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SCSMI2017 Helsinki has ended
The annual conference of the Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image (SCSMI) welcomes you to the Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland, June 11th – 14th, 2017

SCSMI2017 Helsinki program is under construction and changes are to occur. Meanwhile you may complete your personal information with a photo and some tags, so the other attendees and speakers will get to know more of you and your interests, and vice versa.

Go to registration or check practical information about accommodation etc. at http://scsmi2017.aalto.fi/
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Sunday, June 11
 

09:00

Good morning! Welcome to registration!
Registration with a selection of good morning refreshments.

Sunday June 11, 2017 09:00 - 10:00
Aalto Big Hall, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (1st floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

10:00

Welcome words to SCSMI2017 HELSINKI by Dr Pia Tikka
Speakers
avatar for Pia Tikka

Pia Tikka

Research Fellow, Aalto University
Dr. Pia Tikka, is Adjunct Professor of New Narrative Media and a professional filmmaker. | Since 2003, in the field of new narrative media, she has led her research group of Enactive Cinema, and a founding member of the research project Enactive Media (2009-2011), Aalto University... Read More →


Sunday June 11, 2017 10:00 - 10:10
Aalto Big Hall, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (1st floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

10:10

Opening SCSMI 20 years by Dr Murray Smith
Speakers
avatar for Murray Smith

Murray Smith

Professor of Film, University of Kent
President of SCSMI. Author of Engaging Characters, Film Theory and Philosophy, Trainspotting, Thinking through Cinema, and most recently Film, Art, and the Third Culture. Laurance S Rockefeller Fellow, Princeton Center for Human Values (2017-18).


Sunday June 11, 2017 10:10 - 10:20
Aalto Big Hall, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (1st floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

10:20

SCSMI KEYNOTE by Dr Paisley Nathan Livingston: On cinema as philosophy: the Kaila–Bergman connection revisited
In this talk I will present a very general map of theses about cinema as philosophy and will then discuss the case of Ingmar Bergman, looking in particular at his relation to some of the ideas of Finnish philosopher and psychologist, Eino Kaila. I’ll also discuss Bergman’s Autumn Sonata as a Kaila-esque critique of Arthur Janov’s primal scream therapy.

Guest Speaker
avatar for Paisley Nathan Livingston

Paisley Nathan Livingston

Paisley Livingston is Chair Professor of Philosophy at Lingnan University in Hong Kong and visiting professor in philosophy at Uppsala University. His books include Art and Intention (OUP 2005) and Cinema, Philosophy, Bergman (OUP 2009). With Carl Plantinga he co-edited The Routledge... Read More →


Sunday June 11, 2017 10:20 - 11:30
Aalto Big Hall, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (1st floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

11:30

The 100 years of Independent Finnish Cinema

100 years of Finnish Cinema

This year is the first centenary of Finnish independence. Finnish cinema is somewhat older, as small scale film production started already when Finland was an autonomous Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire. Alas, apart from a handful of fragments, that output has completely disappeared. But film exhibition become fairly regular at this time and continued almost uninterrupted throughout the vicissitudes of the independence struggle and even the turmoil of the civil war in the spring of 1918.

Throughout the 1920s film production grew but was able to thrive only with the support of film exhibition which relied to a great extent on foreign export, at first mainly Nordic and other European cinemas, later on increasingly on Hollywood output. Only in the era of sound film did two companies, Suomi Filmi and Suomen Filmiteollisuus grow strong enough to be able to be able to produce films with enough popular appeal so as to make the industry profitable for a couple of decades.

Just like in most parts of the world, the studio system more or less collapsed toward the end of 1950s and the beginning of the 1960s. French and other New Waves provided inspiration particularly for radical young filmmakers, but for them to realize their visions a system of state subsidy had to be created. The Finnish Film Foundation started its operation in 1969. It made a good start aesthetically, but in the next decade it became blatantly obvious that so called Foundation Films were not attracting audiences. The operating principles of the foundation were fundamentally revised in the 1980s, leading eventually to a new rise of Finnish cinema. Due to the small size of the domestic audience, it is not self-supporting, but it does catch about one quarter of the Finnish audience.

The way Finnish cinema has always connected with trends and developments in other countries was thoroughly explored in a research project headed by Henry Bacon, titled A Transnational History of Finnish Cinema. This was probably the first time that the entire film history of a national cinema was explored from a transnational point of view. This entailed further developing methods for the analysis of the economical basis of film production on the one hand, and analysis of style on the other. In our presentation Outi Hupaniittu will tell about the methods she developed for extracting information from company records as well as the often scarce statistical information in order to throw light on the economic conditions of film production and cinema attendance. Jaakko Seppälä in turn will relate how he employed Cinemetrics in his analysis of the impact of foreign influences on the development of style within Finnish silent cinema.

We will thus provide a glimpse into the hundred years of surviving Finnish cinema from a fresh scholarly perspective, providing insight into the ways corpuses of cinema of different sizes can be examined in a rigorous but insightful fashion. 


Speakers
avatar for Henry Bacon

Henry Bacon

Professor of Film and Television Studies, University of Helsinki
Henry Bacon is professor of Film and Television Studies at the University of Helsinki (2004 – ). Previously he has worked as an assistant professor of Film and Television Studies at the University of Oulu (1994-1999) and as a research fellow at the Finnish Film Archive (1999-2004... Read More →
avatar for Jaakko Seppälä

Jaakko Seppälä

University of Helsinki
Dr. Jaakko Seppälä is the chair of Finnish Society for Cinema Studies and a researcher at the School of Film and Television Studies, University of Helsinki. He is also a member of the editorial board of Lähikuva, a Finnish language journal on film and media studies. Seppälä’s... Read More →

Guest Speaker
avatar for Outi Hupaniittu

Outi Hupaniittu

Dr. Outi Hupaniittu, PhD, is cinema historian and archivist. She is the director at the Archives of Finnish Literature Society (SKS), which is the largest private archival institution in Finland with 185-year-old history, concentrating on archival collections of folklore & contemporary... Read More →



Sunday June 11, 2017 11:30 - 12:30
Aalto Big Hall, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (1st floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

12:30

Refreshments
Light snacks and refreshments served outside of the Big Hall to boost the body and the brain.

Sunday June 11, 2017 12:30 - 13:15
Aalto Big Hall, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (1st floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

13:15

KEYNOTE Dr. Julia Vassilieva. Eisenstein-Vygotsky-Luria’s collaboration and third culture debates.
Limited Capacity seats available

This paper focuses on the little known collaboration between revolutionary Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein, cultural psychologists Lev Vygotsky and neuropsychologist Alexander Luria. The research program that Eisenstein-Vygotsky-Luria conducted from the mid-1920s until the late 1940s crossed boundaries between natural sciences, social sciences and arts to explore the neural basis and semiotics of screen aesthetics. While Vygotsky’s legacy is associated primarily with the idea thatcultural mediation plays a crucial role in the emergence and development of personality and cognition, Luria laid the foundations of the contemporary neurosciences and demonstrated that cultural mediation also changes the functional architecture of the brain.Their integrative science of mind and brain outlined how psychological functioning is constituted by various features of the body, the natural environment, and the cultural and technical tools that humans use. It is in the context of this collaboration that Eisenstein produced his key later works: Non-Indifferent Nature (1945-1947) and Method (1931-1948), while Luria wrote The Nature of Human Conflicts (1932) and Vygotsky concludedLanguage and Thought (1934). My recent archival research demonstrates that thiscollaboration included not only theoretical discussions, but also joint experimental work in the areas such as hypnosis, psychological testing, motor regulation in embryos, cognitive development of twins, schizophrenia, and synaesthesia and memory. This experimental work often fed into Eisenstein’s practice as a film director, while also providing a sustained impulse for his work as a theoretician. As such, this uniquecollaboration forged the model of interdisciplinary work and collective action that anticipated current debates concerning third culture. 

Guest Speaker
avatar for Julia Vassilieva

Julia Vassilieva

ARC Research Fellow, Monash Unviersity
Dr. Julia Vassilieva is Australian Research Council Research Fellow working on the project “Cinema and the Brain: Eisenstein–Vygotsky–Luria’s collaboration” at Monash University. She has double background in film studies and psychology and she works at the intersection... Read More →


Sunday June 11, 2017 13:15 - 14:15
Aalto Big Hall, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (1st floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

14:15

Neurocinematics - a follow-up
Speakers
avatar for Pia Tikka

Pia Tikka

Research Fellow, Aalto University
Dr. Pia Tikka, is Adjunct Professor of New Narrative Media and a professional filmmaker. | Since 2003, in the field of new narrative media, she has led her research group of Enactive Cinema, and a founding member of the research project Enactive Media (2009-2011), Aalto University... Read More →


Sunday June 11, 2017 14:15 - 14:45
Aalto Big Hall, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (1st floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

14:45

KEYNOTE by Dr Lauri Nummenmaa: Emotions, cinema and the Brain

Emotions promote our well-being in different survival-salient situations. They are typically triggered by biologically relevant signals such as threats and physical harm or rewards including food consumption or social interaction. However, also abstract and “simulated” threats and pleasures such as love stories and horror shown in films can trigger strong subjective feelings in the viewers.  In my talk I present an overview on brain mechanisms supporting human emotions, and discuss how we can use cinema for studying the emotional brain. I discuss how viewing emotions in films makes individuals to “tune in” with each other, and how specific neurotransmitter systems in the brain govern out vicarious experience of the emotions we see in movies.  Finally, I propose that humans enjoy engaging in strong, even negative, emotional movies because this provides safe means for preparing to meet the actual emotion-eliciting events in real life. 


Guest Speaker
avatar for Lauri Nummenmaa

Lauri Nummenmaa

Associate professor, Turku PET Centre
I lead the Human Emotion Systems laboratory at Turku PET Centre and Department of Psychology, University of Turku. Our goal is to unravel the neurochemical and functional mechanisms that support human emotions, as well as their dysfunction in different psychiatric and neurological... Read More →


Sunday June 11, 2017 14:45 - 15:45
Aalto Big Hall, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (1st floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

15:45

Refreshments
Light snacks and refreshments served outside of the Big Hall to boost the body and the brain.

Sunday June 11, 2017 15:45 - 16:15
Aalto Big Hall, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (1st floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

16:15

KEYNOTE by Dr. Asta Kärkkäinen, NOKIA: 3D audio in immersive movies
Title: 3D audio in immersive movies

Movies are follow up of long tradition of arts. However, movies are more related to paintings than theatre. Of course, in movies, the paintings are moving and they speak like a radio, but the real immersion of theatrical expression is missing: your ability to look at scene part of your choice, follow the action where you please, and perceive the distance and experience the sound to come from its real source.
Now, technology to produce immersive movies is on the making, although there are still steps on the way.  Also, directors will be facing new challenges, as the 360-degree perceptive field is more than a stage, and it becomes harder to catch the attention of the audience to carry the story line, but theatre directors have always known how to do this. Actually, directing an immersive movie is like directing in theatre with a very big stage [1]. 
Nokia, among many other companies is introducing cameras to catch the theatrical experience and augment this with special effects and framing trickery more suitable to the expectations of a movie than a play [2]. Light, set, script and of course the acting itself is important, but it is the sound that brings the finishing touch to the play.
Immersive real or virtual reality perception of environment requires well matching 3D audio. Brains process sound faster than vision. Sounds, especially 3D sounds, are essential for tasks that need fast judgement and awareness of environment. Positional sounds can reduce visual workload and improve awareness of information outside user's field of view. In Nokia, we have developed a process to record and render the sound in its true variability [4, 5].
References:
[1]  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/23/theater/sleep-no-more-enhanced-by-mit-media-lab.html
[2] https://ozo.nokia.com/vr/
[4] https://ozo.nokia.com/ozo_en/nokia-ozo-audio
[5] T. Huttunen, E. Seppälä, O. Kirkeby, A. Kärkkäinen, and L. Kärkkäinen, " Simulation of the transfer function for a head-and-torso model over the entire audible frequency range," J. Comp. Acous. 15, 429 (2007).

Guest Speaker
avatar for Asta Kärkkäinen

Asta Kärkkäinen

Dr. Asta Kärkkäinen works as a Principal Researcher in Digital Media R&D Spatial Audio in Nokia Technologies. She got her Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics on the area of Atom, Molecule and Laser Physics from the University of Helsinki, in 1997. The same year she joined Nokia Research... Read More →


Sunday June 11, 2017 16:15 - 17:15
Aalto Big Hall, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (1st floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

17:15

Discussion
Sunday June 11, 2017 17:15 - 17:45
Aalto Big Hall, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (1st floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

17:30

SCSMI Board Meeting
The annual SCSMI Board Meeting (open only for the SCSMI board members). 

Speakers
avatar for Murray Smith

Murray Smith

Professor of Film, University of Kent
President of SCSMI. Author of Engaging Characters, Film Theory and Philosophy, Trainspotting, Thinking through Cinema, and most recently Film, Art, and the Third Culture. Laurance S Rockefeller Fellow, Princeton Center for Human Values (2017-18).


Sunday June 11, 2017 17:30 - 20:30
TBC

18:30

Get-together at Allas Sea Pool Bar
Sunday night we will meet in a brand new cozy restarurant & bar of Allas Sea Pool for dining, socializing and networking. This event is on your own cost, and it is up to you if you choose to order a cup of tea, a glass of vine, or to dine. The Allas Cafe has offered us some seats & tables with salty snacks at their first floor Glass Terrace. You may dine at Allas Cafe or consider dining first upstairs in the Neighbour Bistro (served to tables) and later join the rest of the scsmi gang downstairs at the Allas Cafe.

There is also an option for sauna and a dip in the pool (private sauna reserved for SCSMI2017 attendees, note, pre-payment 18€). Sauna is reserved between 8-11 pm.

Note, if you want to take sauna as well, you may check to attend separately at https://eage.aalto.fi/?fs/SCSMI2017e (if you have not done it together with the registration).
  • Sunday, June 11: Sauna at the opening evening (18,00 EUR)
  • Monday, June 12: A Finnish film evening with special guests (free)
  • Tuesday, June 13: A conference dinner evening (45,00 EUR)

Allas Sea Pool Restaurant & Cafe - Helsinki on a plate at the tip of Helsinki

The new three-story restaurant situated at the most beautiful spot in the city, next to the Kauppatori market place. Direct view to the open sea and to the city. The Neighbour Bistro, the modern Allas Cafe, the refreshing bars and sunny terraces all offer possibilities to feed both the body and mind being surrounded by the sea.  The restaurant services at Allas are provided by Soupster Family.

Allas Cafe

The Allas Cafe offers breakfast, lunch, warm dishes, and, of course, high-class cafeteria products. We offer healthy and fresh food to the health oriented and also care for those with a special diet. The Allas Cafe products are made on spot from fresh raw materials: The assortment is prepared on the same day from raw materials from the nearby marketplace and the fish in the salmon soup is from responsible catches. The cafe wants to act as a good neighbour and be a meeting place for all the citizens – whether you want to enjoy a glass of wine or a cup or warm coffee.

Neighbour Bistro

The Neighbour Bistro’s kitchen utilises the season’s best raw materials, which are acquired from as close as possible. The menu includes Helsinki classics from during the last century, made fresh with a modern touch. Everything is close to our dear Baltic Sea and the restaurant follows the principles of sustainable development. We want also future generations to be able to enjoy the coasts and products of the Baltic Sea.

The Neighbour Bistro offers classic treats with modern spices in the form of portions to be divided between your company. Also the best parts of the Helsinki drink culture are served, ranging from the products of small breweries to the treats of the local distilleries. 

See more http://www.allasseapool.fi/en/about.html 




Sunday June 11, 2017 18:30 - 22:00
Allas Cafe & Restaurant Katajanokanlaituri 2 - 00160 Helsinki

20:00

Get-together at Allas Sea Pool SAUNA
Finland is famous for its sauna culture. For this special event we prefer that you register beforehand (18 EUR) at the registration pages.

If you want to join us to this event you may pay your participation together with your registration fee here:  http://scsmi2017.aalto.fi/registration/

Or you may also pay only your evening events separately here:  
https://eage.aalto.fi/?fs/SCSMI2017e

Allas Sea Pool boasts several saunas, swimming pools and locate just next to the restaurant and bar of Allas Sea Pool where the SCSMI2017 evening takes place.
You may bring your own swimming suit, or rent one for swimming in the pool. Unlike in some other European countries, in Finland we do not swim naked in the mixed pools. On the other hand, swimsuits are not allowed in public saunas. However, in our private sauna you can wrap up towel around you if you will. Towels are included in the price. There are separete dressing rooms as well as saunas for women or men available, if one prefers to go public. Towels are included in the price. The temperature in saunas is 80 °C (176 °F). 


Sunday June 11, 2017 20:00 - 22:00
Allas Sea Pool Katajanokanlaituri 2, Helsinki
 
Monday, June 12
 

09:15

Good morning!
Morning coffee & refreshments served at the 3rd floor hallway.

Monday June 12, 2017 09:15 - 09:30
Aalto Hallway 3rd floor - Refreshments

09:30

LP Francesco Sticchi: Inside the 'mind' of Llewyn Davis: Embodying a Melancholic Vision of the World
Limited Capacity seats available

With this presentation I aim to analyze Inside Llewyn Davis within what I call an experientialist theory of cinema, which examines the affective and conceptual elements of film experience by employing Baruch Spinoza's psychological model of intensities and potentialities. More specifically, this essay examines a particular type of film experience, one based on sad passions. The experientialist model I am proposing identifies film experience as an embodied phenomenon based on the association between sensations and concepts, which avoids the standard distinction between emotion and reason. Affections and abstractions become part of the same integrated cognitive process, which makes us "physically sense" ideas. This associative mechanism is largely based on visual metaphors, which spatially describe complex concepts and even philosophical and behavioural models. In Inside Llewyn Davis viewers experience a particular spatio-temporal structure (chronotope), which describes circular patterns and the hero's constant failure to achieve goals. Film experience is, therefore, conceived as a synesthetic process that combines narrative and intellectual structures with emotional reactions, in order to facilitate empathic involvement with the characters, especially those inflicted with sad passions and negative emotions. Furthermore, because of the dynamic nature of film experience, viewers can use creatively the problematic potential of sad passions.


Speakers
avatar for Francesco Sticchi

Francesco Sticchi

PhD -Assistant Lecturer, Oxford Brookes University
I just completed my PhD at Oxford Brookes University, working under the supervision of prof. Warren Buckland. My research concerns the study of sad passions in audiovisual experience, and the connection between Spinoza’s thought and different embodied cognitive theories. I am also... Read More →


Monday June 12, 2017 09:30 - 10:30
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

09:30

LP Mehul Bhatt, Jakob Suchan and Omar Moussa. What can Artificial Intelligence do for Cognitive Media Studies? -- Integrated Analytical-Empirical Methods from the Viewpoint of Visuo-Auditory Cognition
Limited Capacity seats available

Speakers
avatar for Mehul Bhatt

Mehul Bhatt

Professor, University of Bremen
Mehul Bhatt is Professor within the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics at the University of Bremen, Germany; and Stiftungs Professor at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI Bremen). He leads the Human-Centred Cognitive Assistance Lab at the University of... Read More →
avatar for Omar Moussa

Omar Moussa

HCC Lab, University of Bremen
Omar Moussa is a student of computer science and digital media with core expertise in programming and visual computing. His current focus is on designing visual perception studies and multi-modal analysis of human behaviour data.
JS

Jakob Suchan

HCC Lab, University of Bremen
Jakob Suchan is doctoral researcher within the Human-Centred Cognitive Assistance Lab at the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics, University of Bremen, Germany. His research is in the area of cognitive vision (www.cognitive-vision.org), particularly focussing on the integration... Read More →


Monday June 12, 2017 09:30 - 10:30
A-305 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

09:30

LP Wyatt Moss-Wellington: A Social Narratology of Film
Limited Capacity seats available

Social narratology draws from anthropology, evolutionary biology, experimental media studies, and social psychology to catalogue notions of the “function of fiction” in human relations. This paper describes the project of social narratology using film narratives as a primary example. It extends cognitive research focused on spectator response and the moment of engagement to emphasize the sociality of media use: the way narratives facilitate and mediate the spaces between people. Social narratology considers film as a storytelling art foremost, and addresses questions regarding the humanistic and ethical functions of narrative theory.


