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A comment on the previous post, the one that contained the infographic movies explaining the concept of "information" and "architecture", points to a conceptually similar movie by Ray and Charles Eames. "A Communications Primer", created in 1953, focuses on the aspects of "communication", including the notions of transmission, noise, redundancy, distortion, misunderstanding, and much more

Anna Daly at Senses of Cinema describes it as follows: "Schematic diagrams and simple associations serve to highlight the message: clear communication betters humanity. The film is thus an accomplished work of design as well as being a beautifully composed documentary that brings an artist's feel for colour and composition to the moving image, ensuring visual delight despite theoretical archaism."

"Through a descriptive clarity aided by Charles' own voice-over narration, A Communications Primer and View from the People Wall serve to enrich our experience of high modernism in film. ... The films themselves, then, raise some interesting issues concerning the modernist formulation of aesthetic beauty as an achievement of the resolution between form, function and content; for we are provided with a visually rich experience that leads us to question the very premises upon which that experience is based."

Watch the movie below, or visit the Internet Archive version here.


This reminds me of an article I read back in the seventies. I may be wrong, but I think it was published in Harvard Business Review and the title was something like: "The Process of Mister A Talking to Mister B". It outlined the entire communications process generically, much like this diagram. I have been trying to locate that article with no luck.

Wed 18 Feb 2009 at 6:16 AM

I think it's funny that when he's talking about the Chinese language, he shows footage of a Japanese woman. Talk about communicating with the wrong information...

Thu 19 Feb 2009 at 12:27 AM

"Sorry, this video no longer exists"

Sat 21 Feb 2009 at 3:18 AM

The film is still available here:

Fri 27 Feb 2009 at 12:18 AM
Fredrik Josefsson
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