Understanding Cinema: A Psychological Theory of Moving Imagery

Understanding Cinema: A Psychological Theory of Moving Imagery

Understanding Cinema: A Psychological Theory of Moving Imagery

Understanding Cinema: A Psychological Theory of Moving Imagery

Synopsis

Understanding Cinema analyzes the moving imagery of film and television from a psychological perspective. Per Persson asserts that spectators interpret, feel or make use of knowledge, assumptions, expectations and prejudices when viewing film. Persson explains how close-ups, editing conventions, character psychology and other cinematic techniques work, and how and why they affect the spectator. Utilizing examples from early and contemporary cinema, the book also analyzes the design of cinema conventions and their stylistic transformations through the evolution of film.

Excerpt

A number of people have contributed to this project. Although I have exposed my supervisor, Jan Olsson, to many long and tedious texts over the years, he has patiently endured and given fast feedback in the intelligent and verbally equilibristic way that is only his. In the same spirit, many fellow students and teachers at the colloquium in the Department of Cinema Studies, Stockholm University, have given me constructive criticism when it was best needed. I would like to express my thanks to David Bordwell, who took the time to read and comment on some of my draft chapters and inspired me academically with his lectures and professionalism. David Modjeska's meticulous revision of my English provided invaluable help, and his corrections often led to clarifications of content. Younghee Jung and my brother, Ola Persson, delicately provided the form and layout of the book. Maxime Fleckner Ducey granted me access to the archives of Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research, from which most of the photographic material in this book originates. The staff at the Department of Cinema Studies helped me with technical and economical matters all through the project. The Sweden–America Foundation allowed me the financial means to stay abroad for a year. Additional funding was provided for by Holger och Thyra Lauritzens Stiftelse, Wallenbergsstiftelsens Jubileumsfond, Run-Jannes Stipendium, and the Swedish Institute of Computer Science. I would also like to express my gratitude to all people at the HUMLE lab at the Swedish Institute of Computer Science for their generous support and constructive discussions. In particular, Kristina Höök's persistent encouragement–economically, academically, and personally–took me through many of the dark labyrinths that all projects of this nature eventually always run into. Finally, I thank Ewa Björnsson and Jonny Persson, my mother and father. If it were not for their joint support, constructive encouragement, and unconditional love all through the years, this study would simply not exist.

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