Popular Film and Emotional
Response
Spectatorship
• Spectatorship is primarily concerned with the
way the individual is positioned between
projector and scree...
Questions for consideration
• How does film work to generate emotion, and
here the emphasis may be on relatively
straightf...
Questions for consideration
• How far does the spectator feel consciously
manipulated by a film and, by contrast, how
far ...
Questions for consideration
• How far does the emotional impact of the film
derive from contextual knowledge
• Eden Lake
•...
Contextual Knowledge
• Emotions are affected by our wider
experiences, by what we know. Knowledge
and emotion are sometime...
What is an emotion?
• We think of an emotion as something that
moves us— a feeling we experience. Indeed,
the word ‘emotio...
Is it Physiological / Psychological
• The emotion of fear created in the presence of a screen
displaying a sequence of ima...
Emotional response and emotional
involvement
• Filmmakers aim to draw us into the narrative of
films: they do that in the ...
Emotional response and emotional
involvement
• An important feature of the narrative are the
characters: in mainstream fil...
Alignment
• That process of identification is sometimes
called alignment and refers to the way
spectators are encouraged—t...
Identify key moments where the central
character(s) appear in a film you are studying.
Explore the central character of
th...
Stuart Hall and Audience Positioning
• Another way of describing that process is by using
Stuart Hall’s term: positioning....
Stuart Hall and Differing Audience
‘Positions’
• a preferred reading, where spectators accept the
response and point of vi...
Positioning: do all spectators respond in the
same way?
• Following Stuart Hall’s ideas about
positioning, it follows that...
Cultural Background
• This opens out other perspectives: does
gender or ethnicity or age play a significant
role in specta...
Contradictory Responses
• All this goes towards explaining how film, particularly
popular film, can produce contradictory ...
Stage 1—exploring how and why films create
emotion in spectators
• Exploring extracts which highlight in an obvious
way ho...
Stage 2—the more challenging issues
• Exploring more complex, contradictory
emotional responses and the reasons for
them—m...
• In the exam you will have to choose one question
to answer, you must refer to at least 2 films. You
should compare and c...
One of the great pleasures of popular cinema is surrendering to
the film experience and allowing ourselves to be emotional...
‘Emotional response to a popular film is dependent on the ways
in which we are made to identify with particular characters...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Revision 2014

475 views

Published on

0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
475
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
68
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
16
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • (Eden Lake) and what we know (moral panic in press over teenagers).
  • Discuss case study films and the different ways we could ‘read’ them
  • Revision 2014

