This article investigates the emotive potency of horror soundtracks. The account
illuminates the potency of aural elements in horror cinema to engage spectators body
in the light of a philosophical framework of emotion, namely, the embodied appraisal
theories of emotion. The significance of aural elements in horror cinema has been
gaining recognition in film studies. Yet it still receives relatively scarce
attention in the philosophical accounts of film music and cinematic horror, which
tend to underappreciate the power of horror film sound and music in inducing
emotions. My investigation aims both to address the lacuna, and facilitate dialogue
between the two disciplines.
The one-shot sequence – the articulation of an entire scene through a
single, unbroken long take – is one of the cinema’s most important
rhetorical devices and has therefore been much used and widely theorised over
the years. This article provides a brief overview of these theories and of the
multiple ways in which the one-shot sequence has been used both in world cinema
(in general) and Italian cinema (in particular) in order to contextualise its
use by one of Italian cinema’s best-known and most significant
practitioners, Paolo Sorrentino. Through close analyses of one-shot sequences in
Sorrentino’s films L’uomo in più/One Man
Up, Le conseguenze dell’amore/The Consequences of
Love, This Is the Place and Il divo –
La vita spettacoloare di Giulio Andreotti – the article argues
that Sorrentino’s predilection for the device is best explained by the
wide variety of functions that it serves (as a mark of directorial bravura and
auteur status; as a self-reflexive device and meditation on the cinematic gaze;
as a political tool; and as a means of generating emotion). While rooted in
history, Sorrentino’s use of the one-shot sequence thus transcends its
position within Italian film history and discourse.
One key aspect of characterization is the construction of character psychology, the
attribution to fictional representations of beliefs and desires, personality traits,
and moods and emotions. Characters are products of social cognition, the human
propensity for making sense of others. However, they are also products of artists who
fashion them to appeal to our nature as social beings. Through an analysis of Todd
Solondz‘s Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995), this paper describes three processes of
social cognition which are crucial for audiovisual characterization: folk psychology,
causal attribution, and emotion expressions.
It is widely argued that engaging with a fiction involves imagining its content. Yet,
the concept of the imagination is rarely clarified, and it is often used incorrectly
by theorists. A good example, this paper argues, is Gregory Currie‘s simulation
theory, and its claim that imagining the content of a fiction consists of simulating
‘the beliefs I would acquire if I took the work I am engaged with for fact rather
than fiction’. The paper, following the philosopher Alan R. White, argues instead
that imagining consists of thoughts about the possible.
This essay explores the elicitation of disgust in movies, focusing on the major
rhetorical uses of such elicitation. The essay first defines disgust and shows the
means and nature of its elicitation in the movies. Drawing on a distinction between
physical and sociomoral disgust, the essay goes on to show how filmmakers either
conflate and confuse the two (as in Don Siegel‘s Dirty Harry) or maintain a strict
separation between them (as in David Lynch‘s The Elephant Man), in each case to serve
the rhetorical purpose of the film. Finally, I discuss the ironic use of disgust in
John Water‘s Polyester.
Men on trial explores how the Irish perform ‘the self’ within the early
nineteenth-century courtroom and its implications for law, society and nation.
The history of masculinity is now a burgeoning field, as the way men created and
understood their identities is explored in different contexts, from marriage to
the military, and with increasing nuance. This monograph contributes to this
discussion through an exploration of how men from different social groups
created, discussed and enacted manliness in the context of the Irish justice
system. Drawing on new methodologies from the history of emotion, as well as
theories of performativity and performative space, it emphasises that manliness
was not simply a cultural ideal, but something practised, felt and embodied.
Moving through courtroom architecture to clothing, displays of emotion,
speech-making, storytelling, humour and character, Men on trial explores how,
through its performance, gender could be a creative dynamic in productions of
power, destabilising traditional lines of authority. Targeted at scholars in
Irish history, law and gender studies, this book argues that justice was not
simply determined through weighing evidence, but through weighing men, their
bodies, behaviours and emotions. In a context where the processes of justice
were publicised in the press for the nation and the world, manliness and its
role in the creation of justice became implicated in the making of national
identity. Irish character was honed in the Irish court and through the
At the time of their publication, Joanna Baillie‘s dramas were considered to be works of genius in their sustained and powerful fixation on one of the several possible human passions. In their very focus on these intense emotions, however, the plays actually reified the dangers inherent in the extremes of human passion. In other words, by fixing her attention on the passions, Baillie revealed that the emotions she was supposedly focused on often masked other, even more powerful desires. Thus, in Orra fear is the result of the heroines hatred of male dominance, while in De Monfort hatred is shown to be the symptom of incestuous love. But what has not been noticed about Baillie‘s plays is their almost obsessive interest in dead, abjected male bodies. Both plays present a very gothic vision of the indestructible patriarchy, an uncanny phallic power that cannot die, that persistently resurrects and feeds on itself or the legends that it has constructed.
Smith explores how Stoker‘s novel raises some complex questions about love through its use of a male love-struck narrator, who appears to be caught in a Female Gothic plot which casts him as its hero. In the novel ‘love’ becomes increasingly sinister as it turns into a destabilising and dangerously irrational emotion that ultimately aligns love with feelings of justified horror. Jewel (1903, revised 1912) thus develops a male reading of a Female Gothic plot in which the idea of female empowerment becomes defined as horrific. However, this idea of a pathologised love, Smith argues, is not unique to Stoker and can be linked to Freud‘s account of love, which reveals how issues relating to male authority appear within psychoanalytical debates about emotion at the time.
This article investigates the role of the corridor in Gothic fiction and horror
film from the late eighteenth century to the present day. It seeks to establish
this transitional space as a crucial locus, by tracing the rise of the corridor
as a distinct mode of architectural distribution in domestic and public
buildings since the eighteenth century. The article tracks pivotal appearances
of the corridor in fiction and film, and in the final phase argues that it has
become associated with a specific emotional tenor, less to do with amplified
fear and horror and more with emotions of Angst or dread.
Over fifty feature films have been made either in or about Brighton and they have all
contributed to popular understandings of Brighton‘s history and its character.
Collectively, they present the city as a site for extreme emotions and conflicts
found within narratives that are always set either on the seafront or at the Royal
Pavilion. It can be argued that these Brighton films are not about Brighton at all
but instead serve as vehicles for the expression of popular anxieties, concerns and
desires. As such, they transcend the specificities of place and history and become
projections of what could be described as a national unconscious.