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A Dialogue with Neuroscientist Jaak Panksepp on the SEEKING System: Breaking the Divide between Emotion and Cognition in Film Studies

Karin Luisa Badt

Neuroscientist Jaak Panksepp's theory of SEEKING offers a fundamental insight into why film spectators are engaged by what they see on screen. This article offers a new reading of Panksepp's SEEKING theory and how it applies to spectatorship, a reading informed by two months of the author's personal exchange with the scientist. The article states that the SEEKING impulse—defined as the emotional instinct to seek resources—applies not only to how the spectator identifies with the main character and his search for resources, but to how the spectator responds to visual and aural cues regardless of the story or characters. The article provides a corrective to spectator theories which focus too narrowly on narrative as a cue for viewer mental activity. An examination of two scenes from The Bicycle Thief and Stalker shows how SEEKING can occur on both the primary and tertiary level, thus breaking the emotion-cognition divide.

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Meglio di ieri

Educational Films, National Identity and Citizenship in Italy from 1948 to 1968

Anne Bruch

assessed critically in feature films such as Vittorio de Sica’s Ladri di biciclette ( Bicycle Thieves , 1948), Roberto Rossellini’s Roma città aperta ( Rome, Open City , 1945), and Europa ‘51 (1952). Other noteworthy contributions to this critical

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Not Just a Phase

Queer Girlhood and Coming of Age on Screen

Whitney Monaghan

rides her bicycle home, throws it to the ground and runs indoors. In a following scene, Yolanda's gaze again captures Mari's rebellious nature as she enters the classroom, headphones covering her ears. Later, this becomes more explicit when she is caught