Speakers
avatar for Wyatt Moss-Wellington

Wyatt Moss-Wellington

The University of Sydney
Wyatt Moss-Wellington is a PhD candidate at The University of Sydney. He has recently published work in journals including Film International and Forum, with an article on cognitive dissonance in cinema upcoming in Projections. In 2012, he completed an MA research thesis on the cinema... Read More →


Monday June 12, 2017 09:30 - 10:30
A-306 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

10:30

SP Jaakko Seppälä. Representations of loneliness in the cinema of Aki Kaurismäki
Limited Capacity seats available

Aki Kaurismäki is known for making melancholic films that discuss pressing social issues, but paradoxically his films have a reputation for being funny. Loneliness is a major theme in his cinema. Focusing on what I see as Kaurismäki’s loneliest protagonists, I explore how he employs his signature style of ironic minimalism and makes the representations of loneliness poignant, amusing and engaging. I demonstrate why the protagonists are lonely, how loneliness affects their being in the world and, most importantly, how ironic minimalism directs the audience to engage with them by inviting and blocking emotional involvement.


Speakers
avatar for Jaakko Seppälä

Jaakko Seppälä

University of Helsinki
Dr. Jaakko Seppälä is the chair of Finnish Society for Cinema Studies and a researcher at the School of Film and Television Studies, University of Helsinki. He is also a member of the editorial board of Lähikuva, a Finnish language journal on film and media studies. Seppälä’s... Read More →


Monday June 12, 2017 10:30 - 11:00
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

10:30

SP Jakob Suchan, Mehul Bhatt, Rocio Varela and Johanna Arens: Obsessed by Symmetry: -Wes Anderson and his Visuo-Cinemato-graphic Scene Structures and their Perceptual Reception
Limited Capacity seats available

Speakers
avatar for Mehul Bhatt

Mehul Bhatt

Professor, University of Bremen
Mehul Bhatt is Professor within the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics at the University of Bremen, Germany; and Stiftungs Professor at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI Bremen). He leads the Human-Centred Cognitive Assistance Lab at the University of... Read More →
JS

Jakob Suchan

HCC Lab, University of Bremen
Jakob Suchan is doctoral researcher within the Human-Centred Cognitive Assistance Lab at the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics, University of Bremen, Germany. His research is in the area of cognitive vision (www.cognitive-vision.org), particularly focussing on the integration... Read More →


Monday June 12, 2017 10:30 - 11:00
A-305 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

10:30

SP Keyvan Sarkhosh. What is the feel-good factor of feel-good films? Results from an online survey on the generic outlines, narrative and aesthetic properties and emotional effects of a popular movie type
Limited Capacity seats available

In film criticism, the ›feel-good film‹ is generally discredited for its allegedly cheap and manipulative emotional effects. However, the label also serves as a popular generic orientation for audiences seeking and enjoying certain films due to their ›feel-good factor‹. In my talk I will present the results from an online survey on feel-good films conducted among almost 450 participants in early 2016. I will concentrate on the affective, cognitive and emotional responses of the participants to the films in question and relate these findings to the narrative properties and aesthetic features which contribute to the emotional ›uplift‹ of the viewers.


Speakers
avatar for Keyvan Sarkhosh

Keyvan Sarkhosh

Senior Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics
Keyvan Sarkhosh is a senior research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics. He obtained his PhD from the University of Vienna. The focus of his research is on the history and aesthetics of film and the relationship between high and popular culture. Recent publications... Read More →


Monday June 12, 2017 10:30 - 11:00
A-306 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

11:00

SP James Mairata. When Spielberg met Ozu: striking stylistic similarities between two directors from different eras, cultures, and industrial practices.
Limited Capacity seats available

It was in the mid-1970s, more than a decade after Japanese writer/director Yasujiro Ozu’s death that many western scholars turned their attention to a detailed consideration of style in his films. David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Edward Branigan, Stephen Heath, Donald Ritchie, Noel Burch and others noted Ozu’s seemingly unique visual style, most clearly evident in his later films. Having embraced the classical continuity system in his early career, Ozu gradually evolved a specific set of stylistic parameters that included the rejection of eye-line matching and camera movement while at the same time retaining classical “rules” such as match-on-action cutting. Of particular interest to many was how Ozu often constructed cinematic space by using a set of camera angles and 90 degree or 180 degree shot variations that resulted in a complete 360 degree vista of a location. This prioritising of space over narrative intent contrasted sharply to Hollywood’s seemingly traditional practice of never revealing the “fourth wall”.

The examination of Ozu’s style also presented an opportunity for some to attack Hollywood continuity editing, claiming it as restrictive when compared to Ozu’s “system”. In a comparison with Spielberg’s “Jaws” (1975), Stephen Heath (1976) complained in a scene from the film “The 180-degree line that the camera is forbidden to cross answers exactly to the 180-degree line of the screen behind which the spectator cannot and must not go…” (p88). There is a certain irony that Heath chose a Spielberg film to illustrate Hollywood’s apparent inferiority in depicting space because it is in Spielberg’s films (“Jaws” in particular) that numerous instances of 360 degree - Ozu like - scene constructions can be found.    

Through the comparative analysis of scenes from both Spielberg and Ozu I will demonstrate how both directors use similar, innovative strategies of shot construction to build a comprehensive depiction of space. While isolated instances of 360 degree construction exists in the works of other filmmakers, it is only in Ozu and Spielberg that they occur repeatedly and in the case of Spielberg – seen to be evident in even his earliest television work. I further argue that while Ozu’s strictly limited set of devices makes his style more distinct as a formal system – and therefore more self-conscious, Spielberg intentionally disguises his 360 degree coverage behind the veneer of classical practice. This is done to reduce stylistic self-consciousness, and permits him to remain true to the classical convention that style not overwhelm narration.

Despite the significant generational, cultural, and industrial divide between the two directors, I will illustrate how each director’s drive for more effective storytelling strategies guided them into independently modifying classical practice in a way that resulted in them both arriving at stylistic systems that were (and are) distinct within their own industries yet common to each other.   


Speakers
JM

James Mairata

Charles Sturt University
My presentation is derived from my forthcoming book Steven Spielberg's Style by Stealth, (Palgrave Macmillan). I teach narrative theory at Charles Sturt University in Sydney and have more than 20 years experience as a director and producer of television drama. Current research includes... Read More →


Monday June 12, 2017 11:00 - 11:30
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

11:00

SP Einar Egeland, Tor Endestad and Bruno Laeng. Different editing styles influence eye movements, pupilometry and emotional experience of a film scene. A neuro- cognitive approach to a film editor’s decision-making.
Limited Capacity seats available

To what extent can a film editor predict the neural processing of a range of affective stimuli? Does the the style of editing have an influence on the subjects emotional responses? To put these questions to a test, one scene from a feature film was edited into three different versions. These versions were exposed to three separate test-audiences and monitored by means of eye-tracking- and pupillometry, as well as - behavioral responses and questionnaires.


Speakers
EE

Einar Egeland

The Norwegian Film School, Lillehammer University College
Einar Egeland has a Diploma from The London Film School, and has edited more than 20 feature films, in addition to documentaries and TV-series (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0250799/?ref_=nv_sr_1). He has written and directed short films and a one act stage play. He was Film Commissioner... Read More →


Monday June 12, 2017 11:00 - 11:30
A-305 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

11:00

SP Mette Hjort. Feel Good Films and Positive Emotions: Film in the Context of Health and Well-Being
Limited Capacity seats available

Title: Feel-Good Films and Positive Emotions: Film in the Context of Health and Well-Being

Key words:
Standard and moral feel-good films; Health and well-being; Positive emotions; Intentional objects of emotions

Short abstract:

A distinction between moral and standard feel-good films is sketched. Differences between the intentional objects of the positive emotions targeted by these two types are underscored. The implications of these differences are explored with reference to claims by psychologists regarding feel-good films in the context of health and well-being.

Abstract:

The idea that engaging with visual art (including as an amateur practitioner) brings psychological benefits is widely accepted in the field of art therapy. Psychologists have drawn attention to the health benefits that are to be derived from viewing specific types of depicted content in hospital settings, as well as to the role that certain moving images can play in promoting recovery from stressful episodes. Recently scholars associated with the “Greater Good Science Center” at the University of California, Berkeley, have made claims about the likely contributions of feel-good films to human health and well-being. Much of the Center’s work focuses on positive emotions/attitudes such as compassion, kindness, and altruism, all of which are seen as critical to well-being. To date, research focusing on the benefits, in terms of health and well-being, of engaging with certain types of films is at a very early stage, although suggestive efforts have been mounted by organizations such as Medicinema in the United Kingdom, again with reference to feel-good films. The intent is to present a proposed distinction between a standard feel-good film and a moral feel-good film, a degree of realism and the cueing of kindness being core ingredients of the latter and fantasy a defining element of the former. Making reference to practices of organizations such as Medicinema and to claims by psychologists regarding positive emotions in the context of film viewing, an argument regarding the possible benefits of viewing feel-good films will be developed. The point will be to underscore the importance of distinguishing between types of feel-good films and to argue for the greater promise of moral as compared with standard feel-good films.

The research is informed by the SCSMI’s mission statement, inasmuch as it is an interdisciplinary attempt to understand a specific aspect of how moving images impact the human mind. The project’s contribution consists, in part, in bringing claims made by psychologists into the ambit of film research, for the purposes of testing their conceptual validity and developing them further.

References:

Gaut, B. (2007). Art, Emotion and Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hjort, M. (2010). “Toward the Idea of an Ethical Feel-Good Movie.” In Lone Scherfig’s “Italian for Beginners,” 100-141. Washington & Copenhagen: University of Washington Press & Museum Tusculanum.

Johnson, J. L. & Alderson, K. G. (2008). “Therapeutic Filmmaking: An Exploratory Pilot Study.” The Arts in Psychotherapy 35.1, 11-19.

Shimamura, A. P. (2013). Psychocinematics: Exploring Cognition at the Movies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Stellar, J. E., John-Henderson, N., Anderson, C. L., Gordon, A. M., McNeil, G. D., & Keltner, D. (2015). “Positive Affect and Markers of Inflammation: Discrete Positive Emotions Predict Lower Levels of Inflammatory Cytokines. Emotion, January 19; http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/emo00000331: 11-19.

 


Speakers
avatar for Mette Hjort

Mette Hjort

University of Copenhagen
Mette Hjort is Professor of Film Studies at the Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, University of Copenhagen. Her most recent publications are “What Does It Mean to Be an Ecological Filmmaker? Knut Erik Jensen’s Work as Eco-Auteur” (Projections 2016: vol. 10) and... Read More →


Monday June 12, 2017 11:00 - 11:30
A-306 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

11:30

SP Miklos Kiss and Steven Willemsen. Impossible Puzzle Films: ambiguous framings and framing ambiguities in David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive
Limited Capacity seats available

This presentation is a case study driven extension of our book Impossible Puzzle Films: A Cognitive Approach to Contemporary Complex Cinema (Edinburgh UP 2017). 

In the book, we conceptualized the cognitive effects and interpretive responses that characterize the viewing experiences of confusingly complex narrative puzzles. 

In this talk, we test our theoretical ideas by looking at the case of David Lynch’s 2001 Mulholland Drive. Reviewing responses to the film’s narrative complexity, our hypothesis is that part of Mulholland Drive’s persistent appeal arises from a possible cognitive oscillation that the film allows between profoundly differing, but potentially equally valid interpretive ‘framings’.

Speakers
avatar for Miklos Kiss

Miklos Kiss

Assistant Professor in Film and Media Studies, University of Groningen
Miklós Kiss is assistant professor in Film and Media Studies at the University of Groningen (NL). His research intersects the fields of narrative and cognitive film theories. Published in anthologies and academic journals (Projections, Scope, Senses of Cinema, Acta, Necsus, New Cinemas... Read More →
avatar for Steven Willemsen

Steven Willemsen

PhD candidate, University of Groningen
Steven Willemsen is a PhD Candidate and Junior Lecturer in Film and Media Studies. His research interests lie in film theory, narratology, and cognitive approaches to the Arts and Humanities. He is currently working on a doctoral thesis examining experiences of narrative complexity... Read More →



Monday June 12, 2017 11:30 - 12:00
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

11:30

SP Brendan Rooney, Katalin Balint, Colin Burke, Sharon Chi Tak Lee, Caroline Mantei and Tess O'Leary: The effect of engagement-mode and character eye-gaze on viewers of a virtual reality film.
Limited Capacity seats available

In this study we manipulated the way in which viewers engaged with an interactive virtual reality, Coffee without Words. Participants sit over coffee in a virtual café, opposite the protagonist and wait for their bus to be repaired. Participants are instructed to engage with the experience as though it was real or as an artefact (to appraise its design). We also manipulated eye-gaze behaviour where half of the participants experience interactive and natural eye-contact with the character, while the other half experience no eye contact. We explore effects of manipulation on perceived realism, time-duration, presence, and Theory of Mind.

Speakers
avatar for Katalin Bálint

Katalin Bálint

Assistant Professor, Tilburg University
Katalin Bálint is an assistant professor at Tilburg University (NL) in New Media Design. She was a postdoc researcher at Utrecht University (NL) and after that at University of Augsburg (DE). Her research expertise lies in the domains of psychology, film studies and communication... Read More →
avatar for Brendan Rooney

Brendan Rooney

University College Dublin
Brendan Rooney BA Psych (Hons), MLitt, PhD is an assistant professor at University College Dublin, Ireland. He is currently chair of the Psychological Society of Ireland’s Special Interest Group for Media, Art and Cyberpsychology. Rooney’s research interests include the interaction... Read More →


Monday June 12, 2017 11:30 - 12:00
A-305 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

11:30

SP Tico Romao. Embodiment, Cognitive Linguistics and Character Interiority: A Critique
Limited Capacity seats available

Embodied cognition has become a dominant framework within cognitive film theory. One prominent strand of embodied cognition within cognitive film theory has been the application of cognitive linguistics to issues relating to film and spectatorship (Buckland 2000; 2015; Coëgnarts and Kravanja 2012). While the approach has been applied to a range of aspects concerning narrative and film form, attention recently has turned to providing accounts of the subjective states of characters (Coëgnarts and Kravanja 2015; Oritz 2015). This paper proposes that the theoretical grounds of such applications of cognitive linguistics to film and film characters are questionable. The conceptual underpinnings of cognitive linguistics as originally put forward by Lakoff (1987) and Johnson (1987) are significantly different from more recent accounts of embodiment. It is unclear how the multimodal representations advanced by Barsalou (1999) or the mirror neurons identified by Gallese (2007) offer support for the cognitive linguistics claim that metaphor and metonymy constitute distinct forms of conceptual structure. Nor is it apparent how these differing accounts of embodiment converge with respect to how abstract thought is conceived or how situated cognition is integrated into their distinct frameworks. The paper additionally reviews critiques of cognitive linguistics by Sperber and Wilson (2008) and Papafragou (1996) that dispute the claim that metaphor and metonymy are distinct forms of conceptual structure.

 The paper will demonstrate that there are problems with the manner in which cognitive linguistics has been applied to film and the subjective states of film characters as well. Critical to the validity of this approach is the claim that filmmakers and spectators rely upon image schemata – universal conceptual structures that derive from shared bodily experience. This approach purports that not only do filmmakers draw upon image schemata when constructing narrative films and depicting subjective states of characters, but also that they underpin a spectator’s cognitive processes through their metaphoric and metonymic extension. It shall be demonstrated that such applications are too rigid and have tended to result in top down approaches to film analysis and lack the ability to account for variations in spectatorial response. The recent reboot of The Magnificent Seven (2016) will be used as a practical example to illustrate the limitations of the cognitive linguistics approach and will demonstrate that the spectatorial understanding of the subjective states of characters can be much more economically explained through a folk psychology model that highlights the spectator’s discovery of implicatures and use of inference to unpack them. The paper will conclude with a reflection upon the superiority of models of social cognition that stress situated knowledge over those models that privilege the invariant.


Indicative Bibliography:
Barsalou, Lawrence W. 1999. ‘Perceptual Symbol Systems’, Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 22:4. 577-609.
Buckland, Warren. 2000. The Cognitive Semiotics of Film. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Coëgnarts, Maarten, and Kravanja, Peter. 2015. ‘Embodied Cinematic Subjectivity: Metaphorical and Metonymical Modes of Character Perception in Film’ in Maarten Coëgnarts and Peter Kravanja (eds.) Embodied Cognition and Cinema. Leuven: Leuven University Press. 221-243.
Gallese, Vittorio. 2007. ‘Before and Below ‘Theory of Mind’: Embodied Simulation and the Neural Correlates of Social Cognition’, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences. 362, 659–669 
Sperber, Deirdre, and Wilson, Dan. 2008. ‘A Deflationary Account of Metaphors’, in Raymond W. Gibbs Jr. (ed.) The Cambridge Handbook of Metaphor and Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 84-105.


Speakers
avatar for Tico Romao

Tico Romao

University of Gloucestershire
Tico Romao has a BFA from Concordia University, Canada and a PhD from the University of East Anglia, with expertise in American Cinema. He has authored several publications and his research interests include cognitive film theory, the representation of social types, and action cinema... Read More →


Monday June 12, 2017 11:30 - 12:00
A-306 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

12:00

Lunch
RAFLA RESTAURANT at the GROUND FLOOR AT THE TÖÖLÖ CONFERENCE VENUE

MENU THIS WEEK http://www.amica.fi/en/restaurants/ravintolat-kaupungeittain/helsinki/rafla/

Select your choice of lunch from the buffet and pay with your daily lunch ticket to the cashier.
Your choices may range from salad to a soup of the day to one of the meals. Volunteer staff will help you with any questions! Check the daily menu here http://www.amica.fi/en/restaurants/ravintolat-kaupungeittain/helsinki/rafla/

Second option for lunch is PROFFA staff and teachers' restaurant on the 2nd floor. Same instructions, unfortunately no english menu online available. You are free to choose between PROFFA and RAFLA. 

Hyvää ruokahalua!! Good appetite!

Monday June 12, 2017 12:00 - 13:00
Aalto in-house lunch restaurant

12:00

SCSMI Fellow Lunch Meeting
Scsmi-fellow lunch meeting (by invitation) at PROFFA RESTAURANT 2nd floor at the Töölö conference venue building. We have a table reservation. Select your lunch choice from the buffet and pay with your lunch ticket to the cashier.

Moderators
avatar for Murray Smith

Murray Smith

Professor of Film, University of Kent
President of SCSMI. Author of Engaging Characters, Film Theory and Philosophy, Trainspotting, Thinking through Cinema, and most recently Film, Art, and the Third Culture. Laurance S Rockefeller Fellow, Princeton Center for Human Values (2017-18).

Monday June 12, 2017 12:00 - 13:00
TBC

13:00

LP Keith Bound: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Defining Cinematic Suspense
Limited Capacity seats available

An Interdisciplinary Approach to Defining Cinematic Suspense

The construction of suspenseful sequences has been a crucial component for filmmakers to engage the viewer, especially within the thriller and horror genres. This paper takes a new approach to understanding cinematic suspense by creating a psychophysiological model to measure cinematic suspense and subsequently viewer experience. To date, film scholars and media psychologists have defined the process of suspense in terms of specific story case studies, rather than first independently identifying the components of suspense. Such theories become selective and open to subjective interpretation and have provided misinterpretations of the phenomenon of suspense (Friedrichsen, 1996: 329). Suspense then by existing definitions is not measurable and makes it hard to quantify any discussion of cinematic suspense in relation to the viewer experience. Although film scholars and media psychologists recognise that the experience of suspense involves cognition, emotion, and physiology, only media psychologists have carried out empirical studies with viewers. Even taking this into consideration there have only been a few psychophysiological studies about the experience of suspense (Kreibig, 2010: 408). Furthermore, there is a methodological dilemma, with film scholars preferring a qualitative approach, often via film textual analysis, and media psychologists primarily taking a quantitative approach, analysing data sets using statistical models, which film scholars see as offering little contribution to the complexities of film analysis (Smith, M. 2013). The differences between these methodological approaches raise the question of whether we can gain a greater insight into viewers’ experiences of suspense by drawing elements from both research methods and identifying the most appropriate methods, procedures, and techniques to defining cinematic suspense.  One strategy for achieving this is to turn to the field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) which often uses mixed methods approaches to resolve such interdisciplinary differences, especially in gaining a deeper insight into user/viewer experience of narrative trajectories (Benford et al. 2009).

