs can draw at least as much from reality as fantasy.

C) consider a compelling challenge to the constructivist view of photography.

D) untangle the mysteries behind some of the world’s most iconic documentary photographs.

E) present an expose regarding manipulation of photographic evidence.


2. The author mentions Susan Sontag primarily in order to

A) support Fenton’s Crimean photo-thesis.
B) corroborate Morris ‘argument on Fenton’s culpability.
C) investigate the controversy behind Fenton’s iconic photo.
D) provide another example of photo-journalism.
E) Suggest that she is a Fenton scholar.


3. Which of the following most accurately describes Morris’ opinion of the Abu Gharib crimes?

A) The photograph could serve as both an expose, and as a cover-up.

B) The photograph exposes wrong doing up the entire chain of command.

C) The photograph reveals prisoner-abuse far beyond the scope of the “Standard Operating Procedure”.

D) The photograph functioned as a clinical autopsy of criminal misconduct.

E) The photographs in question imply that different protocols of war apply for problematic nations.

[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #1 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #2 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #3 OA
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Re: Morris is familiar as the Oscar-winning director of haunting, enigmati [#permalink]

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New post 11 Apr 2018, 21:55
hetmavani wrote:
Morris is familiar as the Oscar-winning director of haunting, enigmatic documentary feature films. Yet running through all of Morris’ movies as an obsessive leitmotif, are questions, about the misleading nature of visual representation, the ethical shadows lurking in the margins of the picture frame or the movie still, the myriad ways in which we interpret images selectively to confirm our pre-existing biases.
Virtually never seen on-camera, Morris as an interviewer typically adopts an attitude that suggests a film noir detective or forensic scientist with a PhD in philosophy. He’s an erudite gumshoe, weighing the facts , now and then interjecting a wisecracking observation, always more intent on exposing his subjects’ (and the audience’s) blind spots than on arriving at comforting conclusions. Moral ambiguity is his métier, enlightened doubtfulness is his default mode.

In “Believing Is Seeing”, Morris again assumes his sphinx-like stance, posing endless riddles and rhetorical questions throughout the six thematically concentric essays that make up the book.

His opening chapter recounts the fascinating, long-running debate over whether the esteemed British photographer Roger Fenton artfully rearranged clusters of Russian cannon balls on a desolate road to create his famous, iconic shot of a Crimean War landscape. A Susan Sontag essay, asserting that Fenton did in fact stage this chilling vision of arbitrary death in April 1855, sets Morris’ restless mind in motion.

In the concluding essay, “Whose Father Is He?” Morris similarly revisits a long-ago visual crime scene, so to speak. This time it’s the Gettysburg battlefield of July 1863, where among the thousands of dead was an otherwise unidentifiable Union solider clutching in his hand an ambrotype of three young children. The story of the ensuing inquiry into the fallen patriot’s identity is a shaggy-dog tale with a gothic-horror twist.

So in a way are Morris’ probings of the stomach-churning acts committed by U. S. troops at Abu Ghraib. Although much of the material presented here was previously laid out in “Standard Operating Procedure,” Morris’ assertion, that the repellent photos of soldiers leering over an Iraqi corpse helped camouflage the crimes’ higher-ranking perpetrators, is an argument that warrants retelling – and national soul-searching.

At its core, though, “Believing is Seeing” is an elegantly conceived and ingeniously constructed work of cultural psycho-anthropology wrapped around a warning about the dangers of drawing inferences about the motives of photographers based on the split-second snapshots of life that they present to us. It’s also a cautionary lesson for navigating apparitions dancing before our eyes.

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to
A) Summarize Morris’ exposition on the vindicative aspects of photographs.
B) make a case that photographs can draw at least as much from reality as fantasy.
C) consider a compelling challenge to the constructivist view of photography.
D) untangle the mysteries behind some of the world’s most iconic documentary photographs.
E) present an expose regarding manipulation of photographic evidence.

2. The author mentions Susan Sontag primarily in order to
A) support Fenton’s Crimean photo-thesis.
B) corroborate Morris ‘argument on Fenton’s culpability.
C) investigate the controversy behind Fenton’s iconic photo.
D) provide another example of photo-journalism.
E) Suggest that she is a Fenton scholar.