    1. 1. Popular Film and Emotional Response
    2. 2. Spectatorship • Spectatorship is primarily concerned with the way the individual is positioned between projector and screen in a darkened space. • Although the spectator is singular, a figure alone before the screen, spectatorship studies tries to generalise about how all spectators behave.
    3. 3. Questions for consideration • How does film work to generate emotion, and here the emphasis may be on relatively straightforward issues like the use of mise-en- scene, staging and music or more complex issues of identification and spectator alignment with particular characters?
    4. 4. Questions for consideration • How far does the spectator feel consciously manipulated by a film and, by contrast, how far does the emotional power of a film derive from a combination of elements which are difficult to pin down?
    5. 5. Questions for consideration • How far does the emotional impact of the film derive from contextual knowledge • Eden Lake • American History X
    6. 6. Contextual Knowledge • Emotions are affected by our wider experiences, by what we know. Knowledge and emotion are sometimes thought of as opposites but they are in fact interrelated. • Put formally: emotional experience is mediated by what we know. • There is frequently a tension between the emotions we experience when watching a film
    7. 7. What is an emotion? • We think of an emotion as something that moves us— a feeling we experience. Indeed, the word ‘emotion’ comes from the Latin word for ‘moving’. – A mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes; – A feeling: the emotions of joy, sorrow, reverence, hate, and love.
    8. 8. Is it Physiological / Psychological • The emotion of fear created in the presence of a screen displaying a sequence of images in a horror film may manifest in a bodily, or physiological way (there may be a start, a jump, a scream, a cold sweat, increased heart rate), but there will also be a mental or psychological sensation – perhaps terror. • The feeling may be fleeting or stay with us a few hours, days or longer.
    9. 9. Emotional response and emotional involvement • Filmmakers aim to draw us into the narrative of films: they do that in the way they structure the narrative—both in terms of the overall structure of the film (beginning, middle and end/3 acts/ equilibrium, disequilibrium and new equilibrium) and in the way they construct the narrative shot by shot through editing. Describe how narrative and editing draw us into the films you have studied?
    10. 10. Emotional response and emotional involvement • An important feature of the narrative are the characters: in mainstream films, characters are frequently cast in terms of the characters we like and those we don’t (crudely: heroes and villains). • We are encouraged to identify with characters, to become emotionally involved with them, to feel as they do. How are we encouraged to identify with characters in the films you have studied?
    11. 11. Alignment • That process of identification is sometimes called alignment and refers to the way spectators are encouraged—through macro (narrative/genre/characters) and micro features—to relate to characters’ emotions as well as to adopt their points of view. • The emotional impact of a film frequently depends on spectator alignment with central characters. • What tools do film makers use to align you to central characters in your films?
    12. 12. Identify key moments where the central character(s) appear in a film you are studying. Explore the central character of the film you are studying • How are you encouraged to identify with that character? • Does the star status of the actor playing the character —and thus how the character is shot—affect your response? • What role does the performance of the actor play in shaping your emotional response?
    13. 13. Stuart Hall and Audience Positioning • Another way of describing that process is by using Stuart Hall’s term: positioning. He demonstrated how media creators, including filmmakers, encourage us to respond in particular ways to what we see. • Micro and macro features: they encourage us to take up a particular position’ – a particular point of view— to what we see. • He emphasised the points of view—the attitudes and values—we are encouraged to adopt towards what we see.
    14. 14. Stuart Hall and Differing Audience ‘Positions’ • a preferred reading, where spectators accept the response and point of view that filmmakers intended • a negotiated reading, where spectators only partially accept the response and point of view filmmakers intended (modifying it with views of their own, treating it with some scepticism). • an oppositional reading, where spectators reject the response and point of view filmmakers intended
    15. 15. Positioning: do all spectators respond in the same way? • Following Stuart Hall’s ideas about positioning, it follows that spectators do not necessarily respond in the same way to films — people’s social and cultural background influences the way they will respond. • How might different audiences respond to the texts we have studied, referring to preferred, negotiated and oppositional positions?
    16. 16. Cultural Background • This opens out other perspectives: does gender or ethnicity or age play a significant role in spectators’ emotional responses? • Are the pleasures offered ‘male’ or ‘female’ and what might this mean? (Mulvey) • In addition, you might ask yourself whether as an individual spectator you respond in quite individual ways to what you see.
    17. 17. Contradictory Responses • All this goes towards explaining how film, particularly popular film, can produce contradictory emotions for spectators. • Raises questions like: why do we cry or laugh or hold our breath or wince at key moments in our viewing of popular films. • However, as often as one might want to argue for a clear cause/effect relationship between film device and response, there will also be the need to explore and question these assumptions from a spectator perspective.
    18. 18. Stage 1—exploring how and why films create emotion in spectators • Exploring extracts which highlight in an obvious way how micro features produce emotional responses. • Explore the role of macro features (genre, narrative, character identification/alignment). • Raising issues about how far spectators’ emotional responses are ‘constructed’ and how far spectators are positioned. • Do all spectators respond in the same way? Do spectators respond differently in different circumstances?
    19. 19. Stage 2—the more challenging issues • Exploring more complex, contradictory emotional responses and the reasons for them—micro and macro factors, cultural factors influencing response & reception, conditions of viewing? • Debating why film is arguably an ‘emotional’ medium—raising issues through the emotional?
    20. 20. • In the exam you will have to choose one question to answer, you must refer to at least 2 films. You should compare and contrast the films and discuss similarities and differences between them. You should pick up on specific scenes and discuss how they had an impact on you or if they failed to have an impact on you. You will need to be able to discuss micro features as well as placing the film in context and relating it to your own viewing experience
    21. 21. One of the great pleasures of popular cinema is surrendering to the film experience and allowing ourselves to be emotionally manipulated’. Discuss this statement with reference to the films that you have studied for this topic. • The best responses did the following: – A detailed and sophisticated knowledge and understanding of the films studied, particularly their affective characteristics – A sound appreciation of the variety of ways in which emotional response in the spectator is generated – with the ability to offer detailed analysis of different ways in which the popular film examples chosen manipulate response; – An ability to develop an argument that focuses very directly on the pleasure of surrendering to manipulation. A variety of examples will be very effective in demonstrating this. The detail of the argument may be on whether we “allow ourselves” to be manipulated or controlled by the mechanisms at work within the film; – The argument may be extended, burrowing deeper into questions of complicity and questioning whether in fact, we have the capacity as spectators to simultaneously stand inside and outside the experience.
    22. 22. ‘Emotional response to a popular film is dependent on the ways in which we are made to identify with particular characters’. How far has this been your experience? – A detailed and sophisticated knowledge and understanding of the films studied, particularly their affective characteristics; – A sound appreciation of the variety of ways in which emotional response in the spectator is generated – with the ability to offer a detailed account of character construction and the ways in which systems of identification are set up; – An ability to develop an argument demonstrating the extent to which identification with character is a key component of the pleasure the spectator takes from the film viewing experience; – This argument may be extended by means of comparison with other factors that determine the spectator’s emotional response, including detailed reference to macro or micro features of film form.

    ×