The Science of Hollywood Films: It's All in the Chaos Theory
A new study turns to chaos theory to explain why some Hollywood films are so engaging -- and why your attention wanders during others.
Now we know why we fall asleep at the movies. It's the math.
A cognitive psychologist from Cornell University studied over 150 films from the past 70 years, shot by shot, to find out just what makes one a snoozer and another an edge-of-the seat thriller.
And the answer, says James Cutting, is neither Brad Pitt nor Halle Berry.
It's chaos theory.
"Sometimes I'll be watching a film, get halfway through it, and ask myself, 'Why am I watching this?' But I'm riveted to the screen, I can't tear my eyes away. It's because it's giving you the movie at a certain pace, and you find it very engaging."
Cutting studies film, art, and culture, not to mention the perception of motion and