Lerdahl Law


Here’s a new concept that I hadn’t heard of before – Lerdahl Law. I read about it in the Times but of course can’t link to the article as it’s behind the paywall (here is the link if you have subscribed).

The Times article is about a new phenomenon in cinema as pioneered (sic) by Inception, that which encourages a second viewing. The film is suitably complex, fast paced, and with what has been described as an ambiguous ending that, ever since it was first shown to Warner Brothers executives, has had people wanting to see the movie again (straight away in the case of the aforementioned execs).

Lerdahl’s Law was formulated by Fred Lerdahl and originally based on hyper-complicated art, suggesting that some modern classical music cannot be understood once, even by a classically trained mind.

No doubt everyone in cinema will aspire to this new trend that Christopher Nolan seems to have sparked but I wonder if this trend will ever bridge the divide and be embraced by web design. The technology is getting there, but will the theory translate in a way that is still user friendly.

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Richard Baxter
Richard Baxter

Wow - we were talking about the urge to see this film again, and the complexity of the beginning. If you watch the film with a second pair of eyes, I'd assume the introduction would be greatly enhanced or percieved by the viewer differently.Cool blog, Tim!

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