This paper takes an interdisciplinary approach that combines film studies, media psychology, HCI, and psychophysiology. By drawing from film studies and media psychology it will identify the components of cinematic suspense and create a framework to measure suspense. Taking an HCI experiment approach in designing and analysing the findings of the ‘Terror & Tension’ film experiment, 20 viewers watched 32 short film clips from 8 horror films, dispersed through 4 sub-genres and 4 suspense narrative structures, defined by film scholar Susan Smith: vicarious, direct, shared and composite (Smith, S. 2000). Triangulation was used as a mixed methods approach to capturing and analysing three data sets which include: firstly, viewer physiological responses, which were measured in terms of anxiety durability and intensity level by recording viewers’ skin conductance responses (SCRs), a component of electrodermal activity (EDA). The findings were then tested to verify the physiological framework to measure viewer experience of suspense. This led to the development of an EDA model of suspense. Viewer feedback was captured through verbal self-reports, which were recorded after watching each film clip. These physiological responses and feedback were then analysed alongside textual analysis of the film clips in a series of case studies to provide a deeper insight into how cinematic suspense is constructed through narrative elements, cinematography, editing, sound, and mise-en-scène. The research findings demonstrate that the EDA model of suspense makes a valuable contribution to film analysis and understanding viewer experience of suspense and offers psychophysiology a new framework to measure suspense in terms of anxiety durability and intensity.

 


Speakers
avatar for Keith Bound

Keith Bound

Narrative & Audience Engagement Designer: Film & Media, Receptive Cinema
Keith is a world-wide recognised expert in suspense and audience engagement offering a unique storytelling consultancy service to the film and media industries. He has a Ph.D. in Film and Television Studies (the science of storytelling: suspense) from the University of Nottingham... Read More →



Monday June 12, 2017 13:00 - 14:00
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

13:00

LP Tim J. Smith. The irresistible allure of screens: Is touchscreen use impacting child development?
Limited Capacity seats available

How do the moving-images we consume throughout our daily lives change who we are? With the recent advent of mobile touchscreen technologies this question is more pertinent today than ever before as the youngest members of our society (i.e. toddlers) are now receiving daily exposure to intense sensory/cognitive stimulation at an age when neural plasticity is at its highest. In this talk I will present findings from the Toddler Attentional Behaviours and LEarning with Touschscreen (TABLET) project, the first longitudinal UK-wide developmental study investigating the association between exposure to moving-images in 6 to 36 month-old infants and socio-cognitive development.


Speakers
avatar for Tim J. Smith

Tim J. Smith

Birkbeck, University of London
Tim J. Smith BSc. Hons, PhD. (Edin.) is a Reader/Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological, Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London. He is the head of the CINE (Cognition in Naturalistic Environments) Lab which studies audiovisual attention, perception and memory in... Read More →


Monday June 12, 2017 13:00 - 14:00
A-305 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

13:00

LP Joerg Fingerhut and Katrin Heimann. Film and 4EA cognition. Movies as part of our artifactual mind
Limited Capacity seats available

Recent approaches in embodied, embedded, enactive, extended, and affective (4EA) cognitive science argue that mental activity is best understood as relational.  Such a science of the mind is “integrative” in the sense that the tools und cultural artifacts we engage with co-constitute the embodied relations that we can entertain. We argue that film – and more precisely edited moving images – constitutes a rather pervasive kind of such an artifact. Film therefore allows us to directly address and systematically research how artifacts alter our perceptual access and co-constitute the mental states that we entertain.

An embodied approach, on the other hand is also necessary in order to understand our intense engagement and aesthetic experience of film. We will discuss the motor involvement with camera and lense movements that we have investitgated in a series of EEG-experiment. We also will discuss experiments on cuts adhering to the 180 degree rule (continuity editing) vs. cuts violating this rule (cuts across the line) and jump cuts (visible editing) (Heimann et al. 2014, 2016, in prep). The model we suggest for such an engagement is that of an embodied seeing-in. We will compare and contrast this model with other, more phenomenological accounts of an embodied engagement with film (Sobchak, Voss). 

Based on these empirical results and by building on our previous work in this area we will argue that an embodied approach to film can deepen our understanding of the filmic medium and might provide the basis for a theory of our aesthetic engagement with it.


Speakers
avatar for Joerg Fingerhut

Joerg Fingerhut

Postdoctoral Researcher, Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain. Before I did my PhD as a member of the "Collegium Picture Act & Embodiment," a joint project of art historians and philosophers. I was "Art & Neuroscience Postdoctoral Fellow” at Columbia University (2012), and... Read More →


Monday June 12, 2017 13:00 - 14:00
A-306 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

14:00

SP Alaina Schempp. What’s So Scary About Time? The Temporality of Cinematic Suspense in Horror and Suspense-Thriller Films
Limited Capacity seats available

Suspense is a naturally occurring emotional state for human beings and, in the real world, we are at risk of feeling it any time we wait for our name to be called at the doctor’s office or stare intently at a traffic light to change from red to green. What interests most cognitive film scholars of suspense, however, is not the suspense of everyday experiences found in everyday places like doctor’s offices and congested highways, but the suspense of aesthetic experiences found in cinema viewing. This special case of suspense, which I characterise as aesthetic suspense, differs from everyday suspense in that people often go out of their way to experience it. Unlike waiting for a traffic light, presuming most commuters would drive along happily if they encountered no delays, aesthetic suspense represents what may be thought of as a pleasurable emotion, one sought after while engaging in aesthetic activities such as watching films. Put another way, aesthetic suspense may be thought of as purposeful suspense; suspense that is, presumably in some ways, enjoyable and experience for its own sake. To further narrow my study of aesthetic suspense, I am specifically interested in cinematic suspense, which I take to be a kind of temporal affect and feature found in the temporal art of film. The primary aim of this paper is to evaluate the ways in which our perception and cognition of time and timing affect our emotions in suspense-thriller and horror films. Using an interdisciplinary, cognitive approach, I will demonstrate how aspects of time and timing have been little understood in the literature of film suspense and argue that in order to more fully understand the experience of cinematic suspense, one needs to seriously consider the ways in which time and timing factor into this experience. 

When applied to cinema, the word suspense implies a temporal component both for film as a broadly temporal art and more narrowly as a narrative one. As the word implies, suspending dramatic action is the keystone to narrative suspense. Yet, suspense can also be thought of in terms of emotions. Suspense is the feeling one gets from willing Indiana Jones of Raiders of the Last Ark (Steven Spielberg, 1981) to outrun a giant boulder that threatens to crush him or hoping the innocent swimmer in Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975) escapes the water before the bloodthirsty shark wins a snack. In short, suspense is an affective temporal aspect of cinema that requires the viewer to have expectations, hopes, and sometimes simply curiosity. But suspense as it relates to cinema, what I will characterise as cinematic suspense, may also be thought of as a feature of a work and not just a feeling that arises while viewing that work. For instance, films falling into the genre of “suspense- thriller” such as No Country for Old Men (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2007) or There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007) will not only use suspense as an affective feature, it may be characterised as an essential feature of the genre as a whole. Even if one disagrees that there are any essential features of a genre, it would, in any case, be difficult to imagine the same films without suspense. That is to say, even if it were somehow possible to “edit out” the suspense from No Country for Old Men or There Will Be Blood, we would, nevertheless, be left with drastically different films from the originals. Harkening back to the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone, these updated, contemporary westerns rely so heavily on the generation of suspense, even the titles of the films hint at that affect. The theoretical and aesthetic ground covered in this paper is, as the titles of these films imply, (respectively) "no country for old men" and "you can most definitely expect to see some blood." 


Speakers
avatar for Alaina Schempp

Alaina Schempp

PhD Candidate/Assistant Lecturer, University of Kent
I am a 4th year PhD candidate in Film Studies at the University of Kent supervised by Murray Smith and Margrethe Bruun Vaage. My dissertation takes a cognitive-analytic approach to the study of time, timing, and temporality in contemporary narrative film, television, and video. This... Read More →



Monday June 12, 2017 14:00 - 14:30
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

14:00

SP Michael Grabowski. Perception and Poetics of Virtual Reality
Limited Capacity seats available

Perception and Poetics of VR: The Problem of Medium

The emerging technologies that support virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are a significant departure from the rectangular two-dimensional screen. In fact, VR is a sort of meta-medium, encompassing a range from from 360-degree recorded video to 3-D interactive games. This presentation documents the current and future uses of VR and AR, examines how the perception of VR and AR differs from cinema, and suggests a new poetics for these immersive technologies.

VR and AR have been employed to allow viewers to see real places most viewers are unlikely to visit and show other places on which humans have yet set foot, like the surface of Mars and Pluto. Beyond the real, VR can show fantasy environments using computer-generated images (CGI) and photorealistic fictions, such as Netflix’s Stranger Things. Likewise, AR supplements a naturalistic view of one’s environment with data about that environment, overlaid in visual form.

Though emerging VR genres recall the debates of early cinema as serving realist or abstract aesthetics, the perception of VR is quite different than cinema. Beyond fully enveloping the visual sense with imagery and the auditory sense with immersive sound, VR also engages the proprioceptive and vestibular senses in ways cinema cannot. Antunes (2016) has described how audio-visual stimuli are experienced on a multisensory, perceptual level. VR further approaches a full sensorium, an immersive environment that works in consort to provide a perception of the real or builds an aesthetic out of its medium characteristic that differ from perceived reality. However, notable differences exist between VR and perception of a physical environment.

Bordwell (2008) provides a useful model for studying the poetics of a medium, a tripartite approach that includes a critical examination of that medium’s aesthetics, historical examination of the development of techniques, and cognitive explanations for the perception of an aesthetic. This same model can be used to examine VR, which resembles the individualized experience of Edison’s kinescope more so than the social one of viewing the Lumière Brothers’ cinématographe. What are the common characteristics of all VR media? What conditions of attendance are required when viewing VR? How do different uses of VR stretch from passive viewers to participants in narrative construction and experience? And, what are the perceptual, affective, and cognitive effects of VR that together contribute to the poetics of the medium?

Antunes, L. (2016). The Multisensory Film Experience: A Cognitive Model of Experiental Film Aesthetics. Bristol, UK: Intellect.

Bordwell, D. (2008). Poetics of Cinema. New York: Routledge.


Speakers
avatar for Michael Grabowski

Michael Grabowski

Associate Professor, Manhattan College
Keyowrds: Studio/Field Production; VR; online video aesthetics; convergence of documentary and fiction genres | | Michael Grabowski is an Associate Professor of Communication at Manhattan College. He is the editor of Neuroscience and Media: New Understandings and Representations... Read More →


Monday June 12, 2017 14:00 - 14:30
A-306 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

14:00

LP John Bateman, Janne Kauttonen, Chiao-I Tseng and Pia Tikka. Textual analysis of event patterns and neural functions of narrative constructions in film
Limited Capacity seats available

In this paper we present the results of a collaborative project between Applied Linguistics at Bremen University and NeuroCine research group at Aalto University, Helsinki. In particular, we address the two hypotheses that: 1. fine-grained textual event descriptions in film are predictive of measurable neurological responses correlated not only with lower-level audio-visual stimuli, but also potentially with higher-level narrative construction, and 2. neurological responses can be used to constrain and guide selection of alternative filmic textual analyses and to refine the descriptive framework. 

In the talk, we will show the collaborative results of a detailed multi-method Memento analysis. The brain data was gathered by applying a free-viewing experiment design to study brain responses while subjects were watching the film and particular event windows were defined according to the predictions of the discourse model.

Speakers
JK

Janne Kauttonen

researcher, Aalto & Carnegie Mellon University
I am a physicist by training, but my current research interests are in neuroscience, machine learning and data-analysis. I spend most of my time tinkering with various types of data.
avatar for Chiao-I Tseng

Chiao-I Tseng

Bremen University
Chiao-I Tseng is a research fellow at the University of Bremen, Germany. She is the author of the book Cohesion in Film: Tracking Film Element (2013, Palgrave) and several journal articles and book chapters on the empirical film analysis of textual coherence, authorship, genre, digital... Read More →


Monday June 12, 2017 14:00 - 15:00
A-305 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

14:30

SP Bregt Lameris. Colorful Depictions of Disgust in Cinematic Representations
Limited Capacity seats available

This talk will focus on the relationship between colors and disgust drawing on the analytical data gathered as part of the research project ERC Advanced Grant FilmColors. 

To represent and evoke disgust films need to translate the perception mode from an aesthetics of reception to a bodily aesthetics of immediate reaction. Disgusting materials such as feces, vomit, decaying food or corpses often share material properties that are located between a solid and liquid state. Based on the FilmColors database, the talk offers a diachronic overview on the way film colors have been functional in the (re)presentation of disgust.

Speakers
avatar for Bregt Lameris

Bregt Lameris

Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Zurich
Bregt Lameris is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Zurich, where she is engaged within the project 'ERC Advanced Grant FilmColors: Bridging the Gap Between Technology and Aesthetics'. Other research interests include color in silent cinema, the history of film... Read More →


Monday June 12, 2017 14:30 - 15:00
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

14:30

SP Catalin Brylla and Metter Kramer Cognitive Film Studies and Four Approaches to Documentary Film
Limited Capacity seats available

Traditionally, there has been little convergence between cognitive film theory and documentary film studies. Cognitive film scholars have largely focused on fiction films, whilst documentary scholars have deemed cognitive models too limited in that they address only the hardwired attributes of audience reception, thus hypothesizing a universal body of spectators and neglecting individual, social, cultural and historical contexts of authorship and spectatorship. The aim of this paper is to overlap these two disciplines by proposing four interrelated approaches for cognitive film studies to examine the wide spectrum of documentary forms (Brylla & Kramer, forthcoming). This will be followed by two particular case studies that illustrate the efficacy of our model: Jon Bang Carlsen’s It’s Now or Never (DK, 1996) and Brian Hill’s Pornography: The Musical (UK, 2003).

Cognitive scholars have tentatively explored documentary in relation to, amongst others, the specificity of documentary in relation to fiction (e.g. Currie, 1999; Ponech, 1999; Carroll, 2003), different modes of narrative address (e.g. Odin, 1984; Plantinga, 1997; Smith, 2007) and the spectatorial reception of documentary texts (e.g. Bondebjerg, 1994; Eitzen, 1995). Although all these texts are rigorous and constitute seminal landmarks that establish key paradigms for our endeavour, they remain largely embryonic and isolated from a larger, overarching discourse. Creating such a discourse, we argue, requires a pragmatic bricolage approach covering four areas of interest:

1. Experience, Emotion and Embodiment

As the current stage of cognitive film theory embraces empirical research within the affective and social sciences, the focus here is on on-line (moment-to-moment) processes with regards to somatic responses. Metatheoretically, this area highlights an alternative to the predominant, narrative top-down approach to filmic experience by focusing on ‘low-level features’ of film, which comprise any “physical, quantitative aspect that occurs regardless of the narrative” (Brunick et al., 2013, p. 133).

2. The Mediation of Realities

The spectator’s construction of reality is informed by the film text, but also by his/her dispositions and context constituting individual, social, cultural and historical schemas and attributes, as well as by previous knowledge about represented topics and characters – knowledge that may be paratextual or intertextual. This area addresses emotion-generation, as well as hermeneutic processes in relation to ethics and the assessment of truth claims. 

3. Character Engagement

In documentary the indexical relationship between screen characters and their status as real people may inform spectatorial engagement, since the consequences of their actions are real (Eitzen, 2005). On the other hand, documentaries that don’t use conventional plot structures may elicit momentary spectatorial experiences embodied within the film text, transcending the indexical relation between screen character and real-world referent.

4. Documentary Practice

This area can be seen as a reverse-engineering process that enables the practice-led researcher to gauge audience response to particular filmmaking choices. On a theoretical level it provides insight into the (intended) reception in relation to the production of a film. This “filmmaker-audience loop” (Plantinga 2011) describes the shared social and (folk)psychological dispositions of filmmakers and spectator, and it illuminates the popularity of certain documentary forms with particular audiences.

Deploying these four areas in a bricolage manner has the potential to examine the vast spectrum of documentaries and non-fiction texts, such as participatory documentaries, docudramas, documentary musicals, essay films, compilation films and activist web videos. Our first case study, It’s Now or Never, uses amateur actors and scripted scenes to stage a seemingly observational documentary, based on the director’s longitudinal primary research on Irish bachelors. Despite being technically a docudrama, the film’s refusal to index its fictionalised dimension produces different layers of character engagement depending on the audience’s knowledge/ignorance of Carlsen’s modus operandi, their schematic knowledge of observational documentaries, or their critical assessment of documentary-fiction hybrid forms. 

In the second case study, Pornography: The Musical, porn stars are interviewed about their profession, but they also sing their stories in stylised interludes. The constant oscillation between conventional documentary and music video unsettles not only the spectators’ schematic expectations of genre but also their expectations of fixed, stock character identities in prototypical narratives. The viewer is invited to renegotiate the relationship between the documentary image and reality by awkwardly positioning the film artefact between authorial creativity and consumerist commodity.

References:

Bondebjerg, I. (1994). Narratives of Reality: Documentary Film and Television in a Cognitive and Pragmatic Perspective. Nordicom Review, 1, pp. 65–87.

Brunick, K. L., Cutting, J. E. and DeLong, J. E. (2013). Low-Level Features of Film: What They Are and Why We Would Be Lost Without Them. In: Shimamura, A. P. (ed.), Psychocinematics: Exploring Cognition at the Movies, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 133–148.

Brylla, C. and Kramer, M. (forthcoming). Cognitive Film Studies and Documentary. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Carroll, N. (2003). Engaging the Moving Image. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Currie, G. (1999). Visible Traces: Documentary and the Contents of Photographs. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 57 (3), pp. 285–297.

Eitzen, D. (1995). When Is a Documentary?: Documentary as a Mode of Reception. Cinema Journal, 35 (1), pp. 81–102.

Eitzen, D. (2007). Documentary’s Peculiar Appeals. In: Anderson, J. D. and Anderson, B. F. (eds.), Moving Image Theory: Ecological Considerations, Carbondale: SIU Press, pp. 183–199.

Odin, R. (1989). A Semiopragmatic Approach of the Documentary. In: Greef, W. D. and Hesling, W. (eds.), Image, Reality, Spectator: Essays on Documentary Film and Television, Leuven: Acco, pp. 90–100.

Plantinga, C. (1997). Rhetoric and Representation in Nonfiction Film. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Plantinga, C. (2011). Folk Psychology for Film Critics and Scholars. Projections, 5 (2), pp. 26–50.

Ponech, T. (1999). What is Non-fiction Cinema? Boulder: Westview Press.

Smith, G. M. (2007). The Segmenting Spectator: Documentary Structure and The Aristocrats. Projections, 1 (2), pp. 83–100.

 


Speakers
avatar for Catalin Brylla

Catalin Brylla

Senior Lecturer in Film, University of West London
Catalin Brylla is senior lecturer in film at the University of West London. Focusing on documentary film studies, cognitive film theory, phenomenology and anthropology, his research aims for a pragmatic understanding of documentary spectatorship with regards to experience, empathy... Read More →


Monday June 12, 2017 14:30 - 15:00
A-306 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

15:00

Refreshments
Light snacks and refreshments served outside the lecture rooms (3rd floor) to boost the lively discussion and socializing.

