The Art of Self Invention: Image and Identity in Popular

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Language: English

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This is the opposite of what one would predict if natural selection controlled skin color. Cast: Emma Thompson, Christopher Lloyd, Eileen Atkins, Audra McDonald, Jonathan M. Soon Milly's domestic bliss turns into a nightmare of suspicion and terror as Burt enters a world of increasing unreality. He needed this technology to find the exotic bird he’s obsessed over, and he even comments on how many dogs he’s lost since he arrived in South America.

Pages: 224

Publisher: I.B.Tauris (November 15, 2007)

ISBN: 1845113950

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Loomis (played by Donald Pleasance), which give a more holistic and balanced feel to the picture.� Despite fatalism being the principal theme of Final Destination (2000), by the end of the picture the two main characters, Alex (played by Devon Sawa) and Clear (played by Ali Larter), have defied fate.� The five teenage victims in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) unwisely pick up an obviously deranged hitchhiker and then enter a house they have no business entering.� The deaths of these �Darwin Award� hopefuls are not only inevitable, they seem almost justified.� Inequity may nevertheless enter the picture in that these teenagers are as much victims of their own stupidity as they are of Leatherface, yet how they die (hung on a meat hook, bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer) seems grossly disproportional to the severity of their offenses, a conclusion with which director Tobe Hooper may or may not agree.� Even though Hitchcock�s The Birds is clearly pessimistic in outlook, the movie offers the audience several rays of hope scattered throughout the picture.� Noteworthy examples are:� At the beginning, Mitch buys two innocent lovebirds.� And the ending is open, making way and leaving room for optimism. ����������� The perceptual function of the present-view makes its appearance in early childhood and experiences a powerful boost in adolescence.� Horror movies aid teenagers in differentiating between fact and fiction and in so doing help shape the perceptual function of a teenager�s self-view.� The executive function is no less affected by exposure to the horror genre.� Watching a horror film presents adolescents and young adults with frightening stimuli to which they can either succumb, or learn to manage.� Basic decision-making and coping skills derive from a person�s interactions with the environment; one small yet vital aspect of this environment is exposure to horror films.� By learning to suppress feelings and display mastery or cling to others in a dependent ploy for protection, a person learns to cope with another aspect of his or her environment, a skill that may be useful in dealing with more than just horror pictures.� Therefore, before writing horror films off as mindless entertainment or dangerous escapism, we would do well to consider the possibility that they assist in the development and elaboration of a person�s present-view. ����������� Mundorf et al. (1989) note that individuals with lower levels of self-reported fear acknowledge greater attraction to and enjoyment of horror films.� This finding can be interpreted in one of several ways:� first, people with initially low levels of fear may, for either dispositional or early environmental reasons, be differentially attracted to horror films, perhaps because watching this type of picture elevates their arousal to a more optimal level.� A second possibility is that the individual has learned to effectively manage his or her fear through exposure to horror cinema.� This second interpretation is more congruent with the integrated-interactive model advanced in this paper.� Nonetheless, a longitudinal study in which a panel of viewers is followed over time is required to determine which interpretation is correct.� It may very well turn out that both interpretations are correct under various circumstances or that the two effects interact.� Horror fiction, according to the perspective outlined in this paper, has supported human survival since primordial times by virtue of its ability to furnish a stimulus that assists with the evolution and reinforcement of the perceptual and executive functions of a person�s present-view. ����������� The horror genre shares with comedy, a movement toward the past and a preoccupation with the innocence of childhood (Wells, 2000).� However, whereas comedies often focus on amusing anecdotes, horror films dwell on the more frightening aspects of one�s past.� Of course, horror films make liberal use of black comedy, disclosing the bond between the two genres.� When Ash, played by Bruce Campbell, tries to reassure his friend Scott in the film The Evil Dead (1982) that everything is going to work out by asserting, �We�re all going to make it out of here.� You, me, Shelley. .. well, not Shelley,� we both laugh and cringe because we know that Shelley has been hacked to pieces in an earlier scene.� There is also dark humor in the scene from The Stepford Wives (1975) where Joanne, played by Katherine Ross, meets her robotic double and notices that the robot looks exactly like her except for breasts that have been noticeably enlarged.� Playfulness is an appealing aspect of horror films.� A mixture of fear and frolic touches on a person�s past-view and makes horror movies a genre that can be enjoyed by adults as well as older children and adolescents. ����������� Horror and science fiction both address control-related fears, but horror is past-oriented� and science fiction looks to the future.� There is, nevertheless, a role for horror in the development of a person�s future-view.� Popular horror films create expectancies and it is expectancies of being frightened or entertained that bring people into movies theaters and video rental shops.� The expectancies and anticipations that lead people to view horror films are that they will be scared, shocked, or grossed out; what they often do not understand is their reason for wanting to be scared, shocked, or grossed out.� According to the integrated-interactive model people want to be scared, shocked, and grossed out because these responses assist in the development and reinforcement of their basic beliefs about life. ����������� The problem with traditional theories of horror film appeal is not that they are wrong, it is that they are incomplete.� Integrating aspects of eight popular theoretical models designed to explain the lure of horror films (psychoanalytic, catharsis, excitation transfer, curiosity/fascination, sensation seeking, dispositional alignment, gender role socialization, societal concern) and defining horror as a fictionalized account designed to evoke terror through the implied presence of supernatural or extremely abnormal forces, the present paper describes horror film appeal as consisting of three principal factors: tension, relevance, and unrealism.� For those looking to be frightened, it is a film�s ability to induce tension, provide a context (relevance), and supply relief (unrealism) that defines its appeal.� We might even predict that viewer enjoyment of horror films is a direct function of these three factors such that films rated high in tension, relevance, and unrealism will be rated as more appealing than films rated low in tension, relevance, and unrealism.� Asserting that these three factors account for the popularity of horror films is like arguing that people like candy because it is sweet.� We must understand the mechanisms that make tension, relevance, and unrealism appealing just as much as we must understand why many people enjoy sweet-tasting foods. ����������� The integrated-interactive model differs from most traditional theories of horror cinema appeal in drawing a clear distinction between description and explanation.� Horror film appeal may be adequately described by tension, relevance, and unrealism.� However, these factors do not explain why horror films continue to attract audiences.� To answer this question we must call upon an integrated-interactive explanation of horror film appeal in which fear and belief systems assume center stage ����������� Horror films are popular because they speak to the basic human condition, to existential fear, and to people�s attempts to overcome their fear belief systems.� For some, horror movies exacerbate existential fear, yet for many others, watching a horror film is a way to put existential fear into its proper perspective.� That which frightens us becomes less intimidating once it is understood; the unknown is the basis of many of our deepest fears.� Horror pictures afford people the opportunity to articulate, identify, and manage their fears by taking an abstract concept like fear and concretizing it into stimuli that are projected onto a television screen or a movie screen.� Belief systems complete the process by furnishing us with a life philosophy (self-view, world-view, past-view, present-view, future-view) that serves a preventive function by exerting a palliative effect on fear. ����������� It has been argued that there is nothing more practical than a good theory.� Theories permit the organization of knowledge into manageable units or constructs which, in turn, allow scientists to establish hypotheses and conduct research designed to investigate the empirical validity of these constructs.� Although the integrated-interactive model of horror film appeal is far from empirically established, it is capable of producing testable hypotheses.� Ten hypotheses bearing on the explanatory branch of the integrated-interactive model are listed in Table 1.� H1��������� Those individuals who score high on measures of control-related existential fear will be significantly more attracted to horror films than those persons who score low on measures of control-related fear epub.

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