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Jonathan Frome

This article addresses two questions about artworks. First, why do we emotionally respond to characters and stories that we believe are fictional? Second, why are some media better than others at generating specific types of emotions? I answer these questions using psychological research that suggests our minds are not unified, but are comprised of numerous subsystems that respond differently to various aspects of artworks. I then propose a framework to help us understand how films, videogames, and literature interact with our minds in different ways, which explains why they tend to excel at generating different types of emotions.

Film Studies
Maurice Pialat’s L’Amour existe
Elisabeth Cardonne-Arlyck

9 A crucible of emotions: Maurice Pialat’s L’Amour existe Elisabeth Cardonne-Arlyck Maurice Pialat was 36 years old when his first professionally produced documentary short, L’Amour existe, came out in 1961. His producer, Pierre Braunberger, who had helped finance Jean Renoir’s Nana (1926) and La Chienne (1931), and was becoming a major producer of the New Wave, found the never-satisfied Pialat impossible to work with and did not repeat the experience. The film was well received, however, and was awarded the Prix Louis-Lumière and the Lion of Saint-Marc at the

in Screening the Paris suburbs
Documentary form and audience response to Touching the Void
Thomas Austin

3 ‘Suspense, fright, emotion, happy ending’: documentary form and audience response to Touching the Void Film scholarship needs to take audiences seriously as a means of deepening, and offering some new angles on, debates over the form, ethics and impacts of screen documentary. This chapter uses a case study of the commercially and critically successful mountaineering documentary Touching the Void (UK, 2003) as a point of entry into further consideration of these and associated issues. Drawing on original qualitative research among cinemagoers, it follows two key

in Watching the world
Emotional Contagion Responses to Narrative Fiction Film
Amy Coplan

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 fiction film.

Film Studies
Emotions, Memory, and Memento
Karen Renner

Using the particular example of Memento (2001), this essay investigates the capacity for films to maintain emotional potency upon repeat viewings. Subtle emotion markers in the film - such as facial expressions and its score - collaborate with the plot to create a mood of sadness that may escalate into more powerful emotion. Because these same markers consistently appear during scenes of high emotion, the cues themselves become associated with sadness, leading the viewer to experience grief each time they are encountered more as an unconscious, learned response rather than a direct reaction to the film. As a result, though the film may have become familiar, it may retain its emotional potential on subsequent viewings.

Film Studies
Lorraine Yeung

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.

Film Studies
Michael Newman

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.

Film Studies
Malcolm Turvey

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.

Film Studies
Carl Plantinga

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.

Film Studies
Abstract only
A Short History of Brighton on Film
Frank Gray

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.

Film Studies