Monday June 12, 2017 15:00 - 15:30
Aalto Hallway 3rd floor - Refreshments

15:30

LP Richard Allen: Bollywood poetics
Limited Capacity seats available

The reincarnation romance is a story of star-crossed lovers, often from different classes or castes, who, separated in one life by an unnatural and unjust death, are seeking to re-find each other and to recover their love in the next. In the reincarnation romance, recognition takes the form of Anamnesis, the recollection of a previous existence. This paper maps the idiom of the reincarnation romance and its historical transformations. It demonstrates how song is essential to the idiom for it is the privileged vehicle for articulating the timeless, spiritual, nature of true desire and the absolute union of self and other.


Speakers
avatar for Richard Allen

Richard Allen

School of Creative Media, City University
Richard Allen is Dean of the School of Creative Media, and Chair Professor of Film and Media Art. He has published on Film Theory and Philosophy, Alfred Hitchcock, Indian Cinema, and Melodrama. His current research projects are Bollywood Poetics, and The Passion of Christ and the... Read More →


Monday June 12, 2017 15:30 - 16:30
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

15:30

LP Chiao-I Tseng, Jochen Laubrock, Jessie Nixon and John Bateman. Constraining film narrative interpretation through combinations of cohesion in film and eye-tracking
Limited Capacity seats available

In this talk we present our results from a pilot study, examining to what degree variation in patterns of cohesion in film may correlate with differences in attention and eye-tracking behavior. To explore this, we first manipulated elements within cohesive structures, e.g. removing written and spoken verbal signs of settings on the screen in sequences in Memento and comparing these to sequences in The Birds, Monty Python, Back to the Future. This permits investigation of the extent to which cohesive connections function as factors correlating with viewers’ attentional behaviour. These results offer new insight on the way that viewers’ fine-grained attentional behaviour and their higher-level interpretation of character and spatial relations in film narrative can be related, both theoretically and methodologically in empirical studies.


Speakers
avatar for Jochen Laubrock

Jochen Laubrock

University of Potsdam
avatar for Chiao-I Tseng

Chiao-I Tseng

Bremen University
Chiao-I Tseng is a research fellow at the University of Bremen, Germany. She is the author of the book Cohesion in Film: Tracking Film Element (2013, Palgrave) and several journal articles and book chapters on the empirical film analysis of textual coherence, authorship, genre, digital... Read More →


Monday June 12, 2017 15:30 - 16:30
A-305 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

15:30

LP Flueckiger Barbara. Film Colors, Textures, Lights. How Color Appearance Corresponds to Characters’ Inner States
Limited Capacity seats available

The presentation Film Colors, Textures, Lights. How Color Appearance Corresponds to Characters’ Inner States will address its topic based on the significant investigation of film colors for the Timeline of Historical Film Colors and, more recently, executed in the framework of the research project FilmColors, funded by an Advanced Grant of the European Research Council.

One of the main goals of this research project is a comprehensive investigation of a large group of films from the late nineteenth century to the mid-1990s using tools in the emerging field of digital humanities. By connecting a video annotation tool with an offline database, the research team explores the corpus at a high level of detail.

In addition to exploring color schemes, contrast and harmonies through concepts in color theory from art and design, three sections of the database aim at investigating lighting, surfaces, materials and textures of the characters, objects, and environments depicted. In fact, as Anya Hurlbert (2013) has stressed, color appearance is deeply influenced by textures and surface properties.

Based on our approach of investigating aesthetic strategies of films’ applications of colors, surfaces, textures and illumination systematically within a highly defined and structured protocol, we are able to identify diachronic patterns of stylistic approaches to express and connect characters’ inner states and moods to audience’s hypothetical reactions. By such strategies, films make use of the affective and subjective potential of colors to address spectator’s sensorial reactions by creating a common affective space between diegetic characters and film viewers. The German concept of Stimmung, elaborated at the fin-de-siècle by art historian Alois Riegl and writer Hugo von Hofmannsthal, perfectly grasps this connection between subject and environment.

 


Speakers
avatar for Barbara Flueckiger

Barbara Flueckiger

Professor / Principal Investigator, ERC Advanced Grant FilmColors and SNF Film Colors, University of Zurich
Barbara Flueckiger has been a professor for film studies at the University of Zurich since 2007. Before her studies in film theory and history, she worked internationally as a film professional. She is the author of two text books about “Sound Design” and “Visual Effects... Read More →


Monday June 12, 2017 15:30 - 16:30
A-306 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

16:30

PD Mamdooh Afdile. Movie characters and their hidden potential in understanding social perception
Limited Capacity seats available

Movies can simulate the lives of various people from all over the world. But can we use this simulating ability to understand how we perceive others? In this presentation I will discuss the potential of combining social narratives depicted in movies with neuro-imaging methodology to better understand complex social perception.



Speakers
avatar for Mamdooh Afdile

Mamdooh Afdile

Aalto university
Filmmaker and Doctoral candidate in media and neuroscience at Aalto university. Interested in the use of movies as a naturalistic stimuli to investigate neural mechanisms in the brain.


Monday June 12, 2017 16:30 - 17:00
A-305 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

16:30

PP/DP Elisabeth Morney, Sarah Sumners and Aubra Shepard. Beyond the craft: Exploring elements of the creative process in the development of new television concepts
Limited Capacity seats available

This paper explores the elements of the creative process with regards to new television formats from a professional perspective. A case-study, of the lifestyle program Strömsö, identified 14 elements of the creative process that elevated the program beyond the craft of storytelling for television. The case study lies at the intersection of media and creativity. Through the lens of creativity theories the inherent creative process is explored. The aim is to find a model helpful for television producers, developers and professionals involved in creating new content, not only when creating new television formats, but also creating content for new media.


Speakers
avatar for Elisabeth Morney

Elisabeth Morney

Doctoral student, Aalto University
Interdisciplinary studies within Creativity, Innovation and Television discourses. | As a doctoral student at Aalto Arts, in Helsinki, Elisabeth Morney's practice based studies focuses on the creative process when creating television formats. She is also producing content for... Read More →
avatar for Aubra Shepard

Aubra Shepard

PhD Student, University of Georgia
Aubra Shepard is a PhD student in Gifted and Creative Education at the University of Georgia. She holds MA degrees in Positive Organizational Psychology, from Claremont Graduate University, and Forensic Psychology, from the University of Denver. She is a licensed mental health counselor... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Sumners

Sarah Sumners

Interim Director/ Associate Research Scientist, University of Georgia Torrance Center for Creativity & Talent Development
Sarah E. Sumners is an associate research scientist and interim director of the Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development at the University of Georgia. She has led creativity trainings both nationally and internationally, co-authored several book chapters and entries on... Read More →


Monday June 12, 2017 16:30 - 17:00
A-306 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

16:30

PP/DP Szilvia Ruszev. Vizualizing Editing
Limited Capacity seats available

This work deconstructs and formalizes the rhythmical structure of a 3-minute sequence from the film “Wagah”. The series of four studies accentuates different audiovisual elements which are part of a complex rhythmical composition. These are four stages of abstraction with the goal of triggering a sensual and cognitive process on how rhythm is built and perceived. The four versions show the backward process I went through.


Speakers
avatar for Szilvia Ruszev

Szilvia Ruszev

University of Southern California
Szilvia Ruszev is film editor, visual artist and scholar, currently PhD student at the Media Arts+Practice program at the University in Southern California. Her professional work represents a comprehensive approach to independent filmmaking, with more than 30 films in many different... Read More →


Monday June 12, 2017 16:30 - 17:00
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

17:00

PP/DP Eija Niskanen. Camera angle and movement in animation
Limited Capacity seats available

When analysing the language and impact of cinematic image, we use concept like camera angle and camera movement. These are also frequently used when discussing animation. We can separate from animation shots which are in 'close-up', long shot, point-of-view shots, reverse angles. Similarly we talk about track-ins and other camera movements within an animated scene. These, however are not realised via camera positions and movements, but by different drawings, which show the scene from different angles. The relationship of the camera to the cel drawings is different than the relationship of the camera to the scene acted or recorded in front of it. How the, do we cognitively relate to the (non)-movement and drawn 'camera angles' of animation? Is the viewer's relation and understanding of the spatial relations comparable to live action films?


Speakers
avatar for Eija Niskanen

Eija Niskanen

PhD candidate, University of Helsinki
MA from UCLA, adjunct lecturer at University of Helsinki. Programming director for Helsinki Cine Aasia film festival and coordinator for Finland Film Festival in Japan. I also do industrial research on co-production for Finnanimation. My PhD project is about Moomin brand in Jap... Read More →


Monday June 12, 2017 17:00 - 17:30
A-306 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

17:00

PP/DP Johanna Arens, Mehul Bhatt, Hubert Kloskowski, Vasiliki Kondyli, Sk Nahiduzzaman, Omar Moussa, Jakob Suchan, R ocio Varela, Abdur Rahman, Md Mamunuzzaman and Daniele Tatasciore. Embodied Cognitive Experiences: Experiments in Visuo-Auditory Perceptio
Limited Capacity seats available

Our research project on ``Embodied Cognitive Experiences'' aims to systematically study the immersive VR medium from a visual perception viewpoint. Its main goal is to: "conduct evidence-based research in visuo-auditory and visuo-locomotive perception (involving multi-modal physiological data) aimed at studying the (embodied) reception and interpretation of dynamic visuospatial imagery and sensorimotor interactions in humans, and their implications in designing cognitive assistive technologies concerned with the synthesis of user experience in everyday, professional, and creative performance."

The demonstration will: (1). present a range of immersive and / or VR (narrative) media specifically developed as a test-bed for experiments in visual perception research; (2). illustrate select experiments focussing on: (2a). change blindness, and continuity in immersive VR; (2b). immersive sound based localisation of events \& objects; (2c). experiments designed to test the impact of visual cues on people's attention; and (3). present preliminary results as part of a large-scale experiment

The demonstration will illustrate the general applicability of methods developed for future evidence-based (immersive) experience design projects; a particular emphasis will be on the open-source accessibility and potential use of the developed experimental material.



Speakers
avatar for Johanna Arens

Johanna Arens

HCC Lab, University of Bremen
Johanna Arens is a digital media student and media designer with interest in the digital narrative form. She is currently involved in the design and implementation of experiments designed to study effects of staging and cinematography techniques.
avatar for Omar Moussa

Omar Moussa

HCC Lab, University of Bremen
Omar Moussa is a student of computer science and digital media with core expertise in programming and visual computing. His current focus is on designing visual perception studies and multi-modal analysis of human behaviour data.


Monday June 12, 2017 17:00 - 17:30
A-305 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

17:00

PP/DP Marie-Laure Cazin. Cinema and neuroscience, the case of emotive cinema
Limited Capacity seats available

Cinema and neuroscience, case study of Emotive Cinema, France, launched in 2014. 
Emotive Cinema is an art-science project of interactive film, in which the audiences brain waves are caught by EEG headphone sensors, which give the machine an interpretation of their emotions and interact in real time with the editing of the film. 
Starting with presenting this new form of cinema experience, it will be contextualised by neuroscience research, describing the neuronal process of emotions and trying to think further the analogy between cinema and thinking process.


Speakers
avatar for Marie-Laure Cazin

Marie-Laure Cazin

filmmaker, lecturer in video and digital art, High School of Fine Arts ESBA-TALM
I am a filmmaker and digital art artist, working on art-science projects. I am particularly interested in the links between cinema and mind. I have realized an interactive film prototype for theater display, Emotive Cinema, in which the emotions of spectators are changing the narrative... Read More →



Monday June 12, 2017 17:00 - 17:30
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

17:30

Stephen Hinde & Tim Smith: Experiment session - test volunteers wanted!
An experiment by Stephen Hinde and Tim Smith - volunteers wanted!



This is an SCSMi first - we propose to run a live psychology experiment here at the conference  for delegates who have an iPhone and 10 minutes to spare to watch a short film
and use an iPhone app. to allow us to watch how you watch the  film. The aim is to demo. how mobile apps. can be used to gather live psychological cinemetric data
and conduct psychology experiments in cinemas.

Please follow this link for more details of the adjunct experiments:
https://tinyurl.com/yaqupv9s

This approach and the app. and hopefully the results from this experiment  will be discussed in the session on Tuesday afternoon:
Experimental psychology in cinema using mobile technologies.
Author: Stephen J. HindeCollaborators/supervisors: Tim J. Smith, Birkbeck University, and Katrin Heimann, Interacting Minds Centre

https://scsmi2017helsinkia.sched.com/event/ACrO/sp-stephen-hinde-tim-smith-and-katrin-heimann-experimental-psychology-in-cinema-using-mobile-technologies


Speakers
avatar for Dr Stephen J. Hinde

Dr Stephen J. Hinde

Post-doc Researcher, Bristol Vision Institute, University of Bristol
I am primarily a cognitive psychologist, with some poly-math tendencies, who is interested in the study of dynamic attention, immersion, and film. In a recently completed PhD entitled Attention With Movies, I explore how behavioural studies can help us to further our understanding... Read More →


Monday June 12, 2017 17:30 - 18:30
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

19:00

THE FINNISH FILM NIGHT AT ORION: Mika Kaurimäki "The Worthless" (1982) (English subtitles)

An official SCSMI2017 reception for all attendees and invited speakers.

PART I: The evening starts with the screening of one of the master pieces of the Finnish Cinema. We take you to the most beautiful, classical film theatre Orion to see the Finnish New Wave classic from 1982, "The Worthless" directed by Mika Kaurismäki. 

The Worthless

(Finnish: Arvottomat) is a 1982 film directed by Mika Kaurismäki, who also co-wrote the film with his brother Aki Kaurismäki. It is a road movie about two men and a woman driving around the country as they are being chased by a group of criminals and the police.

Mika Kaurismäki won the Jussi Award for Best Direction for the film.


The screening will be hosted by the National Audiovisual Institute KAVI. The Orion's cinematheque program covers nearly 900 annual screenings just about everything: classics, rare gems, cinema history as well as recent releases. More info https://kavi.fi/en/home
Address: Eerikinkatu 15

We would continue to the famous Corona Bar (next door - almost), which will host us as our conference club from Monday to Wednesday. Address Eerikinkatu 11.

If you want to join us to this free cinema event you may register your participation together with your conference registration here:  http://scsmi2017.aalto.fi/registration/

Or you may also check to attend this free evening event separately here:  
https://eage.aalto.fi/?fs/SCSMI2017e 



Monday June 12, 2017 19:00 - 21:00
Kavi Orion Cinema Eerikinkatu 15, Kamppi, Helsinki

21:00

GET-TOGETHER RECEPTION AT THE FAMOUS CORONA BAR

We will have our cozy get together event at one of our favourite bars in Helsinki.
Corona bar & billiard will host our bohemian conference club throughout from Monday night to Wednesday night. This is the place where we suggest you will head after the days work, for socializing and enjoying inspiring after-talks with drinks.

On Monday, after the Finnish Film screening at the Orion, we will gather together in the Corona Bar's downstairs lounge Dubrovnik. On the stage we will have our special guests and Q&A.
The film talk will lead later to some musical surprises, to be announced later.

Corona bar has achieved almost a cult status only in a few decades. Corona bar, founded by Kaurismäki brothers, is a New York-style relaxed streetbar with a pool-hall. Corona serves coffee, refreshments and probably the best toasts in Helsinki, every day of the week and all around the year.



Monday June 12, 2017 21:00 - 23:00
Corona Bar - Conference Club Eerikinkatu 11
 
Tuesday, June 13
 

09:15

Good morning!
Morning coffee & refreshments served at the 3rd floor hallway.

Tuesday June 13, 2017 09:15 - 09:30
Aalto Hallway 3rd floor - Refreshments

09:30

SPECIAL FILM EVENT "Woman with an Editing Bench" by Dr. Karen Pearlman
Limited Capacity seats available

As a contribution to creative authorship in film, the role of the editor in composing a screen work is relatively unexplored.  Screen scholars recognise that extant theories of authorship privilege the work of the (usually male) director and efface the creative contributions of key women filmmakers. Woman with an Editing Bench draws on historical, cognitive and creative research into the processes of film editing to ask: can the understanding of editing as the work of a “distributed cognitive system” (Sutton, 2014) challenge romantic notions of the ‘auteur’ in film and reveal some of the other experts and forms of expertise that are crucial to creative filmmaking? 

Inspired by the biography and work of one of cinema’s most accomplished editors, Elizaveta Svilova (Man with A Movie Camera; 1929), Woman With An Editing Bench, synthesizes knowledge about filmmaking with research into history, creativity and cognition to create a positive portrait of a woman with agency and significant influence in extraordinary circumstances. This creative research output makes an argument that edits are not results of editors’ thinking, rather the edits are their thoughts.   It re-positions Svilova, an editor whose contributions have been effaced by individualistic conceptions of creativity, and creates an image of her work as an essential part of the distributed cognitive process of ideas generation. 

Woman with an Editing Bench (Pearlman, 2016) had its premiere at the CinefestOz Film Festival, one of Australia’s major competitive film festivals.   It won the national Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM) Award for Best Short Fiction and the Australian Screen Editors Guild Award for Best Editing in a Short Film. Prints of Woman with an Editing Bench have been collected for preservation and research scholar use by major cinema archives globally including: the Vertov Archive (Vienna filmmuseum), the British Film Institute (London), UCLA Film Archive (LosAngeles), Anthology Film Archive (New York City), Cinteca Nationale (Rome), Cinematheque de la Danse/Cinematheque Française (Paris), Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and Yale University. Woman with an Editing Bench is distributed for use in educational contexts by Ronin Films (roninfilms.com.au) worldwide.


Speakers
avatar for Karen Pearlman

Karen Pearlman

lecturer, Macquarie University
Dr. Karen Pearlman is a lecturer at Macquarie University and the author of Cutting Rhythms, Intuitive Film Editing (Focal Press/Taylor & Francis, 2015). She is a director of the multi-award winning Physical TV Company where she writes, directs and edits dancefilm, documentary and... Read More →


Tuesday June 13, 2017 09:30 - 10:00
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

10:00

Keynote by Saku Lehtinen, Remedy: Cinematic games
Plenary keynote talk on the development of cinematic games.

Moderators
avatar for Pia Tikka

Pia Tikka

Research Fellow, Aalto University
Dr. Pia Tikka, is Adjunct Professor of New Narrative Media and a professional filmmaker. | Since 2003, in the field of new narrative media, she has led her research group of Enactive Cinema, and a founding member of the research project Enactive Media (2009-2011), Aalto University... Read More →

Guest Speaker
avatar for Saku Lehtinen

Saku Lehtinen

Creative Director Saku Lehtinen is a true veteran game developer. Saku joined Remedy in 1996 and he has had a central role in defining Remedy’s games, having worked both as Art Director (Max Payne, Alan Wake) and Cinematic Director (Max Payne) or overseeing the audiovisual experience... Read More →


Tuesday June 13, 2017 10:00 - 11:00
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

11:00

SP Dirk Eitzen. The “Post-Truth” Phenomenon: Where It Comes From, How It Works, Why it Matters
Limited Capacity seats available

The past decade or so in the U.S. has seen the rise of a breed of shameless liars in the media and politics, culminating in the election of liar-in-chief Donald Trump. Alarmed journalists and confounded critics have gone so far as to label this the post-truth era. My presentation reviews common journalistic diagnoses of the "post-truth" syndrome, explains how they in some respects fundamentally misunderstand it, and proposes a more fruitful framework for making sense of what is going on. 

