Feelings in Conflict: A Clockwork Orange and the Explanation of Audiovisual Emotions

in Projections
Author: Jens Eder 1
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  • 1 University of Mannheim Jens.eder@gmx.de
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Controversial films like Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange represent a challenge for current theories of emotion elicitation. Combining theories of emotional appraisal, film comprehension, and the formal analysis of film, this article outlines a model of audiovisual responses to films that distinguishes between four levels of information processing and corresponding emotional reactions: 1. the perception of images and sounds triggers perceptual affects, sensations, and moods; 2. the development of mental models of a represented world, its inhabitants and events, calls forth diegetic emotions like sympathy, empathy, and situation-related feelings; 3. grasping indirect or more abstract meanings leads to thematic emotions; and 4. reflection on the communication process and its elements (text, producer, recipient) leads to communicative emotions. These four levels of emotional reactions interact in time, leading to the development of complex emotion episodes.

Projections

The Journal for Movies and Mind