One hundred years ago, in 1916, Hugo Münsterberg was the first
psychologist to publish a book on movie psychology, entitled The Photoplay:
A Psychological Study. We revisit this visionary text, which was an anticipation
of the field of cognitive movie psychology. We use the structure of his
book to look into advances that have been made within the field and evaluate
whether Münsterberg’s initial claims and predictions have borne out. We
comment on the empirical development of film studies regarding perceived
depth and movement, attention, memory, emotion, and esthetics of the photoplay.
We conclude that the most of Münsterberg’s positions remain surprisingly
topical one hundred years later.