Speakers
avatar for Dirk Eitzen

Dirk Eitzen

Franklin & Marshall College
Dirk Eitzen is the director of the Film & Media Studies program at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He has produced several nationally broadcast documentaries for U.S. public television and, among other scholarly works, has recently published theoretical essays... Read More →


Tuesday June 13, 2017 11:00 - 11:30
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

11:00

SP Marcelo Bertalmio and Albert Pascual. Reclaiming the creative techniques of film cinematography
Limited Capacity seats available

Cinematographers are becoming increasingly frustrated by some artistic limitations that the digital medium imposes, and that current movie production trends promote. 
Since the beginning of cinema and for many decades, there was a wide variety of cameras, film stocks and film developing options that allowed cinematographers to experiment, find and test new possibilities for creative expression, often carefully thought out in advance, while the limitations of film in terms of dynamic range required a mastering of the craft of lighting the scenes which also fostered artistic creativity; cinematographers performed the bulk of their work at pre-production and during the film shoot, with relevant but usually minor adjustments during post-production. 
Currently, virtually all professional productions resort to the same digital cinema camera model, causing the default ‘look’ to be quite homogeneous to begin with. And these cameras have ever increasing dynamic range capabilities, so there is less and less need to light the scenes. Consequently, producers are pressing directors of photography to complete more and more shots per day, just ensuring that the image quality is good in the barest possible sense (detail visibility, focus, and so on), but as much as possible leaving artistic decisions regarding contrast and color for the color-grading stage in post-production. The reasoning from the point of view of the producers is that since the costs of a shoot are prohibitive, every chance to save on shooting time (like using wide latitude cameras that don’t require to set-up artificial lighting) is welcome, especially because it is assumed that the digital medium gives total freedom to the artist so cinematographers can in principle make all the creative tests and artistic choices that they want later, during the color grading phase. 
But, in practice, this is often not the case, for two main reasons. Firstly, because the allotted time for post-production is also being progressively reduced to save costs, and in some productions the cinematographer is not even present during the color grading. Secondly, and more importantly, because the digital tools of a color grading suite are not the tools of a director of photography. As a consequence, cinematographers have increasingly less oportunities to properly exercise their craft: on the set there is pressure not to devote too much time for lighting and just make sure everything is properly visible, while in post-production the cinematographer must communicate the artistic intent to the colorist, who must be able to translate it into operations performed on the color grading suite (and the time devoted for this is also being progressively reduced). The net result is that more and more movies tend to have a similar look, with directors of photography growing dissatisfied with the diminishing role their craft seems to be taking. 
In this work we want to explore the possibilities for developing digital tools that allow the cinematographer the level of artistic freedom that film photography granted. Our main goal is not to create digital methods that emulate film characteristics, like stock response curves or film grain, but rather to study the requirements for digital techniques that directors of photography can intuitively employ on set to creatively play with contrast and color rendition, giving them back control over the look of the picture, fostering creativity and the advance of their craft.

Speakers
MB

Marcelo Bertalmio

Associate Professor, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Marcelo Bertalmío is an Associate Professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain, in the Information and Communication Technologies Department. His publications total more than 9,000 citations. He was awarded the 2012 SIAG/IS Prize of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics... Read More →


Tuesday June 13, 2017 11:00 - 11:30
A-305 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

11:00

SP Moran Ovadia, Gal Raz and Talma Hendler. 2 Sisters - 2 Neuropsychological Constellations in Lars von Trier’s Melancholia
Limited Capacity seats available

2 Sisters - 2 Neuropsychological Constellations in Lars von Trier’s MELANCHOLIA

This presentation offers a neuroaesthetic account of Lars von Trier’s apocalyptic and moving piece Melancholia (Lars von Trier, 2011). In light of recent evidence on the ways in which the interplay between large-scale brain networks underlies various aspects of subjectivity and selfhood and facilitates empathic experiences, we propose that Melancholia is a “neuroscientific thought experiment” (to rephrase Thomas Elsaesser, 2015) that examines, by the comparison of two mental arrays, a hypothesis regarding the manner in which we may cope with a certain state of extreme stress - the world coming to an end.


Speakers
avatar for Moran Ovadia

Moran Ovadia

Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv Center for Brain Functions
Moran Ovadia is an MA student in the Film Studies Program at the Tel Aviv University Steve Tisch School of Film and Television. She completed a BFA at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem (2008); wrote and directed several short films, which have been exhibited in galleries... Read More →



Tuesday June 13, 2017 11:00 - 11:30
A-306 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

11:30

SP Philip Hohle. Heroes Without a Film, Films Without a Hero: Herophobic Voices in Postmodern Independent Cinema
Limited Capacity seats available

By staying independent, have postmodern filmmakers begun to remake the classic hero by means of alternative conventions? Certainly, while festival circuits may seem to be out of the mainstream of cultural influence, many of these independent films eventually appear on Netflix cues next to those with more classic Hollywood forms. While some argue that Hollywood may not yet be undergoing such a permanent shift, the adventuresome viewer with a well-used streaming account is certain to feel it now.

As one examines herophobic films featuring protagonists on aimless journeys saturated with aheroic agency, once may ask if the classic hero has begun to languish within our collective consciousness. Critics and scholars are invited to pay close attention to the long-term social consequences of this new monomyth—cultural narratives that replace the orthodox heroic protagonist with the aheroic model. These are heroes who, at best, do nothing at all of consequence and take no moral stand. At worse, they find redemption in unapologetic rage and revenge—bringing back to their community not an elixir, but a poison. These are stories by filmmakers who substitute a coherent and pro-social teleology with a fragmented journey toward meaninglessness and destruction.

In this session, we will examine a selection of notoriously aheroic protagonists in independent films screened at top-tier festivals over the last several years. 


Speakers
avatar for Philip Hohle

Philip Hohle

Assoc. Professor of Communication, Concordia University Texas
Philip J. Hohle, Ph.D. was a contributor to the Winter 2016 issue of Projections, where he demonstrated the role of the viewer in interpreting and making sense of films—especially those with transgressive protagonist-heroes. This is his second SCSMI conference presentation.


Tuesday June 13, 2017 11:30 - 12:00
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

11:30

SP Chris Robinson. “It looked great. It was unwatchable.” High Frame Rate, Redux: Douglas Trumbull’s MAGI Pod and Ang Lee’s 'Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk'
Limited Capacity seats available

The release this past fall of Ang Lee’s new high-frame rate film brought critical reactions similar to those received by The Hobbit in 2012. To Slate’s Daniel Engber, the film “looked great” but was “unwatchable.” To Engber, “If HFR looks so damn good, then why don’t we like it in the theater?” 
This paper will examine this in light of recent research into high frame rate and perception. Adaptations in the shooting of HFR films and their aesthetics will be examined. It will also consider Douglas Trumbull’s claims to have “solved” the problems of HFR presentation with his MAGI process.

Speakers
CR

Chris Robinson

University of Arkansas Little Rock
Chris Robinson is an Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of Arkansas Little Rock and a curator for the Telluride Film Festival. He has taught at Emerson College, The University of Kansas, and Columbia University. He has worked in production, distribution, and exhibition... Read More →


Tuesday June 13, 2017 11:30 - 12:00
A-305 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

11:30

SP Colin Burke, Lene Heiselberg, Katalin Balint and Brendan Rooney. Narration alone or accompanied by acted events in a historical documentary: Exploring cognitive effort and emotional arousal using measures of pupil dilation and skin conductance.
Limited Capacity seats available

Thirty-five participants’ pupil dilation (cognitive effort) and skin conductance (emotional arousal) responses were recorded as they viewed a documentary about historical events of Denmark. Specifically, we compare responses towards (1) scenes where the narrator recounts past events while directly talking to the camera, with (2) scenes where the narrator recounts past events while the events are acted out on screen. In this way, viewers’ mental models are constructed from only verbal information or from both verbal and visual descriptions of the past events. We predict differences in patterns of physiological responses for these different modes of presentation.

Speakers
avatar for Katalin Bálint

Katalin Bálint

Assistant Professor, Tilburg University
Katalin Bálint is an assistant professor at Tilburg University (NL) in New Media Design. She was a postdoc researcher at Utrecht University (NL) and after that at University of Augsburg (DE). Her research expertise lies in the domains of psychology, film studies and communication... Read More →


Tuesday June 13, 2017 11:30 - 12:00
A-306 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

12:00

Lunch
RAFLA RESTAURANT at the GROUND FLOOR AT THE TÖÖLÖ CONFERENCE VENUE

MENU THIS WEEK http://www.amica.fi/en/restaurants/ravintolat-kaupungeittain/helsinki/rafla/

Select your choice of lunch from the buffet and pay with your daily lunch ticket to the cashier.
Your choices may range from salad to a soup of the day to one of the meals. Volunteer staff will help you with any questions! Check the daily menu here http://www.amica.fi/en/restaurants/ravintolat-kaupungeittain/helsinki/rafla/

Second option for lunch is PROFFA staff and teachers' restaurant on the 2nd floor. Same instructions, unfortunately no english menu online available. You are free to choose between PROFFA and RAFLA. 

Hyvää ruokahalua!! Good appetite!

Tuesday June 13, 2017 12:00 - 13:00
Aalto in-house lunch restaurant

13:00

LP Monika Suckfüll. The Effects of Information Gaps in Movies
Limited Capacity seats available

In movies belonging to the so-called ‘Berlin School’ information is withheld on purpose. The resulting information gaps are disruptive for the viewer. They complicate the reception, but at the same time the left-out information can increase the viewer’s cognitive processing. In an empirical study, 50 persons saw a movie of full length. Electromyographic measurements, changes in heart rate, and eye tracking data are related to scenes of the movie, in which information is intentionally withheld in different ways.


Speakers
avatar for Monika Suckfüll

Monika Suckfüll

Professor, The Berlin University of the Arts
Monika Suckfüll received her PhD in Psychology in 1997. In 2004 she introduced her research program ‘Modes of Reception’. Since 2005 she is professor of Media and Communication Studies at the Berlin University of the Arts. She is head of the ‘Cinebox’, a laboratory for reception... Read More →


Tuesday June 13, 2017 13:00 - 14:00
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

13:00

LP Kathrin Fahlenbrach. Televisual Aesthetics: Audiovisual Spaces, Moods and Symbolic Meanings in Complex TV-Series
Limited Capacity seats available

Televisual Aesthetics: Audiovisual Spaces, Moods and Symbolic Meanings in Complex TV-Series  

Since the success of 'complex TV-series' (Mittell 2015) both in popular culture and in academic discourses, a lot has been said about their specificities in creating multifaceted characters (e.g. Bruun 2016), sophisticated plots (e.g. Mittell 2015), and differentiated strategies to involve viewers cognitively and emotionally into their diegetic worlds. Thereby a major focus has been on narrative aspects: complex networks of plot lines on the global scale of a series' and the related dynamics of informing and engaging viewers for TV-characters - to just mention two relevant research issues. Obviously such elements also affect the style of a series: e.g. the connection of different plot lines and different spatio-temporal dimensions in a story by audiovisual blending, editing, flashbacks or flash forwards; or the creation of complex characters by offering different internal and external perspectives of them in vision and sound. Although audiovisual styles are the very medium of a narrative, it has been rather neglected for a long time. It is only for some years, that TV studies began to shed more light on the specificities of audiovisual styles in complex TV series (e.g. Nannicelli 2012; Jacob/Peacock 2013; Cardwell 2013). Instead of just transferring our knowledge of cinematic poetics on television, a new line of research is discovering the very specifics of complex televisual styles.

            The paper intends to follow up on this current line of research. After a short recapitulation of some relevant results and observations in this discourse it will discuss the specific role of spatial aesthetics for complex televisual styles. As has been shown in single case studies (e.g. in Jason/Peacock 2013; Guffey 2014), the stylistic creation of audiovisual spaces is a key element to involve viewers into challenging diegetic worlds. Viewers are confronted with spatio-temporal structures in a TV narrative first of all by perceiving, experiencing and interpreting the spaces that frame a character's actions and expressions. Hence the styles of televisual spaces are the very medium of cognitive, affective and symbolic meanings.

            After a more general outline of this research perspective, a specific focus of the paper will be on the aesthetic interplay of spatial atmospheres, moods, and symbolic meanings in single TV series. Following Plantinga (2014), cinematic moods can imply moral perspectives on a character. As will be shown, also in TV series spatial atmospheres of audiovisual spaces can imply "moral moods" that relevantly guide viewers cognitive and emotional evaluation of a character. This is equally true for other, more symbolic meanings, anchored in the narrative of a storyworld. - The stylistic, emotional and symbolic elements of televisual spaces will be analyzed both on the local scale of single episodes and on the global scale across the serial world. It will be discussed how the global dynamics of televisual spaces can result in varying, contrasting, diverging and ambivalent creations of recurring spaces, relevantly contributing to the viewers experience of complexity.

 

References

Bruun, Margrete 2016. The Antihero in American Television. London/New York: Routledge.

Jacobs, Jason, and Steven Peacock (ed.) 2013. Television Aesthetics and Style. London: Bloomsbury.

Mittel, Jason 2015. Complex TV: The Poetics of Contemporary Television Storytelling. New York et al. :New York Univ. Press.

Nannicelli, Ted 2012. "Ontology, intentionality and television, aesthetics", in: Screen 53:2, 164-179.

Plantinga, Carl 2014. "Mood and Ethics in Narrative Film" In Cognitive Media Theory, ed. by Ted Nannicelli, and Paul Taberham, 141-157. New York/London: Routledge.

 


Speakers
avatar for Kathrin Fahlenbrach

Kathrin Fahlenbrach

Professor, University of Hamburg
Kathrin Fahlenbrach (Dr. phil.) is professor for film- and media studies at the Department for Media and Communication at the University of Hamburg (Germany). She is author of several publications on embodied metaphors in moving images. In her book on audiovisual metaphors (2010... Read More →


Tuesday June 13, 2017 13:00 - 14:00
A-305 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

13:00

LP Adriano D'Aloia and Ruggero Eugeni. What time is in? Subjective Perception of Time in the Audiovisual Experience
Limited Capacity seats available

What aspects of audiovisual media are responsible for the viewers' subjective perception of duration? What behavioral and neural mechanisms activated by audiovisuals are responsible for the perception of temporality? What are the functions of different styles of film editing in managing subjective time perception? This paper presents the theoretical premises and the results of the pilot phase of a research aimed at exploring the audiovisual spectator’s subjective perception of time. The methodological framework adopted for this research is that of "Neurofilmology", a method that combines theoretical research, textual analysis and experimental findings. Relying on a phenomenological approach to time consciousness and on a neurophenomenological approach to the experience of narrative time, we discuss the role of complex neural mechanisms of subjective judgments of time duration. In order to delve into these issues, we also share and discuss the first results of a laboratory experiment conducted at the Università Cattolica of Milan in cooperation with a team of neuro-psychologists.


Speakers
avatar for Adriano D’Aloia

Adriano D’Aloia

Assistant professor, International Telematic University UNINETTUNO
I am an assistant professor in cinema, photography and television at the International Telematic University UNINETTUNO, Rome. I am the author of a book that combines aesthetics, Gestalt psychology and cognitive neuroscience as a model of film experience analysis. I co-curated wit... Read More →
avatar for Ruggero Eugeni

Ruggero Eugeni

Full Professor, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
I am Full Professor of Media Semiotics at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Milan). My scientific interests are focused on the living media experience, as defined both in cultural - semiotical and in phenomenological - neurocognitive terms. I'm currently studying the problem... Read More →


Tuesday June 13, 2017 13:00 - 14:00
A-306 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

14:00

SP Lyubov Bugaeva. Narrative Gaps and Cinematic Lacunae, or what is going on when the film “holds its breath”
Limited Capacity seats available

Film narration entails certain taboos and restrictions, including the obvious ones that are tied to story development from its set-up to rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution, and to the necessity to keep a spectator immersed in a film’s action. Despite the fact that “action is the fundamental narrative element” (Chatman 1975: 213), the cinematic story occasionally “holds its breath” (B. Eichenbaum) and as if takes a pause. Films may contain digressions that slow down the plot development. These cinematic lacunae are not ellipses, however, the lack they create in film narration inform the audience that a communication is intended and trigger the mental process of filling blanks, lacunae, and indeterminacies. 

What cognitive mechanisms underlie the capacity to fill the gap with a satisfying interpretation? Where do we look while filling the gap or going through an episode in which a character passes from one place to another without the movement contributing much to plot development? What do we pay attention to and what do we ignore? Does the film really “hold its breath”? What does eye tracking tell us about watching cinematic lacunae? What is the meaning of ‘ligature’ episodes, besides being a means to keep coherence? The paper explores the narrative gaps and cinematic lacunae when film narrative balances on the verge of its existence. In the focus of attention are experimental film narratives by Andrei Tarkovsky, Alexei Balabanov, and Alexander Sokurov.

 


Speakers
avatar for Lyubov Bugaeva

Lyubov Bugaeva

Associate Professor, St. Petersburg State University
Lyubov Bugaeva is a researcher in cinema and literature, Dr hab (2012) and PhD (1995), Associate Professor at St. Petersburg State University, Russia. She is the founder of the Kinotext Group in St. Petersburg, the author of Literature and rite de passage (St. Petersburg, 2010) and... Read More →


Tuesday June 13, 2017 14:00 - 14:30
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

14:00

SP Fernando Canet. Long-term relationship with characters in TV series: the fluctuating engagement with antiheros
Limited Capacity seats available

One of the main features that define character engagement in TV series is the long-term relationship that spectators develop with characters. Blanchet and Vaage introduce the familiarity as essential issue for understanding character engagement in TV series. This long-term exposure can be pleasurable. However, such exposure can have the opposite effect. In order to avoid this, and to maintain the viewer’s interest, series creators need to map out an appealing character evolution. This transformational process can take different directions depending on how the creators want to develop the alignment process. One approach can be to elicit sympathy for the character, but the opposite approach can also be taken. However, both approaches can be taken simultaneously as a mechanism for the production of more complex narratives. An example of this is the current popularity of the antihero figure. I argue that long-term narration, as occurs in TV series, is the perfect place for developing a fluctuating relationship between the antihero and the viewer. The objective of this paper is to explore this fluctuating relationship through the most relevant contemporary examples.


Speakers
avatar for Fernando Canet

Fernando Canet

Associate Professor, Polytechnic University of Valencia
Dr. Fernando Canet is Associate Professor in Film Studies at the Fine Arts College (Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain). He has been the co-editor of the book titled (Re)viewing Creative, Critical and Commercial Practices in Contemporary Spanish Cinema for Intellect Ltd. He... Read More →


Tuesday June 13, 2017 14:00 - 14:30
A-305 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

14:00

SP Hauke Meyerhoff, Frank Papenmeier and Markus Huff. Visual activity of movie clips biases time perception
Limited Capacity seats available

In this project, we studied how changes in the visual activity of movies affect the experienced duration of the observers. We asked participants to reproduce the durations of brief visual tracks from Hollywood movies (2-4s; no cuts). Besides the original track, we also tested pixelated versions of the tracks that either maintained or maximized the visual activity of the corresponding original track. In general, we observed increasing experienced durations with increasing visual activity. Also, the original tracks were experienced as longer than the matched pixelated tracks indicating that the amount of processed information is positively related to experienced duration.

Speakers
avatar for Hauke Meyerhoff

Hauke Meyerhoff

Postdoctoral Researcher, Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien, Tuebingen, Germany
Hauke studied psychology at the University of Tübingen. In 2014, he finished his dissertation thesis in which he explored interactions between visual attention and the detection of animate motion in simple animations. This work was awarded with the Leibniz-Young Researcher Award... Read More →


Tuesday June 13, 2017 14:00 - 14:30
A-306 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

14:30

SP Maria Poulaki. Transformative continuity
Limited Capacity seats available

This presentation will make a case for 'transformative continuity' in audiovisual scenes with camera movement without (overt) editing, examples of which I will discuss.
I will focus on cognitive-embodied and in particular attentional and immersive aspects and effects of transformative continuity, linked to the notion of absorption. I will argue that, instead of retaining attention by means of (classical or post-classical/ intensified) continuity editing, the effect created through transformative continuity is one akin to hypnosis: the over-anchoring of attention to one object- of superimposed, or unfolding images. By focusing attention on the same plane which however opens up to multiple planes and unfolds through layering, the function of transformative continuity is not primarily one of disambiguation and space-time coordination in a naturalistic (diegetic) environment, but one of increased ambiguity that qualitatively alters the engagement of the viewer with the image. 


Speakers
MP

Maria Poulaki

University of Surrey
Maria Poulaki is Lecturer in Film Studies and Digital Media Arts at the University of Surrey. She studied psychology before turning to media psychology, cultural analysis and cinema studies. She is the co-editor of Compact Cinematics (with P. Hesselberth, Bloomsbury 2017) and Narrative... Read More →


Tuesday June 13, 2017 14:30 - 15:00
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

14:30

SP Jason Gendler. Television Narrative and the Potential for Change
Limited Capacity seats available

My paper will explore the potential for television series to mature and develop as they progress, including changes to characters personalities as writers and actors collaborate, changes to the premise of a show, changes in the sophistication of the storytelling, changes in the tone and subject matter of a series, and changes in the balance between episodic and serial plots. I will explore these issues in relation to such series as Star Trek: The Next Generation, Community, and Parks and Recreation. In doing so, I hope to shed light on one of the more fascinating components of television narrative.

