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[An] intriguing mixture of high-level, abstract features, and low-level, concrete features. … In this painting, the ploughman witnesses the fall of Icarus. However, as he is immersed in the details of his immediate chore, he is oblivious to the significance of the event.
Like many others I enjoyed the new Star Trek movie, even if I don’t especially respect myself for that, and recently just rewatched Star Wars episodes II,III. And the most compelling visuals and scenes in those movies were similar, in that they combined familiar and emotionally-true foregrounds with dramatic symbolically-meaningful backgrounds which often made little sense if you thought much about them. For example, in Star Trek isolated crowded shipyards are shown scattered in simple farmland, wildly violating economies of agglomeration: