From the Editor

in Projections
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  • 1 University of Queensland t.nannicelli@uq.edu.au

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).

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).

Julia Vassilieva's article tracing the collaborations between filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein, cultural psychologist Lev Vygotsky, and neuropsychologist Alexander Luria picks up and progresses a number of threads from the pages of the 2018 volume of Projections. Like Maria Belodubrovskaya in her article published last year, “The Cine-Fist:

Eisenstein's Attractions, Mirror Neurons, and Contemporary Action Cinema,” Vassilieva probes Eisenstein's influences, connections, and collaborations with his contemporaries working in the sciences of the mind, noting an anticipation of some important contemporary trends in the field. Vassilieva argues that Eisenstein's collaboration with Vygotsky and Luria anticipated a number of ideas in the research area known as 4E cognition (that is, embodied, embedded, enacted, and extended cognition) as well as the notions of a “third culture” (combining the sciences and the humanities) and the triangulation of experiential, psychological, and neuroscientific research, which were both advanced and defended by Murray Smith in our previous issue's symposium on his Film, Art, and the Third Culture.

Although it is not explicit, Eisenstein's influence is also present in Valerio Sbravatti's article in this issue, which outlines a “neurofilmological approach” to acoustic startles in horror films. Like Eisenstein, Sbravatti is interested in the ways in which film engages the audience both consciously and on a preconscious, automatic, bodily level. In Sbravatti's article, the specific topic of focus is how “acoustic blasts” elicit the startle response that, in the context of horror films, is colloquially referred to as the “jump scare.” One of the most interesting points of Sbravatti's article is that the jump scare is not achieved solely by preconscious, automatic means; rather, it is cued by the various ways in which a film first establishes a (conscious) anticipatory state in the viewer, which is something that makes the startle all the more effective.

In the same interdisciplinary spirit as the previous articles, Jens Kjeldgaard-Christiansen's article draws upon cognitive film theory and moral psychology to develop an account of our engagement with antipathetic characters in narrative film – that is, with villains. Again, Smith's work is an especial influence here; Kjeldgaard-Christiansen takes Smith's well-known “structure of sympathy” as a starting point for constructing an analogous “structure of antipathy.” Our issue is rounded out with four reviews of important and exciting new books, but Kjeldgaard-Christiansen's discussion of the cinematic construction of moral agency and moral responsibility serves as a nice thematic conclusion because similar topics will be the focus of our next issue, a special issue on cinema and ethics that will be guest edited by Robert Sinnerbrink.

Finally, the publication of this issue marks the first anniversary of my commencement as editor of Projections, which means that I have the honor and privilege of publicly acknowledging everyone who has served as a referee over the past year. My hope is that the publication of this list will start a new tradition to be continued annually in the first issue of every volume of Projections. Looking over the list, I am amazed and inspired by what an extensive, diverse, and impressive group of scholars it comprises. Projections is fortunate to have its success sustained by such a dedicated group of referees, authors, board members, and subscribers. If you have not done so already, please take this opportunity to request that your institution subscribe to our journal.

Ted Nannicelli

And now, thank you:

Richard Allen, City University of Hong Kong

Erica Bailey, Angelo State University

Katalin Bálint, Vrije University, Amsterdam

Daniel Barratt, Copenhagen Business School

Anne Bartsch, University of Leipzig

David Bashwiner, University of New Mexico

Maria Belodubrovskaya, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Todd Berliner, University of North Carolina, Wilmington

Matt Bezdek, Washington University in St. Louis

Helena Bilandzic, University of Augsburg

Julia Blau, Central Connecticut State University

Ib Bondebjerg, University of Copenhagen

William Brown, Roehampton University

Jeremy Butler, University of Alabama

Allan Cameron, University of Auckland

Annabel Cohen, University of Prince Edward Island

Stephen Davies, University of Auckland

Allison Eden, Michigan State University

Dirk Eitzen, Franklin and Marshall College

Jason Gendler, California State University, Long Beach

Michele Guerra, University of Parma

Steven Hinde, University of Bristol

Berthold Hoeckner, University of Chicago

Patrick Hogan, University of Connecticut

Nick Holliman, Newcastle University

Steffen Hven, Bauhaus University Weimar

Åse Innes-Ker, Lund University

Mark Kerins, Southern Methodist University

Hanna Kubicka, University of Glasgow

Jerrold Levinson, University of Maryland

Paisley Livingston, Lingnan University

Karla Oeler, Stanford University

Stephen Prince, Virginia Tech

Nick Redfern, Leeds Trinity University

William Rothman, University of Miami

Alaina Schempp, University of Kent

William P. Seeley, Boston College

Robert Sinnerbrink, Macquarie University

Jeff Smith, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Murray Smith, University of Kent

Tim Smith, Birkbeck, University of London

Jane Stadler, Swinburne University of Technology

Monika Suckfüll, Berlin University of the Arts

Ed Tan, University of Amsterdam

Siu-Lan Tan, Kalamazoo College

Pia Tikka, Tallinn University

Yuri Tsivian, University of Chicago

Malcolm Turvey, Tufts University

Margrethe Bruun Vaage, University of Kent

Janina Wildfeuer, University of Bremen

Denise J. Youngblood, University of Vermont

Jeffrey Zacks, Washington University in St. Louis

James Zborowski, University of Hull

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Projections

The Journal for Movies and Mind

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