Speakers
JG

Jason Gendler

CSU Long Beach
Jason Gendler is an adjunct professor of film and television, teaching graduate seminars at UCLA, and undergraduate courses at Otis College of Art and Design, Chapman University, and CSU Long Beach. He has published in Projections, the AFI reader Color and the Moving Image, and Nebula... Read More →


Tuesday June 13, 2017 14:30 - 15:00
A-305 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

14:30

SP Miriam Laura Loertscher and Christian Iseli. The Cinematic Look and the Paradox of High Frame Rates
Limited Capacity seats available

High frame rates (HFR) have raised many questions and generated controversial discussions among filmmakers and critics about the cinematic look and the potential of digital innovations. An artistic research project was conducted to test the effects of HFR on visual exploration, presence and emotional reactions. A fictional short film was shot in 96 frames per second (fps) and produced in three frame rates (24* / 48* / 96 fps, *frame rate conversions in postproduction) for a cinematic experiment. These three film versions were presented to 49 participants while their eyes were tracked. All spectators filled out a questionnaire after each film version and described their emotional and cognitive reactions. The analysis of the eyetracking results revealed a significantly higher number of fixations for the high frame rates. This result replicates an earlier experiment with test sequences in HFR. Open questions for filmmakers and for future research projects on HFR will be discussed.


Speakers
avatar for Miriam Laura Loertscher

Miriam Laura Loertscher

University of Bern
Miriam Laura Loertscher studied Media, Social and Neuropsychology at the University of Bern and Cinema Studies at the University of Zurich (lic.phil.hum). Currently she is a Phd student at the Institute of Psychology at the University of Bern and a research associate at the Institute... Read More →


Tuesday June 13, 2017 14:30 - 15:00
A-306 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

15:00

SP Mario Slugan. Bazinian Idenitity as an Alternative to Indexicality for Distinguishing between Analog and Digital Photography
Limited Capacity seats available

The presentation argues that although the ontological distinction between digital and analog cannot be grounded in indexicality, an alternative method of discrimanation can be provided - the relation of identity (initially articulated by Bazin).

Speakers
avatar for Mario Slugan

Mario Slugan

Postdoctoral Associate Fellow, University of Warwick
Mario Slugan is a Postdoctoral Associate Fellow at the University of Warwick working on the intersection between philosophy, film, and literature. He has presented at numerous conferences including SCSMI and SCMS and his articles have appeared or have been accepted in publications... Read More →


Tuesday June 13, 2017 15:00 - 15:30
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

15:00

SP Sebastian Armbrust and Maike Sarah Reinerth. Voice-over narration and subjectivity in serial television drama. An exploration of narratorial functions, subjective access, and narrative engagement.
Limited Capacity seats available

Voice-over narration and subjectivity in serial television drama. An exploration of narratorial functions, subjective access, and narrative engagement

Short Abstract

Our paper explores how voice-over statements in recent serial television dramas like Dexter and Mr Robot may be analyzed within a cognitive framework, asking how voice-over commentaries affect our conceptual and emotional engagement with a character’s subjective experience of the unfolding events. In contrast to voice-over narration in classical Hollywood cinema (as described by Sarah Kozloff), we assume that voice-over statements in contemporary television create rather ambiguous blends of traditional narratorial devices and subjective access points to the minds of the central characters, and explore how this affects our perspective on the represented world.

Abstract

Over the last decades, an increasing number of serial television comedies and dramas have relied on voice-over narration as a dominant element in their narrative logic (e.g., My So- Called Life, Scrubs, How I Met Your Mother, Dexter, House of Cards, Mr Robot). A closer look at the voice-over commentaries in Dexter (Showtime, 2006-13) and Mr Robot (USA network, 2015-) suggests that they create a very subjective and ambiguous level of narration that crucially shapes our engagement with these shows.

In the past, voice-over narration in moving images has been discussed mainly under a structuralist perspective, focusing on the status of the speaker in the ontological structure of a given narrative (see Kozloff 1988 for the most prominent discussion). However, the voice- over commentaries in Dexter, Mr Robot and possibly other shows are difficult to pin down in this framework. Realized in the first person and through the voices of the characters, they are clearly homodiegetic, but their overall status in the narrative remains ambiguous since they seem to oscillate between a range of different narrative functions: They exhibit backstory information (like a classical narrator), but also verbalize characters’ subjective responses to particular experiences in a highly idiosyncratic way (which suggests a more immediate representation of character thought). As a performative element, Dexter’s witty comments seem to address an implicit narratee, while Elliot Alderson’s voice in Mr Robot explicitly addresses the viewer in the second person, as his imaginary friend. But in contrast to many embedded narrators in classical Hollywood cinema, the on-screen characters are never introduced as frame narrators that talk to a specified, “surrogate” audience within the represented world (cf. Kozloff 1988, 50). According to our first intuition, then, the voice-over commentaries in Dexter and Mr Robot create a rather ambiguous blend of narratorial devices and subjective access points to the minds of the central characters.

Our paper explores how these voice-over statements may be analyzed within a cognitive framework, where the audiovisual narrative provides cues for the mental (re-)construction of a storyworld by the audience. As its central element, this mental model includes a character experiencing the events (e.g., see Herman 2009). On this basis, we ask how voice-over commentaries affect our conceptual and emotional engagement during the process of narrative comprehension. Drawing on work by Jens Eder and Murray Smith, we assume this centrally involves our mental access, imaginary proximity (Eder 2010), and sympathetic allegiance (Smith 1995) to and with the central character.

Furthermore, we assume that the interpretation of voice-over statements draws mainly on two types of generalized knowledge and mental architecture. Firstly, we assume that voice- over statements may cue communicative situation models. As Sarah Kozloff has shown, frame narratives in classical Hollywood cinema often establish confessional settings with “audience surrogates,” e.g., a courtroom with a jury (Kozloff 1988, 50). Although the status of voice overs in television remains much more ambiguous, their interpretation may involve the activation (or priming) of similar communication models. Secondly, we ask how voice-over statements relate to the specific story situation represented on the screen. Cognitive narratology suggests that relevant story events involve a character’s emotional reaction to incidents that disrupt “normalcy” (Hogan 2011). In this regard, we ask how voice-over statements contribute to our understanding of emotional episodes, or whether they highlight other dimensions of narrative meaning-making.

In our talk, we further evaluate the literature on subjectivity and engagement to flesh out an analytical framework that explores possible theoretical categories of voice-over in serial television. In close readings of Dexter and Mr Robot, we will then explore how different types of voice-over statements contribute to an understanding of the narrating character’s subjective mental perspective and thus influence our conceptual and emotional engagement with the unfolding narrative.

As a first working hypothesis, voice-over narration in serial television often seems to create a somewhat paradoxical situation, creating an imaginary proximity to and sympathetic allegiance with the central characters, but at the expense of increasing the distance to the represented world and the character’s social environment. For example, Dexter’s ironic voice-over commentaries often suggest his emotional detachment from the immediate moment, while Elliot Alderson’s statements in Mr Robot explicitly point to the factual unreliability of what we are seeing. This suggests a less immediate engagement with canonical emotion episodes on the micro-structural level of narrative comprehension, in favor of a closer allegiance at a higher level of comprehension, focusing on the characters’ conscious elaboration on their experiences, actions, and perspectives on the world.

References

Eder, Jens (2010). Understanding Characters. Projections. The Journal for Movies and Mind, 4(1), 16-40.

Herman, David (2009). Basic Elements of Narrative. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Hogan, Patrick Colm (2011). Affective Narratology. The Emotional Structure of Stories. Lincoln: University of Nebraska.

Kozloff, Sarah (1988). Invisible Storytellers. Voice-Over Narration in American Fiction Film. Berkley: University of California.

Smith, Murray (1995). Engaging Characters: Fiction, Emotion, and the Cinema. Oxford: Clarendon Press.


Speakers
avatar for Sebastian Armbrust

Sebastian Armbrust

University of Hamburg
Sebastian Armbrust is a research associate at the University of Hamburg’s Institute for Media and Communication. He graduated in Media Culture and American Studies with an M.A. thesis on visual metaphor in film. He has published several papers related to his ongoing doctoral dissertation... Read More →
avatar for Maike Sarah Reinerth

Maike Sarah Reinerth

Film University Babelsberg, Brandenburgisches Zentrum fuer Medienwissenschaften
Maike Sarah Reinerth is writing her dissertation on representations of subjectivity in cinema on a grant from the Brandenburgisches Zentrum fuer Medienwissenschaften (ZeM) in Potsdam, Germany. Among her other research interests are film history, cognitive film and media theory and... Read More →


Tuesday June 13, 2017 15:00 - 15:30
A-305 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

15:00

SP Kata Szita. Movies on Smartphones: The Physiological Effects of Screen Size, Physical Connection, and the Active Environment
Limited Capacity seats available

The study aims to describe whether viewing experience on small screens, interactive interfaces, and active environments (that all define smartphone spectatorship) induce different level of attention, presence-feeling, and narrative understanding. Volunteers’ physiological reactions were measured while watching short footages of an English-speaking commercial movie on two types of screens (a smartphone and a 30” screen) in an isolated and a simulated natural environment to understand how audiovisual footages, such as mobile-distributed movies and commercial videos can communicate most effectively, and how the bodily contact between the smartphone and its user affects film experience and requires potential new viewing strategies from both the consumers’ and the content producers’ side.

Speakers
avatar for Kata Szita

Kata Szita

PhD candidate, University of Gothenburg
Kata Szita is a PhD candidate in Film Studies at the University of Gothenburg with an interest in neurocinematics, cognitive film studies, and empirical methods like eye tracking. In her PhD thesis she uses these approaches to describe the relocation of cinema onto smartphones, and... Read More →


Tuesday June 13, 2017 15:00 - 15:30
A-306 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

15:30

Refreshments
Light snacks and refreshments served outside the lecture rooms (3rd floor) to boost the lively discussion and socializing.

Tuesday June 13, 2017 15:30 - 16:00
Aalto Hallway 3rd floor - Refreshments

16:00

SP Johannes Riis. The balancing of performer expressiveness against narrative objects of emotion
Limited Capacity seats available

In my paper, I will view performer expressiveness in terms of aesthetic properties. In addition to communicative functions, we may look for balance of performer expressiveness and objects of emotion in the narrative, thus viewing narrative structure and performances as part of an integral whole. I will discuss Bette Davis in Jezebel (1938), The Letter (1940) and The Little Foxes (1941).


Speakers
avatar for Johannes Riis

Johannes Riis

associate professor, University of Copenhagen
Johannes Riis is associate professor of film studies at University of Copenhagen and the author of a book and multiple articles on film acting. He is currently working on a book on the history of film acting styles, between 1920 and 1980.


Tuesday June 13, 2017 16:00 - 16:30
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

16:00

SP Stephen Hinde, Tim Smith and Katrin Heimann. Experimental psychology in cinema using mobile technologies.
Limited Capacity seats available

Talk: Experimental psychology in cinema using mobile technologies.
Author: Stephen J. HindeCollaborators/supervisors: Tim J. Smith, Birkbeck University, and Katrin Heimann, Interacting Minds Centre

Please look here for details of adjunct demos which you can do before the talk:
https://tinyurl.com/yaqupv9s

Studies of film and media experience have been studied by psychologists and neuroscientists within a laboratory settings casting a general light on how we pay attention to film (see: Cutting, DeLong, & Nothelfer, 2010; Smith, 2012).During PhD research by (Hinde, 2017) on watching people watching film,studies of attention were made using diverse techniques including eye tracking, and behavioural measures. However, the potential lack of invariance between  the laboratory and within  ecologically valid settings has been a cause for concern by many (see Kingstone, Smilek & Eastwood, 2008). For example, the laboratory experience of watching participants watching film could be very different from the normal setting in a cinema due to the social setting, expectations and dimensionality of the cinema.
Due to recent advances in technology progresswith   mobile devices and mobile sensors, it is now possible to conduct experiments on attention using diverse measurements within the cinema. New research questions can then be addressed, e.g.:
  • What is the difference between attention to film in the laboratory setting and in the cinema?
  • What is the effect of being in a social setting with a group of people rather than individually watching a film
This talk will discuss a methodology for  taking experimental psychology to the cinema using mobile technologies
.During SCSMI  a demonstration of an audience experiment with iPhones, with a short film clip will be made using a  dual-task approach .

The gathering of quantitative data pertaining to film in order to help film research has been discussed with SCSMI before.. However, to our knowledge no significant psychological corpus of data taken from human perception while people watch film in cinemas has been collected. A possible challenge for  SCSMI would be to conduct some psychological cinemetrics experiments.
References
  • Cutting, J. E., DeLong, J. E., & Nothelfer, C. E. (2010). Attention and the Evolution of Hollywood Film. Psychological Science. doi:10.1177/0956797610361679
  • Kingstone, A., Smilek, D., & Eastwood, J. D. (2008).
  • Cognitive ethology: A new approach for studying human cognition. British Journal of Psychology, 99(3), 317-340
  • Hinde, S.(2016) (SubmittedOctober 2016) PhD Thesis, University of BristolSalt, B. (2011). The metrics in Cinemetrics. Retrieved August, 8, 2015.
  • Smith, T. J. (2012). The Attentional theory of cinematic continuity. Projections, 6(1).

Speakers
avatar for Dr Stephen J. Hinde

Dr Stephen J. Hinde

Post-doc Researcher, Bristol Vision Institute, University of Bristol
I am primarily a cognitive psychologist, with some poly-math tendencies, who is interested in the study of dynamic attention, immersion, and film. In a recently completed PhD entitled Attention With Movies, I explore how behavioural studies can help us to further our understanding... Read More →


Tuesday June 13, 2017 16:00 - 16:30
A-305 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

16:00

SP Jussi Tarvainen, Jorma Laaksonen and Tapio Takala. Film mood and its quantitative determinants in different types of scenes
Limited Capacity seats available

In mainstream cinema, emotions – both those displayed on screen and those elicited in the viewer – are central to the film viewing experience. One way that films seek to elicit emotions in viewers is by using various stylistic devices to infuse the story they tell with an affective character or tone – in a word, a mood. But the specific storytelling strategies used to build mood in a given film scene will depend on the type of scene in question: for example, dialogue is likely to have a greater influence on the mood of a dialogue scene than of an action scene, and most exterior scenes will provide more opportunities for mood-building through elaborate camera movement than interior scenes will.

Understanding how various narrative and stylistic attributes contribute to mood in different types of film scenes would provide insight into the way films engage and affect viewers. It would also guide the development of computational methods to estimate film mood based on quantitative features that can be detected from the film’s video and audio tracks. For example, if it turned out that the valence of a dialogue scene is largely determined by the facial expressions of the characters in the scene and the contents of their dialogue, then valence-modeling efforts should focus on developing computational features to describe those aspects of the scene.

In this study, we investigated the quantitative determinants of film mood across different types of scenes. We first investigated, through a user study, whether dimensions of film mood – hedonic tone (valence), energetic arousal, and tense arousal – can be assessed directly by viewers using continuous scales. We also investigated how the mood of film scenes is influenced by four groups of narrative and stylistic attributes: the events the scene depicts, the speech it contains, its visual style, and its use of sounds.

We then created a corpus of 50 scenes from various kinds of mainstream films and classified the scenes into discrete scene types using four criteria: location (interior, exterior, and mixed-location scenes), time of day (daytime and nighttime scenes), and the prominence of dialogue (dialogue and non-dialogue scenes) and music (music and non-music scenes). We then conducted another user study in which we collected style and mood ratings for each of the 50 scenes. This allowed us to investigate whether the mood ratings differed between scene types, and how well the ratings correlated with perceptual stylistic attributes assessed by viewers and features detected computationally from the scenes. The set of computational features we tested included both so-called low-level features that describe various stylistic attributes of the scene (e.g. brightness, fastness) as well as high-level features that describe the emotional expression in the faces, dialogue, and music contained in the scene. To obtain ground-truth data for testing the computational features, we manually tracked the movement of each character in the scenes, transcribed all the spoken dialogue, and marked the segments that contained dialogue or music.

The results of the studies showed, firstly, that direct assessment of film mood is feasible: the ratings exhibited high levels of internal consistency across all three mood dimensions. The results also indicated that the influence of stylistic attributes on hedonic tone is greater in non-dialogue scenes than in dialogue scenes, whereas stylistic attributes influence energetic and tense arousal in both of these scene types. We also found the hedonic tone ratings of non-dialogue and music scenes to be distributed evenly across the entire range of values from negative to positive, while dialogue and non-music scenes had Gaussian rating distributions, suggesting that strongly negative or positive moods are more likely to be found in the absence of dialogue or the presence of music. Lastly, we discovered that across all scene types, the energetic arousal dimension was associated with two stylistic attributes, loudness and fastness, and their corresponding low-level features, while hedonic tone and tense arousal were associated with high-level features that describe the emotional expression in faces, dialogue, and music. This finding was corroborated with linear regression analysis: models constructed with high-level features performed better with hedonic tone and tense arousal, and models constructed with low-level features performed better with energetic arousal.

In all, the results show that accounting for the distinctions between scene types can provide insight into the underpinnings of film mood under different conditions. The prominence of dialogue and music appear to be particularly useful scene type classification categories in this regard. The results also indicate that state-of-the-art computational features that describe the emotional expression in faces, dialogue, and music can be used to estimate a scene’s mood in terms of hedonic tone and tense arousal across various scene types. We have made the scene assessment and annotation data as well as the computational features publicly available.

Speakers
avatar for Jussi Tarvainen

Jussi Tarvainen

Doctoral student, Aalto University School of Science, Department of Computer Science
I'm a doctoral student at the Aalto University School of Science. In my research I study film mood from the perspective of cognitive science and computer science. I'm interested in how mood in film is created, how it is perceived by viewers, and whether it can be estimated computationally... Read More →


Tuesday June 13, 2017 16:00 - 16:30
A-306 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

16:30

LP Robert Blanchet. The misunderstanding of “understanding”: Empathizing with film characters on the level of action and motivation
Limited Capacity seats available

I will argue that when spectators say, or think, that they can understand a morally flawed character, such as Walter White from “Breaking Bad”, they are not referring to a simulatory process of mind reading, or shared emotions, as most contemporary theories of empathy would have it. Instead, I propose that what we mean when we use expressions like “I can understand that Walter lied to his family” or “it’s understandable that he went into drug trafficking” is that the character’s reasons for acting, at least in part, justify or excuse his action, while, all things considered, we remain critical of the action from our own point of view. However, to arrive at the acknowledgement that I, too, can accept at least some of the other’s reasons as good ones, I have to focus my attention on what drove him to act as he did in the first place, rather than just appraise that action from the point of view of how it affects my own concerns (my goals, my moral principles etc.). It is this seemingly trivial stepping out of my egocentric perspective on the world, and mental focusing on the other that makes the process of understanding an empathic act, according to my theory. Hence, I reject the view that empathy requires me to imagine something about myself. Secondly, I will show how this theory about empathy on the level of action and motivation can contribute to the solution of the sympathy for the devil paradox.


Speakers
avatar for Robert Blanchet

Robert Blanchet

University of Zurich
Robert Blanchet teaches at the Institute of Cinema Studies at the University of Zurich where he is working on his dissertation on a new theory of empathy. He is the author of Blockbuster: Ästhetik, Ökonomie und Geschichte des postklassischen Hollywoodkinos (2003), the co-editor... Read More →


Tuesday June 13, 2017 16:30 - 17:30
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

16:30

LP Hector J. Perez and Maria Jesus Ortiz. Emotional and Cognitive Effects of Multiplot Structure in TV Serial Narratives
Limited Capacity seats available

The contemporary television series possesses a multi-plot narrative structure, a feature that has a decisive impact on the experience of the spectator, but which to date has not been sufficiently studied. In this contribution, we present the results of systematic research of this feature, aimed at determining the exact nature of its cognitive and emotional effects. Our exploration will follow the order implicit in the three narrative levels described by Michael Newman (2006): the micro level of scenes or beats; the middle level of episodes; and the macro level of narrative arcs.  
This contribution is a central focus of a research project based on the analysis of more than seventy seasons of different series produced in the last ten years. Its theoretical and methodological bases are the main cognitivist theories used in film studies, as well as theories taken from neuroscience and psychology.

