Film Structure and the Emotion System

Film Structure and the Emotion System

by Greg M. Smith


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Synthesizing recent research on emotion in cognitive psychology and neurology, this study provides a more nuanced understanding of how film evokes emotion. Although the experience of emotion is central to movie-viewing, film studies have not focused on the emotions, relying instead on vague psychoanalytic concepts of desire. This volume describes a grounded approach to analyzing the emotional appeal of a wide variety of films (from Casablanca to Stranger than Paradise, from Renoir to Spielberg), showing how style and narration call upon the viewer's emotion system.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521037358
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 05/24/2007
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 6.02(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.63(d)

Table of Contents

Part I. Developing the Approach: 1. An invitation to feel; 2. The emotion system and nonprototypical emotions; 3. The mood-cue approach to filmic emotion; 4. Other cognitivisms; Part II. Analyzing Emotional Appeals in Film: 5. 'Couldn't you read between those pitiful lines?': feeling for Stella Dallas; 6. Strike-ing out: the partial success of early Eisenstein's emotional appeal; 7. Lyricism and unevenness: emotional transitions in Renoir's A Day in the Country and The Lower Depths; 8. Emotion work: The Joy Luck Club and the limits of the emotion system; 9. 'I was misinformed': nostalgia and uncertainty in Casablanca; Part III. Afterword: 10. An invitation to interpret; Appendix: the neurological basis of psychoanalytic film theory: Metz's emotional debt to Freud the biologist; Notes; Index.

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