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Ted Nannicelli

This article sketches a commonplace yet neglected epistemic puzzle raised by the diversity of our film-viewing practices. Because our appreciative practices allow for variability in the “instances” of cinematic works we engage, many of our experiential encounters with those works are flawed or impoverished in a number of ways. The article outlines a number of ways in which instances of cinema can vary—including, for example, in terms of color, score, and aspect ratio. This variability of instances of cinema and, hence, the variability in our experiences of a cinematic work raise potential problems around normative questions of interpretation and evaluation.

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Ted Nannicelli

The first thing I would like to do in my capacity as the new editor of Projections is to warmly thank the outgoing editor, Stephen Prince, for his outstanding stewardship of the journal over the past six years. Already a success when Stephen took over in 2012, Projections has only improved since then. It has been a great pleasure for me to work with Stephen as one of the associate editors over the past few years, and I am delighted that Stephen will remain involved with the journal in some capacity, since he has recently been elected the new president of the Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image (SCSMI).

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Ted Nannicelli

Before introducing this bumper issue of Projections, I have some exciting news to announce. At the most recent meeting of the Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image (SCSMI), the Board of Directors voted to approve a proposal to commence publishing Projections three times per year starting in 2019. This change is indicative of a steady trend of increasing, high-quality submissions, which not only allows us to publish more and publish more often, but also sends us a positive sign that our reputation for pioneering, interdisciplinary research is attracting attention from more and more scholars.

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Ted Nannicelli

Welcome to the first issue of our first three-issue volume of Projections. We begin this issue with a truly exciting collaboration between a filmmaker (and scholar), Karen Pearlman, and a psychologist, James E. Cutting. Cutting and Pearlman analyze a number of formal features, including shot duration, across successive cuts of Pearlman’s 2016 short film, Woman with an Editing Bench. They find that the intuitive revisions that Pearlman made actually track a progression toward fractal structures – complex patterns that also happen to mark three central pulses of human existence (heartbeat, breathing, walking).

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Ted Nannicelli

This issue of Projections features an impressive diversity of research questions and research methods. In our first article, Timothy Justus investigates the question of how film music represents meaning from three distinct methodological perspectives—music theory, cognitive psychology, and cognitive neuroscience. Following a model of naturalized aesthetics proposed by Murray Smith in Film, Art, and the Third Culture (see the book symposium in Projections 12.2), Justus argues for the importance of “triangulating” the methods and approaches of each field—more generally, of the humanities, the behavioral sciences, and the natural sciences. Our second article, by Gal Raz, Giancarlo Valente, Michele Svanera, Sergio Benini, and András Bálint Kovács, also explores the effects fostered by a specific formal device of cinema—in this case, shot-scale. And again, distinct research methods are put to complementary use. Raz and colleagues’ starting point is a desire to empirically test a hypothesis advanced by art historians Alois Riegl and Heinrich Wölfflin. To do this, they apply a machine-learning model to neurological data supplied by a set of fMRI scans. Methodology is the explicit topic of our third article, by Jose Cañas-Bajo, Teresa Cañas-Bajo, Juri-Petri Valtanen, and Pertti Saariluoma, who outline a new mixed (qualitative and quantitative) method approach to the study of how feature films elicit viewer interest.

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Ted Nannicelli

Lisa Zunshine, Getting Inside Your Head: What Cognitive Science Can Tell Us about Popular Culture

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Ted Nannicelli

ARTHUR P. SHIMAMURA, ED., PSYCHOCINEMATICS: EXPLORING COGNITION AT THE MOVIES

Ted Nannicelli