Most films, most of the time, are affectively unified. What I call “synesthetic affects” are orchestrated in an attempt to provide a holistic affective experience congruent with the film's unfolding narrative and thematic concerns. Yet Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line elicits contradictory or incongruent affects, such incongruence neither being justified by genre conventions, “excess,” irony, nor stumbled upon through incompetence. The Thin Red Line elicits incongruent emotions for the purposes of generating an experience of rumination and wonder. The study of such incongruent emotions, still in its infancy, raises important methodological issues about the study of mixed emotions and the conventions for mixing affects in the cinema.
Film scholars, critics, filmmakers, and audiences all routinely employ intuitive, untutored "folk psychology" in viewing, interpreting, critiquing, and making films. Yet this folk psychology receives little attention in film scholarship. This article argues that film scholars ought to pay far more attention to the nature and uses of folk psychology. Turning to critical work on Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, the article demonstrates the diverse and sometimes surprising ways that folk psychology is used in criticism. From an evolutionary perspective, the article defends the critic's and audience's interests in characters as persons. It also defends folk psychology against some of its most vocal detractors, and provides some guidance into how cognitive film theorists might employ folk psychology, arguing that such employment must supplement and correct folk psychology with scientific psychology and philosophical analysis. Finally, the article argues that the application of folk psychology to films is a talent, a skill, and a sensitivity rather than a science.
Anne Friedberg, THE VIRTUAL WINDOW: FROM ALBERTI TO MICROSOFT. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006, xii + 357 pp., $34.95 (cloth).
JINHEE CHOI AND MATTIAS FREY, EDS., CINE-ETHICS: ETHICAL DIMENSIONS OF FILM THEORY, PRACTICE, AND SPECTATORSHIP
The stories we tell each other, or present via mass media, are important components of the cultural ecology of a place and time. This article argues that 300 (2007), directed by Zach Snyder and based on a comic book series both written and illustrated by Frank Miller, evinces what can legitimately be called a “fascist aesthetic” that depends in large part on the moods and emotions the screen story both represents and elicits. While many other commentators have charged this film with incipient fascism, this article both deepens and expands on the claim by showing how the film’s elicitation of affect contributes to this aesthetic. The article argues that the affects represented and elicited in 300, when taken in conjunction with and in relation to the ideology they support, constitute what can be called “fascist affect.”
Carl Plantinga, Jeffrey M. Zacks and Bonnie S. Kaufman
Mark Turner, ed. THE ARTFUL MIND: COGNITIVE SCIENCE AND THE RIDDLE OF HUMAN CREATIVITY. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006, xvi + 314 pp., $35.00 (hardback).
Mary A. Peterson, Barbara Gillam, and H. A. Sedgwick, eds., IN THE MIND’S EYE: JULIAN HOCHBERG ON THE PERCEPTION OF PICTURES, FILMS, AND THE WORLD. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007, xix + 366 pp., $75 (hardback).
Gabbard, Glen, ed., PSYCHOANALYSIS AND FILM. London: Karnac Books, 2001, viii + 239 pp., $39.95 (paperback).
Sabbadini, Andrea, ed. THE COUCH AND THE SILVER SCREEN: PSYCHOANALYTIC REFLECTIONS ON EUROPEAN CINEMA. London: Brunner-Routledge, 2003, xx + 258 pp., $78.95 (hardback), $33.95 (paperback).
Brenden Rooney, Hanna Kubicka, Carl Plantinga, James Kendrick and Johannes Riis
Jeffrey M. Zacks, Flicker: Your Brain on Movies (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), 360 pp., $29.95 (hardback). ISBN: 978-0-19998-287-5.
Margrethe Bruun Vaage, The Antihero in American Television (New York: Routledge, 2016), xx + 206 pp., $148 (hardback). ISBN: 978-1-13888-597-4.
Robert Sinnerbrink, Cinematic Ethics: Exploring Ethical Experience through Film (London: Routledge, 2016), x + 216 pp., $49.95 (paperback), ISBN: 978-1-13882- 616-8, $145 (hardback), ISBN: 978-1-13882-615-1.
Henry Bacon, The Fascination of Film Violence (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), vii + 227 pp., $95 (hardback), ISBN: 978-1-137-47644-9.
Aaron Taylor, ed., Theorizing Film Acting (London: Routledge, 2012), 316 pp., $145 (hardback), ISBN: 978-0-41550-951-0.