Lecture | Carl Plantinga | The Represented Face in Film: A Cognitive Cultural Approach
Emory Center for Mind, Brain, and Culture Lecture (January 31, 2014). The represented face is so ubiquitous and important to narrative film that it deserves separate consideration. In this talk I define and defend what I call a “cognitive cultural” approach to film theory and illustrate its usefulness with an analysis of some key functions of facial representation in The Silence of the Lambs (1991). I begin by arguing that biology and psychology have much to offer film studies, using as an example Steven J. Gould’s “A Biological Homage to Mickey Mouse.” I go on to summarize the most important research into the uses of the face in narrative film. My analysis of The Silence of the Lambs, finally, is meant to show that cognitive cultural studies of film, by exploring the interface between mind, film, and culture, not only helps us understand the film medium generally, but but also particular films in their broad social and historical context.