This article presents a new method to create maps that chart changes across a cinematic narrative. These are unlike narrative spaces previously discussed in the literature—they are abstract, holistic, dynamic representations based on objective criteria. The analysis considers three films (All About Eve, Inception, and MASH) by counting the co-occurrences of main characters within scenes, and 12 Angry Men by counting their co-occurrences within shots. The technique used combines the statistical methods of correlation, multidimensional scaling, and Procrustes analysis. It then plots the trajectories of characters across these spaces in All About Eve and Inception, regions for characters in Inception and MASH, and compares the physical arrangement of jurors with their dramatic roles in 12 Angry Men. These maps depict the changing structures in the visual narrative. Finally, through consideration of statistical learning, the article explores the plausibility that these maps mimic relations in the minds of film viewers.
James E. Cutting, Catalina Iricinschi, and Kaitlin L. Brunick
Crossing Boundaries in New Disability Documentary Cinema
Documentary film has traditionally perpetuated damaging cultural understandings of disability. However, Astra Taylor’s Examined Life (2008) and Bonnie Sherr Klein’s Shameless: The Art of Disability (2006) utilize documentary techniques to problematize the culturally constructed boundary between disability and able-bodiedness. Spectators are dragged into simultaneously traditional and innovative relationships with the spaces, bodies, and lives inhabited by the documentaries’ disabled subjects. These relationships encourage connection and intimacy even as they contain moments of distance and alienation. The films’ ambivalent representations foster an appreciation of disabled bodies as a reflection of valuable human diversity and a denaturalization of disability’s Otherness. As examples of new disability documentary cinema, the documentaries reflect the political potential of complex and affective representations of disabled subjects.
Director Steve McQueen's 2008 film Hunger employs strategies of narrative fracture in its account of the 1981 Northern Irish hunger strikes. Through the formal devices of ellipsis and descriptive pause, the film creates space for viewer reflection on, and immersion in, the emotions associated with trauma and loss. Looking at these formal devices as emotion cues, and considering the film as a case study in the cognitive study of film, this article offers an 'emotional reading' of Hunger.
Film studies inspired by the theories of British psychoanalyst Donald W. Winnicott are scanty. Although this may be partly explained by Winnicott's own somewhat unenthusiastic attitude toward cinema, it should be fruitful to approach film, in both its form and content, by taking into consideration the relevance of some of his ideas. These include in particular the concepts of mirroring and transitional space, especially in relation to the idea of a bridge space connecting external reality to its filmed representation, as well as the latter to reality as perceived by the viewer's gaze. Winnicott's developmental model of mental processes could prove useful for an understanding of the structural and functional characteristics of cinema, as well as for providing original interpretations of individual films.
Situating Narration in the Fiction Film in the Context of Theories of Narrative Comprehension
Joseph P. Magliano and James A. Clinton
, which are linked via semantic relationships such as time, space, and causality (e.g., Van Dijk and Kintch 1983 ). Part of the fall of schema-dominant theories of comprehension came from the realization that many of these relationships required inference
chairs we sit on are closely packed together to maximize audience space, and yet even as I bang elbows with those on either side of me and feel my knees pressed up against the seat in front of me, the excited and jovial mood of the surrounding crowd
Tim J. Smith
The intention of most film editing is to create the impression of continuity by editing together discontinuous viewpoints. The continuity editing rules are well established yet there exists an incomplete understanding of their cognitive foundations. This article presents the Attentional Theory of Cinematic Continuity (AToCC), which identifies the critical role visual attention plays in the perception of continuity across cuts and demonstrates how perceptual expectations can be matched across cuts without the need for a coherent representation of the depicted space. The theory explains several key elements of the continuity editing style including match-action, matchedexit/entrances, shot/reverse-shot, the 180° rule, and point-of-view editing. AToCC formalizes insights about viewer cognition that have been latent in the filmmaking community for nearly a century and demonstrates how much vision science in general can learn from film.
relational, comparable to touch in connecting the felt “inside” of the feeling person with the “outside” of the world. Third, they involve a presupposed space of experiential possibility, that is, anticipations of what kinds of experiences are generally
A Cognitive Approach to the Experience of Narrative Complexity in Film
Veerle Ros and Miklós Kiss
selected because it allows us to make choices, comprehend emotional states, and navigate spaces. Because of humans’ forward-looking nature—an attitude that has been reinforced by our evolutionary history—every present perception and emotion already points
with a cluster of basic questions: What are the historically dominant norms of cinematic storytelling? How do they deploy the resources of cinema, particularly the representation of time and space? How have these principles emerged historically? And