This article examines how three classic Hindi films—Pyasaa, The Guide, and Jagate Raho—draw on Indic paradigms of devotional love and śānta rasa and how they use “wonder” as a resolution to distressing emotions experienced by the characters and elicited in the viewer. To this effect, the article emphasizes how socio-cultural models of appraisal elicit various kinds of emotion, and, from this culturally situated but broadly universalist perspective, it traces the journey of the protagonists from fear, dejection, and despair toward amazement and peace. Among contemporary cognitive theories of emotion, the article uses perspectives drawn from the appraisal theory.
fear and disgust. In his chapter on “Horror” in the Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film , for instance, Aaron Smuts (2009, 505 ) presupposes, without ever questioning it, the view that horror fictions warrant fear and disgust. Or, to mention
A Phenomenological Proposal
A look at current emotion research in film studies, a field that has been thriving for over three decades, reveals three limitations: (1) Film scholars concentrate strongly on a restricted set of garden-variety emotions—some emotions are therefore neglected. (2) Their understanding of standard emotions is often too monolithic—some subtypes of these emotions are consequently overlooked. (3) The range of existing emotion terms does not seem fine-grained enough to cover the wide range of affective experiences viewers undergo when watching films—a number of emotions might thus be missed. Against this background, the article proposes at least four benefits of introducing a more granular emotion lexicon in film studies. As a remedy, the article suggests paying closer attention to the subjective-experience component of emotions. Here the descriptive method of phenomenology—including its particular subfield phenomenology of emotions—might have useful things to tell film scholars.
letters). Four of these have their roots back in our reptilian ancestors: ANGER (aggression), FEAR (sexual), LUST, and SEEKING. SEEKING is a dopamine-supported emotional system that backs up the seeking for future gratifications such as food and sex, but
typically fictional, the events depicted in films often elicit emotional reactions in their viewers; indeed many film scenes are created with the explicit purpose of inducing particular emotions, such as fear or surprise. Explaining how viewers react to
Beyond the Kuleshov Effect
movement of his shoulders, as though he is breathing quickly and preparing bodily for flight, becomes suggestive, in this particular context, of fear at the prospect of his empowered mother-in-law. The kitchen scene, just before Mathias’s response, can feel
dimensions of expressiveness, such as speeding up delivery and quickening gestures in order to suggest increased alertness even though a categorical response such as fear fails to evolve in fullness. In my analysis, I will look for the extent to which
are apt to elicit mimicry on our part, so that we quite literally feel the saboteur’s fear in some measure” (145) (see Figure 1 ). These feelings are in direct conflict with our attitudes toward Fry up to that point, which—particularly for
Eisenstein’s Attractions, Mirror Neurons, and Contemporary Action Cinema
experience high-level and other-directed emotions such as admiration and pity. In contrast, simulation theory (or embodied simulation theory), which is based on the mirror mechanism, may explain self-directed and sensory emotions, such as fear and disgust
and suggests a solution to the paradox of horror that makes explicable and appropriate a combined and fully integrated response of fear, fascination, and disgust (2017: 204). When we move beyond solutions to paradoxes, however, the role of scientific