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Picture of Cinematic Narration and its Psychological Impact

Cinematic Narration and its Psychological Impact

Functions of Cognition, Emotion and Play

Author(s): Peter Wuss

Book Description

Film provides experience potential. Contemporary cognitive psychology gives the opportunity to define this impact on the film spectators’ mind in regard to different aspects of cognition, imagination and emotion. Proceeding from these positions, this book considers a number of practical issues of cinematic narration with which filmmakers, theorists and cineastes are frequently confronted: What is storytelling, and how may we objectify the regularities to be found at work in different modes of narration in the fiction film, among them structural principles of “art-cinema” which are often experienced on a level beneath conscious reception? What is the role of the element of conflict in the process of narration, and what are the effects that the representation of conflict situations on the screen has on the viewers’ emotions? How can we define “cinematic tension” and also “suspense”, and how does each influence the disposition of the audience? What constitutes a “reality-effect” in fiction films, and how can it vary in different modes of storytelling? How are a given protagonists’ dreams, fantasies and play behaviour integrated both into the course of narrative events and into the development of the spectator’s imageries and ideas? And finally: How do film genres work on a psychological level? Providing a theoretical framework for further empirical research, the book outlines a differentiated model for analysing key devices of cinematic narration in view of their impact on the spectators’ mind.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-0527-8
ISBN-10: 1-4438-0527-0
Date of Publication: 01/05/2009
Pages / Size: 370 / A5
Price: £44.99


Peter Wuss is professor emeritus at the Film and Television Academy (HFF) „Konrad Wolf“ in Potsdam-Babelsberg, Germany. After receiving a doctorate from the Moscow Film Institute VGIK, he worked in the motion picture industry as a script-editor and later headed the research group for Film Studies at the Academy of Arts in Berlin. Since 1993 he has been teaching at the HFF in Potsdam. He has written numerous articles on the theory, history and psychology of film and is the author of the books: “Das offene Filmkunstwerk” (1985), “Die Tiefenstruktur des Filmkunstwerks” (1986; 1990), “Kunstwert des Films and Massencharakter des Mediums” (1990) and “Filmanalyse und Psychologie” (1993; 1999).