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Putting the Culture into Bioculturalism

A Naturalized Aesthetics and the Challenge of Modernism

Dominic Topp

In Chapter 6 of Film, Art, and the Third Culture, Murray Smith argues for a biocultural account of the emotions, which treats them as an interaction between universal and cultural dimensions. He goes on to test this approach in relation to the representation of emotions in films by considering an example from the tradition of modernist filmmaking. This article suggests that, while Smith’s case is broadly convincing, there are several ways in which it could be presented more forcefully. In particular, his discussion of the challenge of modernism to a biocultural account could be strengthened by emphasizing rather than downplaying the role that various types of cultural knowledge play in our interaction with modernist works.

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Jeff Smith, Dominic Topp, Jason Gendler and Francesco Sticchi

Giorgio Biancorosso, Situated Listening: The Sound of Absorption in Classical Cinema (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), xi + 246 pp., $55 (hardback), ISBN: 9780195374711. Reviewed by Jeff Smith

Lea Jacobs, Film Rhythm after Sound: Technology, Music, and Performance (Oakland: University of California Press, 2015), 280 pp., $34.95 (paperback), ISBN: 9780520279650. Reviewed by Dominic Topp

Miklós Kiss and Steven Willemsen, Impossible Puzzle Films: A Cognitive Approach to Contemporary Complex Cinema (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017), 240 pp., £70.00 (hardback), £19.00 (paperback), ISBN: 9781474406727. Reviewed by Jason Gendler

Steffen Hven, Cinema and Narrative Complexity: Embodying the Fabula (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2017), 261 pp., €22.00 (paperback), ISBN 9789462980778. Reviewed by Francesco Sticchi