Less is More (Screencap from All About Eve)

Do you think there’s as much depth in something as simple as a picture or small poem when compared to larger works of art, such as a novel or film? The latter two, on the surface, provide more to think about: the characters, the plot, the overarching themes/motifs…

But in giving so much, it almost paradoxically limits the audience in a way. The art creates its own internal structure and foundational rules which any subsequent analysis or offshoot is subsequently bound by. When dissecting the little things in a greater whole, (whether to write an analysis or fanfic or whatever the case may be), one has to keep in mind every other aspect of the greater whole at the same time. So, in a way, this limits your mind’s ability to run wild in response to what you’ve consumed. With a “smaller” piece of art, there’s less “moving parts” one has to consider when examining.

A good example of what I mean would be this picture below. This is a still image from All About Eve (great movie, by the way) which caught my attention. Now, in a discussion about that film as a whole, this brief but gorgeous outdoor scenery would go completely unnoticed. After all, it’s just an establishing shot which communicates to the audience that our main characters are stranded in the middle of nowhere and it’s freezing.

But what if you just saw this picture without any context at all? Suddenly it could be anything. Either a memorable instant from a tranquil Robert Frost poem or the setup in a terrifying slasher movie. Maybe the guy by the door is hitchhiking, perhaps just asking directions or even selling drugs to the driver. You’re given so little that you can fill in the gaps in any way you choose to. By having less to build on, it’s almost a stronger foundation for your mind to do its thing. You follow what I’m saying? Less can be more, and the mind can make mountains out of molehills with even small amounts of stimuli to work with.

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