This issue of Projections ranges across the avant-garde cinema, tear-jerking melodramas, the nature of historical trauma, and narratives that assume playful, game-like formats and that may be found in title sequences and trailers.
From the Editor
From the Editor
The journal’s subtitle—“movies and mind”—points to the intersection of cinema and its viewers. Although it works in foreseeable ways, mind is not a machine. Its constituents include the unique sets of circumstances that define a person; thus there are many routes to revealing the intersection of movies and mind.
From the Editor
This issue of Projections focuses on movie violence, a topic of continuing controversy. Concerns about screen violence are not new. Because of their visceral power, popular appeal, and the seeming ease with which they bypassed established channels and norms of socialization, movies swiftly drew the attention and scorn of social critics and reformers. The city of Chicago passed the nation’s first movie censorship ordinance in 1907. Numerous state and municipal censor boards were established in its wake, and movie violence drove the first court-adjudicated censorship case in American film history. The James Boys in Missouri (1908) and Night Riders (1908) were Westerns that Chicago authorities deemed to be immoral because they concentrated on showing the exploits of violent outlaws. The Chicago reformers felt that the films lacked an appropriate moral balance in failing to devote sufficient attention to law-abiding characters.
Introduction: The Problem of Entertaining Violence
The impetus for this special issue of Projections was personal, not just academic.
I am deeply, religiously committed to nonviolence. I have three sons
and a daughter that I have tried to raise to share this commitment. Yet I really
relish the occasional violent entertainment and I have been fairly free in sharing
this pleasure with my children. This has led to considerable moral anxiety.
From the Editor
As it developed, cinema gained in popularity by offering pleasures that viewers found easy to experience and understand. Faced with an uncommonly vivid and accessible medium, moviegoers responded enthusiastically to comedies and dramas, and filmmakers learned to craft stories and characters and to design images and image transitions that made intuitive sense and that sustained the fictional worlds on screen and the pleasures engendered by an immersive visual experience.
Aesthetics of Stereoscopic Cinema
Although stereoscopic cinema was invented very early in the history of film, it did not become the standard for cinematic representations. With the latest digital wave of stereoscopic 3D cinema many shortcomings of earlier technologies have been eliminated, but debate remains about the aesthetic principles of stereoscopy. This article explores and evaluates basic approaches to aesthetic design in stereoscopic films.
Editing, Digital Image Design, World-Building
When Sam Peckinpah turned over his raw footage for Ride the High Country
(1962) to the MGM studio editor, she declared that the material he had filmed
for the final gunfight was incompetent and that it could not be edited together
in a coherent way. Viewed today, the scene does not seem especially
transgressive in its treatment of continuity, but in that earlier period when
studio editing rules were more conservative, Peckinpah’s disregard for standardized
camera set-ups and conventional coverage perplexed and infuriated
As Projections completes its fifth year, I offer a timely summary of the journal’s origins, history, and its goals up until the present time. Such a discussion also seems appropriate because this issue is the last to be guided by the present editor. Five years ago we had a good idea. A remarkable transition was taking place in our culture. Although the most influential ideas during much of the last century seemed to be coming from the humanities and social sciences, much of our intellectual life was now shifting to the sciences—so much of our thinking, of our Weltanschauung was now being shaped by the remarkable insights that were coming from psychologists, neuroscientists, biologists, evolutionists. A number of us were interested in the relationship between film and mind—to understand film one had to understand the mind, the brain, the consciousness that perceived and processed the images and sound, and the minds that created them; and if film was the most cerebral of the art forms, it was the one that could most benefit from the new insights about the mind that were coming out of the sciences and the one most useful in extending our knowledge of these disciplines. We wanted to see if it were possible to bring together the humanities and sciences in a single journal to better understand what had become the world’s major art form.
Quantity and Quality
Well, here we are, starting our fifth year of publication and things seem to be going smoothly enough. Ever developing (we are never satisfied), we bring you something new with this issue, an approach that might further our understanding of cinema and the way it affects us as viewers. The field is “cinemetrics” and though some form of it has been around since the 1970s, the field has taken off especially with the start of the cinemetrics website in 2005.
We celebrate the Society of the Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image’s new sponsorship of Projections: The Journal for Movies and Mind with a special issue devoted to writing from cognitive and affiliated approaches. We invite our readers from various disciplines to take a look and further open their minds to this type of film studies. The readers will immediately find how accessible and reasonable these articles are. They will also find how cognitive film studies is itself interdisciplinary and willing to integrate what is compatible and useful.