What is the Kuleshov effect? How media brainwashes you!



What is the Kuleshov effect? How media brainwashes you! 

What do you make out of an old man smiling at a mother with her baby in her arms? The old man is kind and loving. He loves babies probably. 

What if the woman and the baby are replaced with a hot woman in a bikini? Of course, the old man seems to be debauched! Dirty old man!

What is the Kuleshov effect?

Around the early 20th century, Lev Kuleshov, a Soviet director, shot a video to manipulate viewer's opinions about a person. He shot 3 different clips. A man named Ivan Mousjoukine was the only common in all the video clips- his expressionless face. 

Similar to the old man's smile, Kuleshov's expressionless face was shown in all the 3 clips. The first clip was shot with Ivan staring at the soup in a bowl, next at a girl in the coffin, and the last clip had a majestic woman on a divan. 

Even though the man had the same face, the audience had different interpretations. The audience could sense his pensiveness and hunger in the first clip. In the second, his face reflected deep sorrow over the death of the girl. I will leave up to you to guess what the third clip outlined.

The surprising part is, the man was expressionless in all the three. Yet, we attached our own meanings to his expressions.

This is famously called the Kuleshov effect, and this type of film editing is known as a montage. Montage is the combining of different pieces of a film into a single, composite whole. Unfortunately, this montage is brainwashing you. Thanks to our media!

Kuleshov effect is more dangerous than you think!

Are you taken aback? This shouldn't seem surprising! We have waged wars, won battles and propaganda, launched hatred, blew up emotions, and in a few select cases, solved social issues.

It all boils down to the fact that you can trust nobody except yourself. Advertisements have always bamboozled us to buy products we don't even need. In the picture, you can make out a kind soldier or a merciless one. Your opinions depend on photoshop!

Here are some pics to open up your mind.

 Pic: Spotlight

No wonder you won't be trusting media now.

Below is a pic of a girl lying in between the grave of her parents in Syria. This is enough to move anyone to tears. However, I am a cold-hearted person. I didn't cry, and here is the reason.

Pic : haralddoornbos

The picture is not from Syria. It is from Saudi Arabia. However, this reason does in no way devoid the child of sympathy. 

It was revealed that the author of the picture was shocked when he realized that his photo was twisted to exaggerate conditions in Syria. It was shot just for an art project. The photographer states that he wanted to get as real as possible, but never knew that his photo will be used for propaganda purposes. In 2014. this picture of a "sad" boy went viral. 

 Pic : haralddoornbos

Power of media to influence your decisions

After the rise of social media, the power of media has grown by leaps and bounds. The headlines, in most cases, are manipulated to design clickbait. The more clicks it receives, the more favorable it becomes for an algorithm to push it upward to your explore page. 

Nobody is interested when a man is bitten by a dog. This is a common occurrence. What if the dog is bitten by a man? 

Every day, you scroll social media tirelessly, and the moment you come across a clickbait, you click on it. If the news is well aligned with your pre-existing beliefs, you share it with your friends. It does not matter if the news you shared is declared to be fake. The damage is already done!

Just like you, I was appalled at the news of Rowan Atkinson's death. Facebook posts and some other sources had declared Mr. Bean to be dead from suicide. Only after a few days, I realized that it was a hoax. I was ashamed of the people who crafted this fake news. You turn a happy living man into a dead person!

If the media wants to sour the image of a celebrity, it will do so gradually like a slow poison. If the media wants you to turn against the government, you will see the Kuleshov effect come into action. 

If you wonder what started the historic Spanish-American war, then you got your answer. It was yellow journalism. A US ship called Maine had blown up while traveling to Cuba to help the Americans caught in conflict against Spain. Due to yellow journalism, America declared war on Spain in 1898 because it believed that Spain had sabotaged the ship. However, upon investigation, it was revealed that the explosion was caused not due to any external trigger. 

Pic :

How to be careful?

Kuleshov effect is everywhere. Media does not always exist on televisions or on your mobile phones. Your friend can become the media too. Media is nothing but a medium to communicate some info. 

You cannot trust everything you hear or see. You have to exercise your due diligence. You have to read out a piece of news and examine its credibility from various other sources. Even then, there is no guarantee of a statement turning into an actual fact. 

Also, you must have an open mind to accept something against your beliefs. For instance, you may tend to be prejudicial against a person just because the media portrays him/her as a monster. We may dislike a particular person, but this should in no way make us believe false accusations made against the same.

The Kuleshov effect can start wars or win hearts. We ought to be careful of facts. 

Be inspired.

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