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This module is concerned with the way in which popular film produces powerful sensory and emotional responses in the spectator This module is not concerned with issues of representation or value judgements but rather with developing understanding of how films create the emotional responses they do We will focus on TWO films in preparation for your FM4 Examination
In addition to our TWO focus films we will also look at ‘Shocking Cinema’ The aims of the module are to: Consider the relationship between the film on screen and the audience in terms of the communication process Consider the idea that the ‘spectator’ will find particular films or sequences resulting in strong emotional responses Consider how ‘shock’ can be used in a variety of ways that it may be challenging / disturbing to a spectator
In your exam you will be expected to bring your own personal experiences in to your answers. 2010 Exam Questions One of the great pleasures of popular cinema is surrendering to the film experience and allowing ourselves to be emotionally manipulated’. Discuss this statement with reference to the films that you have studied for this topic. ‘Emotional response to a popular film is dependent on the ways in which we are made to identify with particular characters’. How far has this been your experience?
In order to be successful in this module you MUST demonstrate that youknow the difference between AUDIENCE and SPECTATORNote down a definition for the following terms: AUDIENCE A group. A group experience who share the same or similar meaningsSPECTATOR Individual. An individual experience characterised by certain personal connections to the text
A SPECTATOR is an individual member of anaudience. Spectatorship is an important concept infilm theory. Traditional models of audience responsetend to treat viewers, readers and listeners asgroups.Spectatorship study suggests that films build aspecific relationship with every individual whoexperiences it.Spectatorship focuses on understanding the ways inwhich films produce pleasure in their viewers.
Spectatorship theories suggest that our responses to film draws uponour entire psychological make up. Including:A Social Self – who can make meaning in ways not different from otherswith a similar ideological formationA Cultural Self – who makes particular inter-textual references (to otherfilms, kinds of images / music/sound) based on the material s/hepossessesThe Private Self – who carried the memories of her own experiences andwho may find personal significance in a film in a way very different fromothers
A Desiring Self – who brings conscious and unconscious energies andintensities to the film event that have little to do with the film’s ‘surface’contentThink of one cinema experience for each of the previous points.What films / sequences have appealed to the 4 different ‘selves’ identifiedabove?
What is emotion, or an emotional response? The experience of an individuals state of mind interacting with an environmental (External) influence The word emotion embodies the wide range of feelings that human beings are subjected to whilst under the influence of external stimuli Create a list of the various emotional responses films have elicited from you in the past. What films have made you respond on an emotional level and why / how?
As a Spectator we can experience fear, andpleasure, desire, surprise and shock and awhole array of emotions. But we will notexperience these emotions equally at thesame moment in a film Watch the following extract and note down all the different emotions you and other spectators may experience whilst watching this scene.
What is it that determines our own individual predisposition torespond in a certain emotional way at certain points in films? In pairs, make a list of the factors that will contribute to how we respond emotionally to films.
Watch the following Martin Scorsese short‘The Big Shave’ (1968)Make notes on your own personal responseto the filmWhy did you respond to the film in this way?What factors contributed to your emotionalresponse?How have the micro elements (camera /mise-en-scene) been used to elicit emotionalresponses?
Your job is to recognise that there is an intenseinteraction with the sounds and imagesoccurring as we watch films, and the filmmakers are deliberately setting out toengender emotional responses.Through your observation of the use of mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing and soundand narrative structures you will be able toexplore the ways in which emotionalresponses are created