Chewing popcorn could block ads’ influence in movies, new study finds
Busan International Film Festival organizers said Saturday that the festival’s biggest prizes went to “Pascha” by South Korean director Ahn Seonkyoung and “Remote Control” by Mongolia’s Sakhya Byamba. It’s the first time a Mongolian movie entered and won the competition in the festival’s 18 years. The awards, given to first- or second-time Asian directors, show the festival’s efforts to discover and support the region’s new talents. The organizers said “Pascha,” an unusual love story between a 40-year-old woman and a 19-year-old man, won the jury’s heart with its highly original expression. They said “Remote Control” neatly portrayed tensions between reality and fiction. The jury, led by Iranian director Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, picked “Transit,” Hannah Espia’s drama about Filipino migrant workers in Israel, as a special mention. The 10-day festival that ended Saturday drew more than 200,000 visitors for the second straight year, even as a rare October typhoon forced the organizers to reschedule some events and close outdoor booths by corporate sponsors four days before the festival drew to a close. The fair closed Saturday evening with “The Dinner,” South Korean director Kim Dong-hyun’s independent feature. The festival, which opened Oct. 3 with “Vara: A Blessing,” a Bhutanese drama about classical South Indian dance, screened about 300 movies from all corners of the world. Join the Discussion You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
Newer Movies Are Less Creative
Physicist Sameet Sreenivasan of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York conducted a detailed data analysis of novel and unique elements in movies throughout the 20th century. Sreenivasan analyzed keywords used on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) to observe trends. A novelty score was given based on the number of times any given keyword was used to describe another film. Films that had higher novelty scores featured a word that was rarely used to describe it. While films with lower novelty scores had a keyword used to describe a variety of them. A range from zero to one was applied as the novelty score, with the least novel being zero. To depict the evolution of film culture over time, Sreenivasan then lined up the scores chronologically. “You always hear about how the period from 1929 to 1950 was known as the Golden Age of Hollywood,” Sreenivasan said to Wired. “There were big movies with big movie stars. But if you look at novelty at that time, you see a downward trend.” After studio systems fell in the 1950s, filmmakers burst with new ideas which enhanced the movies during the 1960s. Films like Bonnie and Clyde in 1967, Breathless in 1960, and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in 1966 were all very well received. In addition, plot lines, novel styles and film techniques helped create the increase in Sreenivasan’s analysis of that period. The films analyzed spanned a 70-year period and the study appears in Nature Scientific Reports . 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
They were interested in measuring how similar these plot keywords were to other movies over time. Wireds Adam Mann explains : Each keyword was given a score based on its rarity when compared to previous work. If some particular plot point like, say, beautiful-woman had appeared in many movies that preceded a particular film, it was given a low novelty value. But a new element perhaps martial-arts, which appeared infrequently in films before the 60s was given a high novelty score when it first showed up. The scores ranged from zero to one, with the least novel being zero. Lining up the scores chronologically showed the evolution of film culture and plots over time. What they found was that the most creative time in film history was probably the 1960s, right after the huge studios crumbled. The 60s were a time of the American New Wave filmsthinkBonnie and Clydeand a new breed of action movie, when James Bond showed up on the silver screen in 1962. Of course, novelty doesnt necessarily translate into ticket sales. The researchers looked at how the novelty score corresponded with box-office revenue, and found that while people liked new things up to a point (about 0.8 on the novelty ranking), after that, revenue dropped. Its worth pointing out that IMDB suggests previously popular words to the users who are filling in keywords. And because IMDB was not around when the movies of the 30s and 40s came out, the people filling in the keywords are a different group than these movies original audiences. Mann explains : Modern day audiences might not notice certain subtleties or differences in movies from the 30s, 40s, and 50s, perhaps making them appear more uniform in the final result. As well, cultural events at the time when a particular tag became heavily used could skew the results. People tagging movies shortly after 9/11 might be more inclined to use the word terrorism, for instance.
SKorean, Mongolian Movies Win Awards at Busan Fest
Several ads preceded the movie. According to the research, which was published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, the ads had no effect on the moviegoers who ate popcorn, but a demonstrable positive effect on those who had the quick-dissolving sugar cube. “The mundane activity of eating popcorn made participants immune to the pervasive effects of advertising,” Sascha Topolinski, a researchers, said in the studys report. Going forward, the researchers suggest, the study could spell doom for the traditional popcorn machine in the movie theater. “This finding suggests that selling candy in cinemas actually undermines advertising effects, which contradicts present marketing strategies, the report indicates. In the future, when promoting a novel brand, advertising clients might consider trying to prevent candy being sold before the main movie.” Certainly, any theater looking to eliminate popcorn from the movies would have an uphill battle. Popcorn at the movies is a century-old tradition . But you know whats an even older tradition? Making money in America. Expect every kernel to get branded with its own advertisement soon. On a broader scale, if this leads to entire theaters chawing on popcorn, expect home-theater technology sales to quadruple. Nobody wants to hear that mess.