3. Which of the following most accurately describes Morris’ opinion of the Abu Gharib crimes?
A) The photograph could serve as both an expose, and as a cover-up.
B) The photograph exposes wrong doing up the entire chain of command.
C) The photograph reveals prisoner-abuse far beyond the scope of the “Standard Operating Procedure”.
D) The photograph functioned as a clinical autopsy of criminal misconduct.
E) The photographs in question imply that different protocols of war apply for problematic nations.


What is the source of this RC-It's very difficult. I got only 2 and 3 right. Can you provide OE?
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Re: Morris is familiar as the Oscar-winning director of haunting, enigmati [#permalink]

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New post 11 Apr 2018, 22:31
Morris is familiar as the Oscar-winning director of haunting, enigmatic documentary feature films. Yet running through all of Morris??? movies as an obsessive leitmotif, are questions, about the misleading nature of visual representation, the ethical shadows lurking in the margins of the picture frame or the movie still, the myriad ways in which we interpret images selectively to confirm our pre-existing biases.
Virtually never seen on-camera, Morris as an interviewer typically adopts an attitude that suggests a film noir detective or forensic scientist with a PhD in philosophy. He???s an erudite gumshoe, weighing the facts , now and then interjecting a wisecracking observation, always more intent on exposing his subjects??? (and the audience???s) blind spots than on arriving at comforting conclusions. Moral ambiguity is his m??tier, enlightened doubtfulness is his default mode.

In ???Believing Is Seeing???, Morris again assumes his sphinx-like stance, posing endless riddles and rhetorical questions throughout the six thematically concentric essays that make up the book.

His opening chapter recounts the fascinating, long-running debate over whether the esteemed British photographer Roger Fenton artfully rearranged clusters of Russian cannon balls on a desolate road to create his famous, iconic shot of a Crimean War landscape. A Susan Sontag essay, asserting that Fenton did in fact stage this chilling vision of arbitrary death in April 1855, sets Morris??? restless mind in motion.

In the concluding essay, ???Whose Father Is He???? Morris similarly revisits a long-ago visual crime scene, so to speak. This time it???s the Gettysburg battlefield of July 1863, where among the thousands of dead was an otherwise unidentifiable Union solider clutching in his hand an ambrotype of three young children. The story of the ensuing inquiry into the fallen patriot???s identity is a shaggy-dog tale with a gothic-horror twist.

So in a way are Morris??? probings of the stomach-churning acts committed by U. S. troops at Abu Ghraib. Although much of the material presented here was previously laid out in ???Standard Operating Procedure,??? Morris??? assertion, that the repellent photos of soldiers leering over an Iraqi corpse helped camouflage the crimes??? higher-ranking perpetrators, is an argument that warrants retelling ??? and national soul-searching.

At its core, though, ???Believing is Seeing??? is an elegantly conceived and ingeniously constructed work of cultural psycho-anthropology wrapped around a warning about the dangers of drawing inferences about the motives of photographers based on the split-second snapshots of life that they present to us. It???s also a cautionary lesson for navigating apparitions dancing before our eyes.

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to
A) Summarize Morris??? exposition on the vindicative aspects of photographs.
B) make a case that photographs can draw at least as much from reality as fantasy.
C) consider a compelling challenge to the constructivist view of photography.
D) untangle the mysteries behind some of the world???s most iconic documentary photographs.
E) present an expose regarding manipulation of photographic evidence.

2. The author mentions Susan Sontag primarily in order to
A) support Fenton???s Crimean photo-thesis.
B) corroborate Morris ???argument on Fenton???s culpability.
C) investigate the controversy behind Fenton???s iconic photo.
D) provide another example of photo-journalism.
E) Suggest that she is a Fenton scholar.

3. Which of the following most accurately describes Morris??? opinion of the Abu Gharib crimes?
A) The photograph could serve as both an expose, and as a cover-up.
B) The photograph exposes wrong doing up the entire chain of command.
C) The photograph reveals prisoner-abuse far beyond the scope of the ???Standard Operating Procedure???.
D) The photograph functioned as a clinical autopsy of criminal misconduct.
E) The photographs in question imply that different protocols of war apply for problematic nations.
Re: Morris is familiar as the Oscar-winning director of haunting, enigmati   [#permalink] 11 Apr 2018, 22:31
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