HOW FAR IS THE EMOTIONALRESPONSE TO POPULAR FILMSINFLUENCED BY DIFFERENTVIEWING CONTEXTS Bilaal, Mehnan, Paul, Phoebe and Daniel.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEENSPECTATORSHIP AND AN AUDIENCE. The difference between a spectator and an audience is the individualistic response whereas the audience is the collective response.
CASE STUDIES Black Swan (2010) Dir. Darren Aronovsky 127 Hours (2010) Dir. Danny Boyle City of God (2002) Dir. Fernando Meirelles
INTRODUCTIONExperiencing film can be purely subjective experience, although we canalso conform to be an audience member and experience film collectively.Our experience of film can also be influenced by different viewing contexts.Emotional response can change due to different viewing context in thesefollowing ways; Where you watched the film, how you watched it, when youwatched it (Year, age and time), whether you watched it with someone else,your state of mind (at the time) and how you are as a person (Patrick’sPhillips’ Theory) However, the director uses film language such as genre,mise-en-scene, sound and style of editing to provoke a spectatorshipresponse (Murray Smith, Stuart Hall and Richard Wolheim)
MANIPULATION BY THEFILMMAKER Sight and Sound magazine “The scene attacks our physical comfort zones” Handheld camera gives a sense of realism. Aronovsky wanted it to feel like a documentary. The non-diegetic soundtrack increases the intensity of the violence. Discontinuity editing is used to make the audience feel disjointed and confused. Chiaroscuro lighting reflects the theme between good and evil. The narrative theme: fantasy vs reality doubles and it follows the gothic horror genre by presenting diurnal and nocturnal worlds. Intertextuality with other gothic films such as Ware Wolves, Jekyll and Hyde. Representation of character i.e. the extreme close ups of Nina. We follow Murray Smith’s engaging character theory, where we align with the protagonist.
MANIPULATION BY THEFILMMAKER We feel a long, drawn-out shock when the protagonist Aron amputates his arm and viscerally, we feel nausea. The non-diegetic soundtrack builds up slowly through pace and volume and it is accompanied by fast paced editing. The horror of the situation is guided by the CU of his arm, although we do not see as much as we expect thus leaving it to our imagination; there are also out of focus shots. The construction of the narrative is important to align with Aron (Murray Smith) through flashbacks about his girlfriend and his family. The Video Home scene, where we see a vulnerable Aron manipulates us to sympathise with Aron. 127 Hours belongs to the coming-of-age genre where the protagonist develops from an selfish idiot to a better person. Through his conversation with himself, we see Aron wanting change. What pushes Aron to amputate his arm, he hallucinates and sees his son in the future; this is a selfless act. It is also a classic Adventure film where the protagonist is on a quest, to overcome obstacles.
MANIPULATION BY THEFILMMAKER The handheld camera is used to make it appear documentary like, and it creates realism. There is no non-diegetic soundtrack used so it is no longer upbeat compared to other parts of the film (The Story of the Apartment). There is violence against small children and the choice of the actor who is cute, innocent and little is appropriate to make it shocking to the audience. CU on Steak who led to Lil Ze to the Runts shows his emotional response and it is over his shoulder at the end therefore we feel like him; ashamed. Sight and Sound Magazine: “Brazil’s answer to Goodfellas.” Gangster genre – violence, drugs, women, gangs, the nicknames (Steak n Chips, Knockout Ned, etc). Lil Ze’s rise to the top.
WE ARE ALL INDIVIDUALS Patrick Phillips’ Spectator, Audience and Response: All of us have a unique individual response to a film based on a range of different aspects of self. Stuart Hall’s Reception Theory: how one receives the messages from the film; do we take the preferred, negotiated and oppositional reading? Arguably, even if we take the preferred reading, we have chosen it individually. Stuart Hall claims that communication between the film and the audience is never as simple as delivering a parcel but actually involves active interpretation by the spectator.
AS A STUDENT When City of God finishes, it is revealed that it is based on a true story. This could potentially change our outlook on the film. Through the viewing context of a student, we learn about the social context of Brazil therefore we gain a deeper understanding of the film’s ideologies. There is a sharp divide in Brazil between the rich and the poor. Meirelles wanted to present the reality of the favelas. The film is shot in the favelas and it did use real children from them. Talk about the learning of the context and how it may impact a second or a third viewing.
SECOND AND THIRD VIEWINGS With all three of the case studies, the emotional response could increase. There is the first short, sharp shock and on the second and third viewings, the shock is anticipated and drawn out.
CONCLUSION Different viewing contexts can partly influence emotional response to film as seen in our case studies, and there are many different factors. These can include Patrick Phillip’s theory on spectatorship, studying the film and our second viewing. Also, the director can manipulate us through film language – and how we allow the director to influence our reading of the film.