Screen Studies
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Feeling Cinema

Feeling Cinema: Emotional Dynamics in Film Studies

by Tarja Laine

Tarja Laine is Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. She is the author of Shame and Desire: Emotion, Intersubjectivity, Cinema (2007). Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Continuum, 2011
  • DOI:
    10.5040/9781628928693
  • ISBN:
    9781628928693 (online)

    9781441197085 (paperback)
  • Edition:
    First Edition
  • Place of Publication:
    New York
Feeling Cinema
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There is an upsurge of interest in contemporary film theory towards cinematic emotions. Tarja Laine's innovative study proposes a methodology for interpreting affective encounters with films, not as objectively readable texts, but as emotionally salient events. Laine argues convincingly that film is not an immutable system of representation that is meant for (one-way) communication, but an active, dynamic participant in the becoming of the cinematic experience.

Through a range of chapters that include Horror, Hope, Shame and Love - and through close readings of films such as The Shining, American Beauty and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Laine demonstrates that cinematic emotions are more than mere indicators of the properties of their objects. They are processes that are intentional in a phenomenological sense, supporting the continuous, shifting, and reciprocal exchange between the film's world and the spectator's world. Grounded in continental philosophy, this provocative book explores the affective dynamics of cinema as an interchange between the film and the spectator in a manner that transcends traditional generic patterns.