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Reduced Narration, Intensified Emotion: The Film Trailer

Charlotte Sun Jensen

Keywords: COGNITION AND EMOTION THEORY; FILM TRAILERS; GENRE; NARRATION

Abstract

This article investigates the film trailer in a cognitive film analytic perspective. More specifically, the focus is on how it circumvents its ontological tension between both giving and holding back its product—the film—at the same time. The hypothesis is that trailers that follow a classic genre convention seek to sell their products by condensing a range of genre traits, which arouses a specific, intense emotional experience. Most particularly, the trailer chooses to activate the main genre of the film and the corresponding range of emotions by reducing and reordering its often complex narrative. On this basis, compared to the film, the trailer may be viewed as an alternative narrative.

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