Controversial films like Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange represent a challenge for current theories of emotion elicitation. Combining theories of emotional appraisal, film comprehension, and the formal analysis of film, this article outlines a model of audiovisual responses to films that distinguishes between four levels of information processing and corresponding emotional reactions: 1. the perception of images and sounds triggers perceptual affects, sensations, and moods; 2. the development of mental models of a represented world, its inhabitants and events, calls forth diegetic emotions like sympathy, empathy, and situation-related feelings; 3. grasping indirect or more abstract meanings leads to thematic emotions; and 4. reflection on the communication process and its elements (text, producer, recipient) leads to communicative emotions. These four levels of emotional reactions interact in time, leading to the development of complex emotion episodes.
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.
– 270 . 10.1007/s11097-006-9044-9 Eder , Jens . 2008a . “ Feelings in Conflict. ‘A Clockwork Orange’ and the Explanation of Audiovisual Emotions .” Projections: The Journal for Movies and Mind 2 ( 2 ): 66 – 84 . 10.3167/proj.2008.020205 Eder