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.
Emotional Contagion Responses to Narrative Fiction Film
In this paper, I examine the role of emotional contagion in our affective engagement
with narrative fiction film, focusing in particular on how spectator responses based
on emotional contagion differ from those based on more sophisticated emotional
processes. I begin by explaining emotional contagion and the processes involved in
it. Next, I consider how film elicits emotional contagion. I then argue that
emotional contagion responses are unique and should be clearly distinguished from
responses based on other emotional processes, such as empathy. Finally, I explain why
contagion responses are a significant feature of spectators engagement with narrative
Mass and Propaganda. An Inquiry Into Fascist Propaganda (Siegfried Kracauer,
Written in French exile, the following text by Siegfried Kracauer from December 1936
outlines a research project that the German-Jewish intellectual undertook with
funding from the Institute for Social Research. The work outlined here would be a
study of totalitarian propaganda in Germany and Italy through sustained comparison
with communist and democratic countries, especially the Soviet Union and the United
States. Appearing in English translation for the first time, this document from
Kracauer‘s estate is crucial for a full understanding of his career as a sociologist,
cultural critic, film theorist and philosopher, demonstrating the global scope of his
engagement with cinema, mass culture and modernity.
Just six years after the last American sound-era serial, Albert Broccoli and Harry
Saltzman brought James Bond to the screen, launching the longest-lived and most
influential film series of the post-studio era. This article considers how the first
Bond films adapted the regular imperilments,and operational aesthetics of
sound-serials. Early Bond films benefitted from a field of expectations, viewing
strategies and conventions planted by the over 200 B-grade chapter-plays produced
between 1930 and 1956. Recourse to these serial strategies conferred tactile
immediacy and ludic clarity to the films, and facilitated engagement with the Bond
beyond the cinema.
The article notes a trend towards low-key naturalism in twenty-first-century independent
queer cinema. Focusing on work by Andrew Haigh, Travis Mathews and Ira Sachs, it argues
that this observational style is welded to a highly meta-cinematic engagement with
traditions of representing non-straight people. The article coins the term ‘New Gay
Sincerity’ to account for this style, relating it to Jim Collins’s and
Warren Buckland’s writing on post-postmodern ‘new sincerity’. At its
crux, this new style centres itself in realism to record non-metropolitan, intimate and
quotidian gay lives, while acknowledging the high-style postmodernism of oppositional
1990s New Queer Cinema.
Film viewers responses to characters are of a great variety; global notions of
‘identification’, ‘empathy’, or ‘parasocial interaction’ are too reductive to capture
their rich nuances. This paper contributes to current theoretical accounts by
clarifying the intuitive notion of ‘being close’ to characters, drawing on social and
cognitive psychology. Several kinds of closeness are distinguished: spatiotemporal
proximity, understanding and perspective-taking, familiarity and similarity, PSI, and
affective closeness. These ways of being close to characters interact in
probabilistic ways, forming a system. Understanding its patterns might help us to
more precisely analyze the varieties of character engagement, which is demonstrated
by an analysis of David Fincher‘s Fight Club (1999).
Contesting the ‘Female Gothic’ in Charlotte Dacre‘s Zofloya
Carol Margaret Davison
Taking Charlotte Dacre‘s unique and controversial novel, Zofloya; Or The Moor (1806), as its focal point, this essay takes stock of the strengths and limitations of the major theoretical engagements with the ‘Female Gothic’ under its diverse appellations, and consider them in terms of the history of Gothic theory more generally.
Mourning and Melancholia in Female Gothic, 1780–1800
Wright explores how novels by Eliza Fenwick, Sophia Lee, Maria Roche, and Ann Radcliffe critique, via their fascination with portraiture, eighteenth-century consumerism. Wright argues that this engagement with image-making indicates late eighteenth century concerns with fashion, opulence and consumerism which become relocated in women‘s Gothic writing through the correlated issues of female insanity, desire and loss.
Antonio Fogazzaro‘s Malombra combines features of the Gothic novel with an interest in the environment, natural and artificial. The story of a woman who lives in a Palazzo and believes she is the reincarnation of her late ancestor unfolds a narrative constantly engaged with the issues of place and space. Human and nonhuman features play a significant role in the narrative within whose complex and intricate setting the characters interact. By focusing on the main character‘s engagement with the surrounding world the article aims at shedding a new light on the long discussed issues of double identity, showing how the novel portrays instead a symbiotic relationship with the environment.
In recent criticism, Jane Austen‘s Northanger Abbey has been reconsidered as a comic
rather than mock-Gothic novel, shifting its mockery onto a variety of other targets:
domineering men, unwary readers, the violence underpinning English domesticity. I argue
that Austen continues her engagement with the Gothic, beyond Northanger Abbey, using Emma
as an exemplary case. Emma not only includes explicit mentions of Gothic novels such as
Ann Radcliffe‘s The Romance of the Forest, but implicitly reformulates the relationships
between Female Gothic figures: finding a frail, victimised heroine in Jane Fairfax and a
seductive femme fatale in Emma herself.