Engaging Characters: Fiction, Emotion, and the Cinema

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Overview


Thrillers, tear jerkers, horror movies, melodramas--like so many movie terms, these genre designations immediately evoke characteristic kinds of emotional response. Yet emotion is a subject that film and literary theory have traditionally dealt with in only the most impressionistic and tangential fashion. Engaging Characters presents a precise discussion of the varieties of emotional response to films, integrating them into a larger theory of our engagement (or "identification") with characters in both cinematic and literary fictions. Films and filmmakers discussed include The Accused; Hitchcock (including detailed analyses of The Man Who Knew Too Much [1956] and Saboteur); Godard; Ruiz; Buñuel's That Obscure Object of Desire; Dovzhenko's Arsenal and Preminger's Daisy Kenyon; Bresson's L'Argent; Eisenstein's Strike; and Melville's Le Doulos.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198183471
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/28/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 9.25 (w) x 6.13 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Smith has contributed to a number of journals in media studies and literary criticism, ranging from Screen to The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. He lives in London, SE13.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures and Frame Enlargements
Introduction 1
1 The Saliency of Character 17
2 The Imaginative Spectator 40
3 Engaging Characters 73
4 The Threshold of Legibility: Recognition 110
5 Screens and Filters: Alignment 142
6 Soot and Whitewash: Allegiance 187
Conclusion 228
Appendix: Segmentations 238
Bibliography 243
Index 255
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