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Association, Simulation, or Appraisal?
Daniel Barratt

This paper attempts to trace the psychological routes to empathy by assessing the relative merits of three alternatives. Traditionally, empathy has been explained in terms of two psychological processes: association and simulation. After concurring that associative connections play a significant role in generating empathy, the paper focuses on the imaginative activity of simulation, arguing that many of our empathetic responses to film characters can be spelt out in the alternative terms of emotion related appraisal. In order to demonstrate this point, the paper analyses an example of empathy from Hitchcock‘s Psycho (1960), concluding that the term ‘simulation’ should be reserved for those instances in which we deliberately attempt to imaginatively entertain a characters thoughts and feelings.

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
Jens Eder

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).

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
From Nosferatu to Nazism
Patrick Colm Hogan

It has been widely asserted that nationhood is inseparable from narration. This vague claim may be clarified by understanding that nationalism is bound up with the universal prototypical narrative structures of heroic, romantic, and sacrificial tragi-comedy. This essay considers an historically important case of the emplotment of nationalism - the sacrificial organization of German nationalism between the two world wars. It examines one exemplary instance of this emplotment, F. W. Murnau‘s Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (1922). However unintentionally, Nosferatu represents the vampire in a way that is cognitively continuous with Nazi representations of Jews. The films sacrificial emplotment of vampirism is, in turn, continuous with Nazi policies. That continuity places the film in a larger discourse that helped to make Nazi policies possible.

Film Studies
Abstract only
Daniel Barratt and Jonathan Frome

Film Studies
The Early Promise and Disappointing Career of Time-Lapse Photography
David Lavery

Time-lapse photography—the extremely accelerated recording and projection of an event taking place over an extended duration of time—is almost as old as the movies themselves. (The first known use of time-lapse dates from 1898.) In the early decades of the twentieth century, cineastes, not to mention scientists, artists, and poets, waxed eloquently on the promise of time-lapse photography as a means for revealing “things we cannot see,” and expanding human perception. This essay examines time-lapses tremendous initial imaginative appeal for such figures as Ernst Mach, Germaine Dulac, Jean Epstein, Rudolf Arnheim, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, and Collette, and speculates about the possible reasons for its diminution over the course of the century.

Film Studies
Jacqueline Furby

This essay deals with the temporality of film through an examination of narrative, structure and image in Sam Mendes’ film American Beauty (2000), referring to both Gilles Deleuze and Henri Bergson‘s work on time. I argue that the repetition of formal elements (images, settings, colours, shapes, and textures) creates a kind of internal rhyme that is suggested appeals to human aesthetic rhythmic sensibilities and invites the spectators imaginative interplay. This temporal pattern speaks of a particularly human rhythmic design, and provides an escape from the ‘standardised, context free, homogeneous’ clock time ‘that structures and times our daily lives’.

Film Studies
Terence Davies and the Paradoxes of Time
Wendy Everett

This article examines the paradoxes inherent in filmic time, with particular reference to the autobiographical work of the British director Terence Davies. Analysing ways in which film, itself constructed from still images, can create, reverse or freeze temporal flux, confuse and blend multiple and conflicting temporalities, and create the spatial dimensions of an ‘imaginary’ time, it argues that the relationship between film and music may well provide a fundamental key to the understanding of filmic time.

Film Studies
Steven Peacock

This article offers an alternative to the predominant and pervasive theoretical approaches to discussing time in film. It adheres to ordinary language, and moves away from a ‘mapping’ of theoretical models or contextual analysis to concentrate on a films specifics. It considers the particular handling of time in a particular film: The Age of Innocence (Martin Scorsese, 1993). Fixing on specific points of style, the article examines the interplay of time and gesture, and the editing techniques of ellipses and dissolves. Both the article and the film hold their attention on the intricacy and intimacy afforded by moments, as they pass. Both explore how the intensity of a lovers relationship over decades is expressed in fleeting passages of shared time. In doing so, the article advances a vocabulary of criticism to match the rhetoric of the film, to appreciate the works handling of time. Detailed consideration of this achievement allows for a greater understanding of the designs and possibilities of time in cinema.

Film Studies