Restricted access

Abstract

What is the relationship between detailed critical analysis and the background assumptions made by a given theory of film spectatorship? In this article, I approach this question by looking at Vittorio Gallese and Michele Guerra's The Empathic Screen in the light of the method of triangulation—the coordination and integration of phenomenological, psychological, and neuroscientific evidence, as set out in my Film, Art, and the Third Culture. In particular, I examine Gallese and Guerra's arguments concerning the role of camera movement in prompting immersive, embodied simulation, as well as critiques of these arguments from David Bordwell and Malcolm Turvey. I focus on the special, irreducible role of critical analysis in these arguments. Detailed analysis of film form and style plays an essential role, I argue, in demonstrating the plausibility (or otherwise) of the thesis advanced by Gallese and Guerra. Such analysis is where the rubber of theoretical assumptions meets the road of the material work.

Contributor Notes

Murray Smith is Professor of Film and Director of the Aesthetics Research Centre at the University of Kent. He was President of the Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image from 2014 to 2017, and a Laurance S. Rockefeller Fellow at Princeton University's Center for Human Values in 2017–18. He has published widely on film, art, and aesthetics. His publications include Film, Art, and the Third Culture: A Naturalized Aesthetics of Film (Oxford, 2017; revised paperback 2020) and Trainspotting (BFI, revised edition 2021). A new, revised edition of his Engaging Characters: Fiction, Emotion, and the Cinema (Oxford) is due this summer.

Projections

The Journal for Movies and Mind

  • Anderson, Joseph. 1984. The Reality of Illusion. Carbondale, IL: University of Illinois Press.

  • Bordwell, David. 1985. Narration in the Fiction Film. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.

  • Bordwell, David. 2020. “Brains, Bodies, and Movies: Ways of Thinking about the Psychology of Movies.” Observations on Film Art, 29 April. http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/2020/04/29/brains-bodies-and-movies-ways-of-thinking-about-the-psychology-of-cinema/.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Clark, Andy. 2014. Mindware: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Cognitive Science. 2nd Edition. New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Clark, Andy. 2015. Surfing Uncertainty: Prediction, Action, and the Embodied Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Currie, Gregory. 1995. Image and Mind: Film, Philosophy, and Cognitive Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Di Pelligrini, G, L. Fadiga, L. Fogassi, V. Gallese, G. Rizzolatti. 1992. “Understanding Motor Events: A Neurophysiological Study.” Experimental Brain Research 91 (1): 17680.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gallese, Vittorio and Michele Guerra. 2019. The Empathic Screen. Trans. Frances Anderson. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Gopnik, Alison. 2007. “Cells That Read Minds?Slate – Brains! A Special Issue on Neuroscience and Neuroculture, 26 April 2007. http://www.slate.com/articles/life/brains/2007/04/cells_that_read_minds.html.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gordon, Robert M. 2021. “Simulation, Predictive Coding, and the Shared World,” in The Neural Basis of Mentalizing, ed. Michael Gilead and Kevin N. Ochsner, 23755. Cham: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-51890-5_12.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hanich, Julian. 2018. The Audience Effect: On the Collective Cinema Experience. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

  • Hasson, Uri, Ohad Landesman, Barbara Knappmeyer, Ignacio Vallines, Nava Rubin, and David J. Heeger. 2008. “Neurocinematics: The Neuroscience of Film.” Projections 2 (1): 126. https://doi.org/10:3167/proj.2008.020102

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kukkonen, Karin. 2020. Probability Designs: Literature and Predictive Processing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Metz, Christian. 1977. The Imaginary Signifier: Psychoanalysis and the Cinema. Trans. Alfred E. Guzetti. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pinker, Steven. 2013. “Science is Not Your Enemy.” New Republic, 6 August. http://www.newrepublic.com//article/114127/science-not-enemy-humanities.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Raz, Gal, Yonatan Winetraub, Yael Jacob, Sivan Kinreich, Adi Maron-Katz, Galit Shaham, Ilana Podlipsky, Gadi Gilam, Eyal Soreq, and Talma Hendler. 2012. “Portraying Emotions at their Unfolding: A Multilayered Approach for Probing Dynamics of Neural Networks.” Neuro-Image, 59 (2): 1448–61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.12.084.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith, Murray. 1997. “Imagining from the Inside,” in Film Theory and Philosophy, ed. Richard Allen and Murray Smith, 41230. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith, Murray. 2008. “Empathie und das erweiterte Denken,” in Emotion—Empathie—Figur: Spielformen der Filmwarnehmung, ed. Thomas Schick and Tobias Ebbrecht-Hartmann, 1328. Berlin: Vistas Verlag.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith, Murray. 2020. Film, Art, and the Third Culture: A Naturalized Aesthetics of Film. Revised paperback edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith, Murray. 2022. Engaging Characters: Fiction, Emotion, and the Cinema. Revised 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Turvey, Malcolm. 2020a. “Can the Science of Mirror Neurons Explain the Power of Camera Movement?Observations on Film Art, 3 May. http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/2020/05/03/can-the-science-of-mirror-neurons-explain-the-power-of-camera-movement-a-guest-post-by-malcolm-turvey/.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Turvey, Malcolm. 2020b. “Mirror Neurons and Film Studies: A Cautionary Tale from a Serious Pessimist.” Projections 14 (3): 2146. https://doi.org/10.3167/proj.2020.140303

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wollheim, Richard. 1974. On Art and the Mind. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

  • Wollheim, Richard. 1984. The Thread of Life. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 314 314 38
Full Text Views 92 92 2
PDF Downloads 97 97 2