Speakers
avatar for Maria J. Ortiz

Maria J. Ortiz

Universidad de Alicante
María J. Ortiz is lecturer at the Department of Communication and Social Psychology at University of Alicante, Spain. Her main field of research is visual metaphor. She has published on International journals as Journal of Pragmatics, Communication & Society or Metaphor and Symbol... Read More →
avatar for Hector J. Perez

Hector J. Perez

Universidad Politecnica de Valencia
Héctor J. Pérez (Madrid, 1971) is associate professor of audiovisual narrative at the Universitat Politècnica de València. He undertook pre-doctoral Studies at the Universität Leipzig (1995-97), received a European Ph.D. in 1999, and continued post-doctoral studies at the Universit... Read More →


Tuesday June 13, 2017 16:30 - 17:30
A-305 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

16:30

LP James Cutting: Pace and the evolution of popular film form
Limited Capacity seats available

Using a corpus analysis of 210 English-language movies, ten released every five years between 1915 and 2015, I explore a physical narratology of popular movies. In a series of empirical studies, I show that normative aspects in patterns of shot duration patterns, motion patterns, and luminance patterns – all variables that can be linked to the concept of pace – have developed slowly over the last century. The fully developed form is present in films of 1990 to 2015, but was only nascent in those of 1960 to 1995, and essentially nonexistent in those of 1915 to 1955.

Speakers
avatar for James Cutting

James Cutting

Susan Linn Sage Professor, Cornell University
James E. Cutting is Susan Linn Sage Professor of Psychology at Cornell University. He has published three books, the most recent of which is Impressionism and its canon (2006) and over one hundred articles on the perception of motion, space, and similar topics. His interests in the... Read More →


Tuesday June 13, 2017 16:30 - 17:30
A-306 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

18:00

GET-TOGETHER AT THE FAMOUS CORONA BAR

On Tuesday Corona bar & billiard will welcome us after the hard days work, for socializing and enjoying inspiring after-talks with drinks. Everyone is instructed to head to Corona Bar, earlier or later. Some of us will get there from the conference dinner. 

Corona bar has achieved almost a cult status only in a few decades. Corona bar, founded by Kaurismäki brothers, is a New York-style relaxed streetbar with a pool-hall. Corona serves coffee, refreshments and probably the best toasts in Helsinki, every day of the week and all around the year.



Tuesday June 13, 2017 18:00 - 23:00
Corona Bar - Conference Club Eerikinkatu 11

18:15

A panel discussion on 2 newly published books (Plenary session) Location: Corona Bar Movie theatre
Corona Bar, Movie theater ground floor - small snack served at 18:00
Discussion starts at 18:15

This is a Double Book Panel, in which two recently published books will be discussed. The two books are Todd Berliner's Hollywood Aesthetic: Pleasure in American Cinema and Murray Smith's Film, Art and the Third Culture​: A Naturalized Aesthetics of Film, both published by Oxford University Press this spring. Paisley Livingston and Jeff Smith are respondents, and Henry Bacon is panel chair.

More information about the books:

Hollywood Aesthetic: Pleasure in American Cinema by Todd Berliner offers the first comprehensive appraisal of Hollywood’s capacity to provide aesthetic pleasure to mass audiences. Grounded in film history and in the psychological and philosophical literature in aesthetics, Hollywood Aesthetic explains how Hollywood creates, for huge numbers of people, some of their most exhilarating experiences of art. 

In Film, Art and the Third Culture​: A Naturalized Aesthetics of Film, Murray Smith explores the general strategies and principles necessary to build a 'third cultural' or naturalized approach to film and art - one that roots itself in an appreciation of scientific knowledge and method. Smith then goes on to focus on the role of emotion in film and the other arts, as an extended experiment in the 'third cultural' integration of ideas on emotion spanning the arts, humanities and sciences. While acknowledging that not all of the questions we ask are scientific in nature, Smith contends that we cannot disregard the insights wrought by taking a naturalized approach to the aesthetics of film and the other arts.

Moderators
avatar for Henry Bacon

Henry Bacon

Professor of Film and Television Studies, University of Helsinki
Henry Bacon is professor of Film and Television Studies at the University of Helsinki (2004 – ). Previously he has worked as an assistant professor of Film and Television Studies at the University of Oulu (1994-1999) and as a research fellow at the Finnish Film Archive (1999-2004... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Todd Berliner

Todd Berliner

Professor of Film Studies, University of North Carolina Wilmington
Keywords: Film aesthetics, style, and storytelling. | | Todd Berliner, Professor of Film Studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, teaches film aesthetics, narration, and style and American film history. He is an SCSMI fellow and officer and the author of Hollywood... Read More →
JS

Jeff Smith

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Jeff Smith is the author of THE SOUNDS OF COMMERCE: MARKETING POPULAR FILM MUSIC and FILM CRITICISM, THE COLD WAR, AND THE BLACKLIST: READING HOLLYWOOD'S REDS. He is also a co-author, along with David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, for the eleventh edition of FILM ART: AN INTRODU... Read More →
avatar for Murray Smith

Murray Smith

Professor of Film, University of Kent
President of SCSMI. Author of Engaging Characters, Film Theory and Philosophy, Trainspotting, Thinking through Cinema, and most recently Film, Art, and the Third Culture. Laurance S Rockefeller Fellow, Princeton Center for Human Values (2017-18).

Guest Speaker
avatar for Paisley Nathan Livingston

Paisley Nathan Livingston

Paisley Livingston is Chair Professor of Philosophy at Lingnan University in Hong Kong and visiting professor in philosophy at Uppsala University. His books include Art and Intention (OUP 2005) and Cinema, Philosophy, Bergman (OUP 2009). With Carl Plantinga he co-edited The Routledge... Read More →


Tuesday June 13, 2017 18:15 - 19:30
Corona Bar - Conference Club Eerikinkatu 11

20:00

CONFERENCE DINNER (PRE-PAID)

Restaurant Lasipalatsi is restored honouring the Functionalism style of the 1930’s and the atmosphere is therefore unique. 

The traditional conference dinner requires pre-registration (45 EUR). 

If you want to join us to this event you may pay your participation together with your registration fee here:  http://scsmi2017.aalto.fi/registration/

Or you may also pay only your evening events separately here:  
https://eage.aalto.fi/?fs/SCSMI2017e

Address: Lasipalatsi
Mannerheimintie 22 – 24
00100 HELSINKI


Tuesday June 13, 2017 20:00 - 23:00
Lasipalatsi Restaurant Mannerheimintie 22-24, 00100 Helsinki
 
Wednesday, June 14
 

09:15

Good morning!
Morning coffee & refreshments served at the 3rd floor hallway.

Wednesday June 14, 2017 09:15 - 09:30
Aalto Hallway 3rd floor - Refreshments

09:30

LP Eliot Bessette. Fear without Empathy and Empathy with Fear
Limited Capacity seats available

In this presentation I argue against the standard picture of empathy in horror films: that audiences tend to empathize with the fear of psychologically rich and morally positive characters. Instead I propose that the preponderance of scary scenes in horror films elicit non-empathetic fear in audiences. Audiences are most apt to empathize with characters’ fear when it occurs in unfrightening scenes in non-horror films. I note briefly in conclusion that audiences may empathize with horror film character feelings other than fear, like sadness or love.


Speakers
avatar for Eliot Bessette

Eliot Bessette

University of California, Berkeley
Eliot Bessette is a doctoral candidate in Film and Media at the University of California, Berkeley. He is writing a dissertation, “Thinking Through Fear in Film and Haunts,” which argues that horror films and haunted house attractions offer unique and visceral opportunities for... Read More →


Wednesday June 14, 2017 09:30 - 10:30
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

09:30

LP Steffen Hven. Following Our Senses in the Dark: On Leviathan (2012) and the Embodied Fabula
Limited Capacity seats available

Following Our Senses in the Dark: On Leviathan (2012) and the Embodied Fabula

Abstract

A product of the Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab (SEL), Leviathan (Castaing-Taylor & Paravel 2012) presents a fascinating new take on the documentary that leaves us ‘with only our senses to follow in the dark’ (Coldiron 2012, par. 2). Despite Leviathan’s lack of mainstream appeal it would be possible to perceive the film in relation to Tim Recuber’s (2007) concept of the ‘immersion cinema’, as representing a ‘new set of technological and aesthetic criteria in which sensory experience and the physical immersion of the spectator within the medium are of paramount importance’ (p. 321). Following Recuber, immersion cinema contains an ‘overemphasis on physical experience [that] creates passive consumers who pay to plug in to visceral thrills without, necessarily, any meaningful interaction with the film’ (p. 325). Eventually, such spectacles, following Recuber, ‘do effectively grab our attention, but their immediacy and sensationalism tend to divert that attention away from contemplation or discussion’ (p. 327).

Given that Leviathan does not invite the spectator to engage in neither inference-making nor schematic categorization, it would be tempting to perceive the film as not only affective but also non-cognitive. Yet, quite contrary to the argument raised by Recuber, I maintain that Leviathan through its bodily-sensorial appeal, Ernst Karel’s cacophonous sound mix, its extended use of GoPro-cameras to destabilize quotidian perception, and its lack of linear narrative sequencing or discursive clarity engages its spectators with a specific affect-laden mode of cognitive reflection. Assigning meanings to the estranged audiovisual imagery of Leviathan requires considerable cognition, yet this cognitive activity is intimately connected to how the film agitates corporal-visceral thrills. The film’s ‘cognitive-affectivity’ thus challenges a tendency to antagonize cognition and affect, which can be found in both classical cognitive narratology through the idealization of cognition as sufficient condition for narrative comprehension (e.g., Bordwell, 1985, 2008), but also in the categorization of affect as immediate, non-cognitive, and bodily autonomous responses to the images thus detached from their representational and narrative dimensions (e.g., Massumi, 2002; Shaviro, 2010).

Granted, Leviathan might not invite for cognitive reflection in the ‘cold’, ‘computational’, or cognitive-analytical sense that has dominated cognitive science until recently, yet the film’s strong focus on (destabilizing) bodily, perceptual, and spatial orientation, does not mean that it escapes cognition entirely. Instead, by subverting habitual perceptual orientation the film demonstrates how intimately cognition is connected to factors such as proprioception, sensorimotor integration, visual scanning, and affect modulations (cf. Antunes, 2016; Gallese & Guerra, 2012). To better capture the cognitive-affective dimension of Leviathan and cinema more generally, this paper suggests the concept of the ‘embodied fabula’.

As a description of the mental construction of the cinematic world, we might differentiate between a ‘computational’/analytical (i.e., based on logical inferences, information-processing, schemata application, hypotheses-testing, etc.) and an embodied (affective, emotional, proprioceptive, empathetic, sensorial, etc.) fabula. Whereas the former structures our perception of the ongoing events with the aim of (re)constructing causal-linear narrative sense, the latter engages with the cinematic events in an online, enactive, affective, cognitive, and embodied manner. Although both are fundamentally cognitive only the embodied fabula encompasses corporal-affective, emotional, sensorial, activities as central for a basic cognitive comprehension of the cinematic events.

Thus, unlike its cognitive-analytical counterpart, the embodied fabula does not limit narrative comprehension to the restricted sphere of ‘cold’, ‘computational’ cognitive activities such as inference-making, the testing of various hypotheses, schemata application, and a causal-linear reconstruction of events. Building upon embodied, enactive, and situated approaches within the cognitive sciences and neuroscience, the embodied fabula is an analytical tool, which attempts to understand how narrative comprehension rely upon the whole arsenal of cognitive, emotional, motor-active, and corporal-affective responses. While the analytical fabula is apt for discussions of textual, discursive, investigative aspects of narration, the embodied fabula has been designed to examine how the events are felt, sensed, or experienced.

The embodied fabula therefore marks a film-analytical attempt to incorporate into our conceptual toolbox the current trend within the cognitive sciences and neuroscience to bring perception and action together and to think cognition in embodied, enactive, affective, and situated terms. The embodied fabula broadens the scope of the fabula such that it chimes with our current understanding of cognition as emerging out of its nonlinear, dynamic, and complex interrelations with – rather than operating in isolation from – affective, emotional, perceptual, proprioceptive, and motor-active processes. Trying to understand Leviathan in purely affective terms would clearly be a mistake, yet the film evidences the necessity to rethink the cinematic spectator as embodied and situated in the cinematic universe or ‘world’ crafted by the film (cf. Yacavone, 2015) rather than as a cognitive, analytical, and computational processing of information about this world.


Speakers
avatar for Steffen Hven

Steffen Hven

Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
Steffen Hven is a postdoc researcher at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, where he also obtained his doctoral degree in 2015. He is the author of “Cinema and Narrative Complexity: Embodying the Fabula” (Amsterdam UP, 2017). He is currently working on a research project provisionally... Read More →


Wednesday June 14, 2017 09:30 - 10:30
A-305 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

09:30

LP Torben Grodal. Aesthetics and emotions in animated films
Limited Capacity seats available

The talk first discusses basic techniques of visual aesthetics, abstraction, exaggeration, and complexity reduction. It then uses these techniques to analyze facial expressions, gaze direction, and body language in animated films, their emotional effects and how these expressions are afforded by brain structures in somato-sensory cortex and the tempero-parietal junction. It discusses how and why animated films are ultra-social but also have elements pertinent to animal survival mechanisms of hiding, tracking, trapping, observing, fighting and fleeing. Finally it briefly mentions the role of violation of ontological categories and the role of metaphor in cartoons.

 


Speakers
avatar for Torben Grodal

Torben Grodal

professor emeritus, university of copenhagen
In addition to having written books and articles on literature Torben Grodal has authored Moving Pictures. A new Theory of Genre, Feelings, and Emotions, Oxford UP 1997, Embodied Visions: Evolution, Emotion, Culture and Film Oxford UP 2009; an advanced introduction to film theory... Read More →


Wednesday June 14, 2017 09:30 - 10:30
A-306 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

10:30

SP Lucia Cores Sarría. The walking eye: An ecological approach to mobile framing
Limited Capacity seats available

By manipulating the position of the camera, filmmakers can break the limitations of a fixed field of view and create optical transformations psychologically meaningful to the audience. The present work reconsiders the basic types of mobile framing from the theoretical perspective of ecological perception. The optics of mobile framing are analyzed by looking at two aspects: the amount of depth information yielded by the optic flow, and the type of event it specifies.

Speakers
avatar for Lucía Cores Sarría

Lucía Cores Sarría

PhD Student, Indiana University-Bloomington
I am a second year PhD student in Media and Cognitive Science at Indiana University-Bloomington, supported by a Fulbright fellowship. | I am interested in using experimental methods, such as psychophysiological measurements, to study the effects of camera framing manipulations (e.g... Read More →


Wednesday June 14, 2017 10:30 - 11:00
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

10:30

SP Jelena Rosic and Olli Aho. Montage as a narrative landscape of affordances
Limited Capacity seats available

In this talk we are interested in what ways the theory of affordances could enrich our understanding of the skillful technique of editing in creating narratives/meaning in film. Affordance theory comes from James J. Gibson’s work where Gibson (Gibson 1979) argued in favor of direct perception: we pick up information from the environment in relation to our own possible actions, i.e. the environment offers us action possibilities. Editing technique on the other hand shows skillful actions in creating meanings. What we are suggesting is to describe the way affordances create or motivates narratives for the audience. We especially focus on the notion of social affordances: i.e. we understand the actions of others in relation to how we can interact with them. Following J. J. Gibson’s view, we take affordances in broad terms and situate them with a notion of “a rich landscape of affordances”, a conceptual framework in which affordances are not limited to motor skills but considered in terms of rich and varied abilities in sociocultural practices (Kiverstein & Rietveld 2014).


Speakers
OA

Olli Aho

University of Jyväskylä, Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy
Olli Aho is a doctoral candidate in philosophy at the University of Jyväskylä. His research interests deal with the role of our sensorimotor abilities in perception and interaction with others, especially in discussions between phenomenology and simulation theory.
avatar for Jelena Rosic

Jelena Rosic

Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture
Jelena Rosic is a film editor and doctoral candidate in New Media at Aalto Arts in Helsinki. She has been working with research groups NeuroCine and Crucible Studio on her thesis “Enactive Storytelling”. In her research she draws from embodied mind approach, enactive cognitive... Read More →


Wednesday June 14, 2017 10:30 - 11:00
A-305 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

10:30

SP Claire Howlin, Guido Orgs and Staci Vicary. The Search for kinaesthetic empathy: performer acceleration, aesthetic responses and physiological arousal
Limited Capacity seats available

Recent approaches to embodied cognition have focussed on proprioceptive body-to-body transmissions of aesthetic experiences. Emphasizing that understanding of moving images comes from a direct mapping of observed physical gestures onto the audiences’ own motor repertoire, leading to a sense of motor resonance. Using video recorded dance performances this study empirically tested the assertion that aesthetic responses are based in embodied cognition, through a proprioceptive body-to-body mechanism. Aesthetic interaction was compared to performer acceleration and overall rate of visual change of the moving image, with the hypothesis that performer acceleration should be a greater predictor of aesthetic preference than visual change.


Speakers
avatar for Claire Howlin

Claire Howlin

Goldsmiths University
Claire is a doctoral researcher with the media entertainment lab at University College Dublin, with research interests in embodied cognition, the role of aesthetic experience in music interventions, and arousal responses to media entertainment. Having graduated from the music mind... Read More →


Wednesday June 14, 2017 10:30 - 11:00
A-306 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

11:00

SP Peter Turner: Personal imagining and the point-of-view shot in diegetic camera horror films
Limited Capacity seats available

This paper will explore the concept of ‘personal imagining’ in relation to the viewer’s cognition while watching horror films that utilise the diegetic camera as a narrational and aesthetic strategy. By looking at the cinematographic techniques in a range of scenes from found footage horror films, I will establish how the viewer is encouraged to have very specific imaginings about what is occurring behind the camera in off-screen space.

I will build on the ideas of Gregory Currie and Noël Burch and particularly Currie’s claim that the viewer does not simply imagine the events of the film occurring, but in the case of point-of-view shots, imagines seeing the events from that particular perspective. I believe that viewers of diegetic camera horror films are forced to imagine seeing (personal imagining) because their perception of the film is limited to what Edward Branigan calls a continuing point-of-view shot.


Speakers
avatar for Peter Turner

Peter Turner

Oxford Brookes University
PhD student completing my thesis on priming, self-consciousness, personal imagining and allegiance in the diegetic camera horror film. | | Bio: Peter Turner is an associate lecturer at Oxford Brookes University where he teaches on a range of Film Studies undergraduate modules. He... Read More →


Wednesday June 14, 2017 11:00 - 11:30
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

11:00

SP Helane Rosenberg and Nathaniel Epstein. The Mental Imaging of the Filmmaking Team: How Directors, Cinematographers, and Editors Create, Modify, and Finalize their Filmic Images
Limited Capacity seats available

About the Session

In this session, we will discuss the development and piloting of an interview guide that can/will shape our investigation of the ways in which filmmakers use mental imagery in their filmmaking process.  Previously,  our investigations focused on creative and interpretive artists working in other art forms.  We interviewed artists working alone—primarily visual artists.  We also focused on artists working within an ensemble process:  actors and directors, choreographers, and musicians. 

For this first stage of a proposed larger study, we focused primarily on filmmaking students and emerging professionals. (These subjects are working almost independently and they take all the roles: the directors/camera persons/editors of their films.) We explored with these subjects how they use their own storehouse of mental images as important sources for their films.  We discussed visual, kinesthetic, tactile, auditory, and aural images and how each subject retrieved, manipulated, and modified these image.  We also spoke about the essential oscillation between internal image and external transformation. 

