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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 Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 75, Date : 10-MAR-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


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" (Highlighted) 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.


Originally posted by hetmavani on 11 Apr 2018, 21:24.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 10 Mar 2019, 07:17, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Morris is familiar as the Oscar-winning director of haunting, enigmati  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Feb 2019, 06:49
Can someone please help me with Q1? I don't know how to approach that. Thanks!
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Re: Morris is familiar as the Oscar-winning director of haunting, enigmati  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Mar 2019, 07:19
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Morris is familiar as the Oscar-winning director of haunting, enigmati  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Mar 2019, 14:58
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Yikes, this one has some tough language.

vindicative, adjective: "having or showing a strong or unreasoning desire for revenge."

constructivist, adjective: "relating to or denoting a style in which mechanical objects are combined into abstract mobile forms."


Quote:
1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

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

In other words... Summarize Morris' explanation of the vengeful aspects of photographs.

I don't think that's the purpose. I think the purpose is more to explore the idea of how photographs can be staged in order to tell multiple stories within a single picture.


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

Eliminate. I did not get this conclusion.

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

In other words... Challenge the way that we interpret objects, backgrounds, shadows, etc, in a photo. Hold on to this one.

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

This passage does talk about several iconic photographs, but it is not the purpose of the passage. The purpose is related to Morris' findings.

E) present an expose regarding manipulation of photographic evidence.

In other words... Present a discovery of how photographs can manipulate evidence. This is tricky. It's not about evidence, it's about the story the photograph tells, or the purpose the photograph is suppose to instill in the viewer.
P.S. I chose this one :facepalm_man:


Quote:
2. The author mentions "Susan Sontag" (Highlighted) primarily in order to

A) support Fenton’s Crimean photo-thesis.

Fenton doesn't have a "crimean photo-thesis." Fenton is the one who is being blamed as staging the photo. It's Morris' thesis that Susan Sontag supports.

B) corroborate Morris ‘argument on Fenton’s culpability.

Exactly. Susan Sontag asserts that the photograph was staged and therefore that Fenton is guilty of staging the photo.

C) investigate the controversy behind Fenton’s iconic photo.

Fenton does not "investigate", she actually "asserts" her belief of the controversy.

D) provide another example of photo-journalism.

This is way too general. She is mentioned in order to support a stance on a specific controversy that Morris is interested in.

E) Suggest that she is a Fenton scholar.

Eliminate. Not even close.




Quote:
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.

Exactly his opinion. This is exactly what the second sentence of the 6th paragraph says.

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

It does not completely expose the wrong doing. It "camouflages" the crimes of high ranking people.

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

It does not reveal it completely, it covers up the crimes of high ranking perpetrators.

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

The photograph functioned as an expose, but also a cover up of high ranking people.

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

Not even close. Eliminate.

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Morris is familiar as the Oscar-winning director of haunting, enigmati   [#permalink] 10 Mar 2019, 14:58
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