Passionate Views: Film, Cognition, and Emotion / Edition 1

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Overview

The movie theater has always been a place where people come together to share powerful emotional experiences, from the fear generated by horror films and the anxiety induced by thrillers to the laughter elicited by screwball comedies and the tears precipitated by melodramas. Indeed, the dependability of movies to provide such experiences lies at the center of the medium's appeal and power. Yet cinema's ability to influence, even manipulate, the emotions of the spectator is one of the least-explored topics in film theory today.

In Passionate Views, thirteen internationally recognized scholars of film studies, philosophy, and psychology explore the emotional appeal of the cinema. Employing a novel cognitive perspective, the volume investigates the relationship between genre and emotion; explores how film narrative, music, and cinematic techniques such as the close-up are used to elicit emotion; and examines the spectator's identification with and response to film characters.

An impressive range of films and topics is brought together by Carl Plantinga and Greg M. Smith, including: the success of Stella Dallas and An Affair to Remember as tearjerkers; the power of Night of the Living Dead to inspire fear and disgust; the sublime evoked in The Passion of Joan of Arc, Aguirre, the Wrath of God, and The Children of Paradise; the emotional basis of film comedy as seen in When Harry Met Sally; the use of cinematic cues in Raiders of the Lost Ark and Local Hero to arouse emotions; the relationship between narrative flow and emotion in Once Upon a Time in the West and E.T.; the emotive use of music in The Elephant Man and A Clockwork Orange; Stranger than Paradise's sense of timing; desire and resolution in Casablanca; audience identification with the main characters in Groundhog Day and The Crying Game; portrayal of perversity in The Silence of the Lambs, Flaming Creatures, and Shivers; and empathy elicited through closeups of actors' faces in Yankee Doodle Dandy and Blade Runner.

Passionate Views offers a new approach to our understanding of film and will be of interest to anyone fascinated by the emotional power of motion pictures and their relationship to the central concerns of our lives, as well as by the techniques filmmakers use to move an audience.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Canadian Journal of Film Studies
Due to the consistently high quality of the pieces, Passionate Views makes a significant contribution to film studies research.

— Mette Hjort

Canadian Journal of Film Studies - Mette Hjort

Due to the consistently high quality of the pieces, Passionate Views makes a significant contribution to film studies research.

Booknews
An anthology of essays by film scholars and aestheticists who discuss, from a cognitive perspective, the ways that films cue emotional responses, positing models for how we process and emotionally experience film. Twelve articles, divided into three sections<-->kinds of films, kinds of emotion; film technique, film narrative, and emotion; and desire, identification, and empathy<-->examine such topics as narrational and stylistic devices (e.g. music, facial expression) designed to elicit emotion, as well as the uses of comedy, the portrayal of desire, and how and why we identify with specific film characters. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801860119
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 302
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Carl Plantinga is an associate professor of film and director of the Screenwriting and Film Studies Program at Hollins College. Greg M. Smith is an assistant professor of communication studies at Carlow College.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
I Kinds of Films, Kinds of Emotions
1 Film, Emotion, and Genre 21
2 Sentiment in Film Viewing 48
3 The Sublime in Cinema 65
4 The Emotional Basis of Film Comedy 84
II Film Technique, Film Narrative, and Emotion
5 Local Emotions, Global Moods, and Film Structure 103
6 Emotions, Cognitions, and Narrative Patterns in Film 127
7 Movie Music as Moving Music: Emotion, Cognition, and the Film Score 146
8 Time and Timing 168
III Desire, Identification, and Empathy
9 Narrative Desire 183
10 Identification and Emotion in Narrative Film 200
11 Gangsters, Cannibals, Aesthetes, or Apparently Perverse Allegiances 217
12 The Scene of Empathy and the Human Face on Film 239
Notes 257
Select Bibliography 289
Contributors 295
Index 297
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