Interestingly, at this stage of our investigation, it seems that a large percentage of our subjects do believe that their stored images (retrieved consciously or retrieved through dreaming or meditation) drive their work.  As they are creating their film, they constantly oscillate between the stimulating image and the one they see before them through the camera lens.  As they experiment with the various aspects of the elements of film, they return to the stimulating image to add details.  As they expand their experiences, these young artists hope to work within a team and find other artists who can both respect their process and add to their film. As our work progresses, we intend to interview subjects who are cinematographers and editors. 

We particularly encourage members of filmmaking teams to attend our session and share their ideas about imagery and the filmmaking process.  Our goal is to fine tune our interview guide, begin interviews with professional filmmakers (directors, cinematographers, and editors), and to publish our findings in a series of research-based articles, as well as write a trade book geared more toward the general public.  (The work with actors and directors morphed into a text book entitled Creative Drama and Imagination:  Transforming Ideas into Action that focused on how to use mental imagery in conducting creative drama activities with young people ages six through fourteen. 

Please talk to us at the end of the session if you would like to be interviewed for our book.

 

 

 

 

 


Speakers
avatar for Helane Rosenberg

Helane Rosenberg

Associate Professor of Creative Arts, Rutgers University
I am interested in how artists retrieve, manipulate, and transform their mental images into an artistic product. I have researched how visual artists, choreographers, musicians, and actors engage in these processes. For this conference I will report preliminary results of this research... Read More →



Wednesday June 14, 2017 11:00 - 11:30
A-305 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

11:00

SP Juipi Chien. What we gain from engaging with oddities and ambiguities: Neuro-evolutionary semiotic approach to lowly arousal emotions
Limited Capacity seats available

How can we engage with odd characters in the context of human emotional evolution? This presentation seeks to define a sense of "morality" that is suitable for choosy yet motivated spectators in our times. It also discusses how we can convince our community of the strengths of our own creative approaches. All in all, the speaker argues for the significance of assimilating and leaping in our attitude (rather than constraining or sacrificing our own interests) when we are in any viewing situation that demands our collaboration with oddities, ambiguities and monstrosities. To push for such a theorization, the speaker draws on characters such as Claire and Virgil portrayed in Tornatore's The Best Offer (2013) together with recent neuroimagining findings about our lowly arousal emotions .

Speakers
avatar for Juipi Chien

Juipi Chien

Associate Professor, National Taiwan University
Juipi has been updating Ferdinand de Saussure's bloody good ideas in the contexts of aesthetics, phenomenology and current neuroscience. She seeks to introduce vibrant and unconventional approaches into our study of details found in films and paintings.


Wednesday June 14, 2017 11:00 - 11:30
A-306 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

11:30

SCSMI artist highlight by Synes Elischka: EgoCure VR 360° Cinema - how did we make it!
Filmmaker Synes Elischka will talk about making EgoCure, a cinematic VR experience with enactive elements > and how it relates to his PhD research exploring the liminal space between immersion and self awareness.

Watch the film at SCSMI
: reserve a private viewing slot (duration: 20min) at the registration desk. We have 4 viewing stations with VR Headsets open between 12:00 - 17:30 on Wednesday.

Speakers
avatar for Synes Elischka

Synes Elischka

PhD Student, Aalto University, Department of Film
Synes Elischka is a filmmaker and video-artist with a profound interest in cognitive neuroscience, media philosophy and weird reality. Focusing on trans-media development, cinematic VR and brain-computer interfaces. Currently working on EGO CURE, a cinematic VR short film and his PhD... Read More →



Wednesday June 14, 2017 11:30 - 12:00
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

11:30

SP Ed Tan and Katalin Bálint. The phenomenology of characterisation. From social cognition of real persons to the construction of fictional human-like figures in narrative.
Limited Capacity seats available


This study explored how fictional characters appear in the narrative experience, and what personal meanings are attributed to them by audience members. We were particularly interested in absorbed moments of character engagement, i.e. memorable and impactful experiences. We conducted an empirical study aiming to bring to light the experience of characters reported by readers and viewers of narrative, while they reconstructed their engagement in prompted open interviews. Twenty-five participants were recruited who had a background expected to help provide us with rich descriptions of, and in-depth insight into their experiences with fictional narratives. In this presentation we introdcue the findings of the qualitative analysis: absorbed moments of character engagement are prolonged, agentive and motivated to seek depth and personally important meaning in characters in order to arrive at a most satisfactory comprehension, feeling and appreciation.

Speakers
avatar for Katalin Bálint

Katalin Bálint

Assistant Professor, Tilburg University
Katalin Bálint is an assistant professor at Tilburg University (NL) in New Media Design. She was a postdoc researcher at Utrecht University (NL) and after that at University of Augsburg (DE). Her research expertise lies in the domains of psychology, film studies and communication... Read More →
ET

Ed Tan

Affiliate Professor, University of Copenhagen
Ed Tan carried out research in the psychology of film and media. He (co-)authored publications on emotion and cognition in viewers of film, television, players of games and theatre spectators.


Wednesday June 14, 2017 11:30 - 12:00
A-305 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

11:30

SP Gal Raz, Ofir Shany and Tal Gonen. We’re chained in action: A Neuroscientific Model of Motivational Empathy
Limited Capacity seats available

Recent neuroscientific evidence points to the existence of a system that specializes in the real-time evaluation of the motivational state of another individual. This system, whose center is located in the anterior cingulate gyrus, is assumingly distinct from other networks underpinning the empathy-related processes of theory-of-mind and embodied simulation. We present a model that assigns a central role to this module in motivational empathy, embed it in a larger context of embodied cognition, discuss the significance of its constrains to cinematic empathy, and present preliminary fMRI evidence that support our model.

Speakers
GR

Gal Raz

Tel Aviv University
Gal Raz (PhD.) is a new faculty at the School of Film and Television, and School of Neuroscience, Tel-Aviv University. He is currently establishing an interdisciplinary lab for immersive technologies at the Tel-Aviv Center for Brain Functions. Gal Raz has been using neuroimaging tools... Read More →


Wednesday June 14, 2017 11:30 - 12:00
A-306 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

12:00

Lunch
RAFLA RESTAURANT at the GROUND FLOOR AT THE TÖÖLÖ CONFERENCE VENUE

MENU THIS WEEK http://www.amica.fi/en/restaurants/ravintolat-kaupungeittain/helsinki/rafla/

Select your choice of lunch from the buffet and pay with your daily lunch ticket to the cashier.
Your choices may range from salad to a soup of the day to one of the meals. Volunteer staff will help you with any questions! Check the daily menu here http://www.amica.fi/en/restaurants/ravintolat-kaupungeittain/helsinki/rafla/

Second option for lunch is PROFFA staff and teachers' restaurant on the 2nd floor. Same instructions, unfortunately no english menu online available. You are free to choose between PROFFA and RAFLA. 

Hyvää ruokahalua!! Good appetite!

Wednesday June 14, 2017 12:00 - 13:00
Aalto in-house lunch restaurant

12:00

EGO CURE VR 360° film experience - try it out now! Starting at noon and until 5:30pm!
You will have the possibility to view EGO CURE a cinematic VR experience by Synes Elischka. 
You can book to a private viewing session (20 min) at the info desk on Wednesday morning.

Ego Cure, directed by Synes Elischka, is a narrative virtual reality short film unconventionally mixing together a new technical approach of stereoscopic 360 video, CGI animation and interaction between the viewer and the art piece (enactive cinema) –stretching the limits of filmmaking.

In this VR experience you, the viewer, are a part of the struggle of a contemporary dance choreographer to create a contemporary masterpiece – at odds with a handful of disinterested dancers, her unpleasant producer and the otherworldly curator – while at the same time facing her own inner demons. The movie is set in a world where the commodification of art has come to its technological conclusion: if an artist is unable or unwilling to provide a commissioned art piece, the investor has the right to extract it from their unconscious mind – using the EGO CURE device

“Having been part of a contemporary dance collective since 2009 (originally as a filmmaker/media-artist but pretty soon pushed to perform alongside professional dancers) a lot of the things happening in the script are based on my own experiences and observations. – Synes Elischka

Ego Cure is Aalto University ELO Film School co-production with Oblomovies.

The film is part of a research project to study the mechanics of virtual reality in filmmaking, creating tools for high quality Cinematic VR. The film utilizes the Enactive Avatar, a technology creating a living, reactive photorealistic CGI character based on a real-life person.

Director: Synes Elischka
Producer: Mikko Asikainen
Script: Synes Elischka & Tom Saxman

Watch a preview of the making of here.


Speakers
avatar for Synes Elischka

Synes Elischka

PhD Student, Aalto University, Department of Film
Synes Elischka is a filmmaker and video-artist with a profound interest in cognitive neuroscience, media philosophy and weird reality. Focusing on trans-media development, cinematic VR and brain-computer interfaces. Currently working on EGO CURE, a cinematic VR short film and his PhD... Read More →

Artists
avatar for Synes Elischka

Synes Elischka

PhD Student, Aalto University, Department of Film
Synes Elischka is a filmmaker and video-artist with a profound interest in cognitive neuroscience, media philosophy and weird reality. Focusing on trans-media development, cinematic VR and brain-computer interfaces. Currently working on EGO CURE, a cinematic VR short film and his PhD... Read More →



Wednesday June 14, 2017 12:00 - 17:30
Room 308 3rd floor

13:00

SP Katalin Balint, Chantal Schoft and Brendan Rooney. The Effect of Formal Features on Viewers’ Narrative Engagement in Quentin Tarantino’s Violent Scenes
Limited Capacity seats available

This study investigated the effect of formal attributes (shot scale, shot length and camera perspective) on film viewers’ narrative engagement with violent film scenes from Tarantino-movies. Fourteen film scenes depicting violence were annotated for shot scale, shot length and camera perspective, and presented in a between-subject design experiment. Results show that shorter and closer shots increase narrative engagement; however the effect of shot length is moderated by camera perspective. Internal camera perspective decreased narrative engagement; although this effect was more characteristic to males. The findings elucidate complex interaction effects of formal properties of visual narratives on audiences’ narrative engagement.

Speakers
avatar for Katalin Bálint

Katalin Bálint

Assistant Professor, Tilburg University
Katalin Bálint is an assistant professor at Tilburg University (NL) in New Media Design. She was a postdoc researcher at Utrecht University (NL) and after that at University of Augsburg (DE). Her research expertise lies in the domains of psychology, film studies and communication... Read More →
avatar for Brendan Rooney

Brendan Rooney

University College Dublin
Brendan Rooney BA Psych (Hons), MLitt, PhD is an assistant professor at University College Dublin, Ireland. He is currently chair of the Psychological Society of Ireland’s Special Interest Group for Media, Art and Cyberpsychology. Rooney’s research interests include the interaction... Read More →


Wednesday June 14, 2017 13:00 - 13:30
A-305 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

13:00

LP Todd Berliner: Bursting into Song in the Hollywood Musical
Limited Capacity seats available

This presentation traces the history and aesthetic experience of the convention that characters in Hollywood musicals spontaneously burst into song without realistic motivation. The convention emerged in 1929 and largely vanished by 1960. Illustrated with clips from The Jazz Singer, Love Me Tonight, Top Hat, and other films, the presentation studies how filmmakers developed novel conventions that exploited the aesthetic possibilities of song in cinema. 


Speakers
avatar for Todd Berliner

Todd Berliner

Professor of Film Studies, University of North Carolina Wilmington
Keywords: Film aesthetics, style, and storytelling. | | Todd Berliner, Professor of Film Studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, teaches film aesthetics, narration, and style and American film history. He is an SCSMI fellow and officer and the author of Hollywood... Read More →


Wednesday June 14, 2017 13:00 - 14:00
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

13:00

LP Douglas MacArthur, Javid Sadr and Aaron Taylor. Accounting for Acting: Generating and Recognizing “Reality Effects” in Film Performance
Limited Capacity seats available

Screen acting is a form of embodied and situated activity. Our research project aims to provide an account of how actors’ believe their mind and body to be creatively coordinated during a performance in the interest of achieving verisimilar effects, and how this capacity is developed through performance training. Because performances are always directed towards an audience, we also examine the apprehension of actors’ labour. Our reception study seeks to identify subjects’ criteria for making evaluative claims about a performance’s reality effects – i.e., the degree of plausibility with which an actor instantiates a character.


Speakers
avatar for Aaron Taylor

Aaron Taylor

University of Lethbridge
Aaron Taylor is Associate Professor in the Department of New Media at the University of Lethbridge. His work largely revolves around film performance and spectator emotion. He is the editor of THEORIZING FILM ACTING (2012), and is currently co-editing (with Johannes Riis) a volume... Read More →


Wednesday June 14, 2017 13:00 - 14:00
A-306 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

13:30

SP Sermin Ildirar and Tim J. Smith. Action Prediction Across Match-on-Action Cuts in Infancy
Limited Capacity seats available

Adults (Flanagan & Johnson, 2003), as well as 12-month-old babies (but not 6-month-olds; Falck-Ytter, Gredebaek & Hofsten, 2006) perform goal-directed, anticipatory eye movements when observing actions performed by others. The study we will present at the conference aims to find out what happens when the observed action is distributed across film cuts. The anticipatory eye movements of both infants (n:20) and adults (n:20) will be measured during watching stimulus depicting actions performed by human agents or when the objects move themselves both in the single long and multiple close-up shots.


Speakers
avatar for Sermin Ildirar

Sermin Ildirar

Birkbeck College, University of London
Sermin Ildirar is a Marie S. Curie postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck, University of London. She studied Film and Media studies at Istanbul University and University of Vienna. She works on perceptual and cognitive processes during... Read More →
avatar for Tim J. Smith

Tim J. Smith

Birkbeck, University of London
Tim J. Smith BSc. Hons, PhD. (Edin.) is a Reader/Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological, Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London. He is the head of the CINE (Cognition in Naturalistic Environments) Lab which studies audiovisual attention, perception and memory in... Read More →


Wednesday June 14, 2017 13:30 - 14:00
A-305 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

14:00

SP Jeff Smith. Scoring the Warner Bros. Crime Film: From Little Caesar To White Heat
Limited Capacity seats available

This paper traces the development of film scoring techniques in crime films produced by Warner Bros. from 1930 to 1949. It highlights three factors that accounted for a precipitous increase in the amount of music that appeared in these films: 1) technological improvements, such as the push-pull soundtrack and rerecording techniques, 2) the rise in status of the crime film as part of the studio's offerings, and 3) the psychological turn in the genre that became more prominent throughout the 1940s.

Speakers
JS

Jeff Smith

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Jeff Smith is the author of THE SOUNDS OF COMMERCE: MARKETING POPULAR FILM MUSIC and FILM CRITICISM, THE COLD WAR, AND THE BLACKLIST: READING HOLLYWOOD'S REDS. He is also a co-author, along with David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, for the eleventh edition of FILM ART: AN INTRODU... Read More →


Wednesday June 14, 2017 14:00 - 14:30
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

14:00

SP Sampsa Huttunen. Right-Handed Action for Right-Handed Audiences: Does Handedness Affect the Film- Watching Experience?
Limited Capacity seats available

Previous neuroscientific studies suggest that observing human action activates motor and mirror neuron areas in the brain and has a role in creating empathy. Empathy, in turn, has been linked to identification and identification to the spectator’s enjoyment of the movie. The presentation discusses theories, hypotheses, and ideas related to an upcoming doctoral study about the role of handedness in this process.


Speakers
avatar for Sampsa Huttunen

Sampsa Huttunen

PhD student, University of Helsinki
Sampsa Huttunen is a Finnish cinematographer and documentarist based in Helsinki. He holds a Master’s degree in Social Sciences and a BA in Film and Media Design. He is currently preparing a doctoral thesis about the relation of handedness to film-watching experience at the University... Read More →


Wednesday June 14, 2017 14:00 - 14:30
A-305 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

14:00

SP Dan Leberg. Empathy On Set: An Ethnographic Study On How Canadian Actors Think Of/With/About The Camera
Limited Capacity seats available

This presentation uses my recent ethnographic interviews with Canadian screen actors to analyze how creative training and the industrial logistics of film production enable the performing actor to solicit empathetic bonds with the camera, as a surrogate for an anticipated audience. I give special attention to on-set practices that some actors use to "befriend" the camera, to enworld themselves and their scene partners for screen-specific verisimilar performances, and to actively collaborate - metaphorically "dance" - with the camera.

Speakers
avatar for Dan Leberg

Dan Leberg

University of Amsterdam
Dan Leberg is a PhD Candidate in Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. After 25 years of work as a professional stage and screen actor in Toronto, Dan’s dissertation project is a neurophenomenological theorization of screen acting. He has published on Stanley Kubrick and... Read More →


Wednesday June 14, 2017 14:00 - 14:30
A-306 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

14:30

SP Sam Roggen. Planimetric Staging and Pictorial Flatness in 1950s CinemaScope: A Systematic Style Analysis
Limited Capacity seats available

This paper, which is part of a research project on film style in early American widescreen cinema, studies the mechanics of the planimetric or clothesline composition in CinemaScope, while also examining its connections with contemporaneous creative movements. It adopts a historical-analytical poetics of cinema, based on quantitative as well as qualitative analyses, in order to explore how CinemaScope affected the staging patterns and shot compositions of Hollywood studio films in the 1950s, with particular attention for flatness and horizontality.


Speakers
avatar for Sam Roggen

Sam Roggen

Teaching and research assistant, PhD student, University of Antwerp
Sam Roggen is a teaching and research assistant and PhD candidate in Film Studies and Visual Culture at the University of Antwerp. In his PhD, he examines film style in early American widescreen cinema, with particular attention for the CinemaScope format. His articles on film criticism... Read More →


Wednesday June 14, 2017 14:30 - 15:00
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

14:30

SP Kaisu Lankinen. Studying brain activity during movie viewing with magnetoencephalography
Limited Capacity seats available

In this talk, I present the results of my doctoral thesis about brain activity during movie viewing measured with magnetoencephalography (MEG). I briefly present the basics of MEG and advantages of studying brain activity in naturalistic experimental settings, as well as results and methodological advances of our work. Using movies as stimuli helps us understand sensory and cognitive brain processes of our everyday life. Here I will describe what we have discovered about the brain using Maya Deren’s movie “At Land”. 


Speakers
avatar for Kaisu Lankinen

Kaisu Lankinen

Aalto University, School of Science
Kaisu Lankinen received her M.Sc. in Bioelectronics and Biomedical Engineering in 2011 at Aalto University, Finland. Currently she is a Ph.D. student in Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering at Aalto University. In her doctoral work she studies brain activity during... Read More →


Wednesday June 14, 2017 14:30 - 15:00
A-305 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

14:30

SP Anne Wabeke. The Antihero as 'one of ourselves'
Limited Capacity seats available

In light of the current popularity of antiheroes in both film and television, this paper will contemplate why we want to engage with antiheroes to begin with. Looking at the paradoxical attraction of antiheroes that are not only like “one of ourselves”, but also provide us with an enjoyable morally challenging experience, I will argue that the importance of the correlation between empathy and moral evaluation may be stronger than oftentimes thought.


Speakers
avatar for Anne Wabeke

Anne Wabeke

University of Kent
Having completed her MA in Film Studies at the University of Kent, for which she has written a thesis on the value of empathetic engagement with fictional characters, future research will be on the spectator’s engagement with female antiheroes in complex television series.


Wednesday June 14, 2017 14:30 - 15:00
A-306 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

15:00

Refreshments
Light snacks and refreshments served outside the lecture rooms (3rd floor) to boost the lively discussion and socializing.

Wednesday June 14, 2017 15:00 - 15:30
Aalto Hallway 3rd floor - Refreshments

15:30

KEYNOTE Prof. Aleksi Bardy: Tom of Finland
Limited Capacity seats available

Wednesday June 14, 2017 15:30 - 16:30
A-301 Room, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (3rd floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki

18:30

Travel to the Midnight Sun Film Festival
The travel to the Midnight Sun Film Festival by the night train, or by air, depending on your own choice. See more practical details at http://scsmi2017.aalto.fi/

Wednesday June 14, 2017 18:30 - Thursday June 15, 2017 19:30
Railway station Helsinki Kaivokatu 1, 00100 Helsinki