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Cognitive Theory and Documentary Film

Editors: Brylla, Catalin, Kramer, Mette (Eds.)

  • Foreword by documentary scholar Bill Nichols
  • Explores a wide range of documentary formats, such as first-person, wildlife, animated and slow TV documentary, as well as docudrama and web videos
  • Constitutes the first book-length study of cognitive theory and documentary film
  • Includes a diverse range of contributors, who are both academics and practitioners operating in various fields, such as film studies, neuroscience, cultural studies, social psychology and philosophy
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Buy this book

eBook £71.50
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-90332-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £89.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-90331-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This groundbreaking edited collection is the first major study to explore the intersection between cognitive theory and documentary film studies, focusing on a variety of formats, such as first-person, wildlife, animated and slow TV documentary, as well as docudrama and web videos. Documentaries play an increasingly significant role in informing our cognitive and emotional understanding of today’s mass-mediated society, and this collection seeks to illuminate their production, exhibition, and reception. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the essays draw on the latest research in film studies, the neurosciences, cultural studies, cognitive psychology, social psychology, and the philosophy of mind. With a foreword by documentary studies pioneer Bill Nichols and contributions from both theorists and practitioners, this volume firmly demonstrates that cognitive theory represents a valuable tool not only for film scholars but also for filmmakers and practice-led researchers.

About the authors

Catalin Brylla is Senior Lecturer in Film at the University of West London, UK.
Mette Kramer is a lecturer at Copenhagen University, Denmark.


Reviews

“The editors of Cognitive Theory and Documentary Film make ambitious claims about the usefulness of cognitive theory for understanding the documentary as well as the fiction film—and their volume more than delivers. Equipped with a fuller picture of the mind as embodied and socially networked, the authors here offer exciting approaches to a wide range of work including biographies, animations, nature films, docudramas and ‘fake news’ websites, while attending as well to the creative processes and aims of documentary filmmakers.” (Cynthia Freeland, Professor of Philosophy, University of Houston, USA)

“Cognitive film research is about narrative fiction, or so it seems. This milestone volume presents the cognitive approach to documentary. Specialists in the field—some of them documentarists themselves—paint a vivid picture of the rich experiences that an exceptionally multifarious genre gives rise to. They document how people watching documentaries construct and engage with other people, their minds, emotions, realities, truths and actions. Moreover they highlight in convincing detail the amazing variety of aesthetics displayed by documentaries supporting viewers’ experiences.” (Ed Tan, Professor of Media Entertainment University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

“Represents a welcome first foray into the relation of cognitive theory to documentary film studies.  It not only expands our conceptions of documentary but asks us to consider not only how we see reality through films but how films shape our notions of reality.  The ideas are complex but are made more accessible through the straightforward writing of many of its contributors.” (David MacDougall, Professor of Visual Anthropology , Australian National University, Australia)

“This unique collection is likely to become a landmark in documentary studies. It is ambitious, innovative, sometimes provocative but always rigorous. Its pioneering approach to the complex relationship between selfhood, emotion, subjectivity, cognition and the art of the record is utterly convincing and inherently valuable.” (Anita Biressi, Professor of Media and Society, University of Roehampton, UK)

“Cognitive Theory and Documentary Film is an exceptionally rewarding read. Featuring probing accounts of such timely topics as post-truth, stereotyping, trans-species empathy, and filmmakers’ use of cognitive theory, the volume more than delivers on its ambitious promises. Featuring a formidable team of contributors and evidencing great clarity of purpose, Cognitive Theory and Documentary Film provides conceptual tools, arguments, and examples that deserve attention, within and beyond the academy.” (Mette Hjort, Chair Professor of Humanities and Dean of Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong)

“This collection of essays, through the emphasis on thought processes, brings an original approach to documentary reception and representation. Even more important, this book will expand the reach and boundaries within the study of cognitive theory itself, which can only benefit from the further influence of documentary production on this field. Thus the reader has a view from both ends of the telescope, and in a truly interdisciplinary fashion, which surely has to be welcomed.” (Jane Chapman, Professor of Communications, Lincoln University, UK)

“Brylla and Kramer’s impressive interdisciplinary and international selection of scholars lead a ground-breaking extension of cognitivist theory into documentary film studies.” (Trevor Ponech, Associate Professor of English, McGill University, Canada)

Table of contents (17 chapters)

  • Introduction: Intersecting Cognitive Theory and Documentary Film

    Brylla, Catalin (et al.)

    Pages 1-17

  • A Documentary of the Mind: Self, Cognition and Imagination in Anders Østergaard’s Films

    Bondebjerg, Ib

    Pages 21-37

  • Little Voices and Big Spaces: Animated Documentary and Conceptual Blending Theory

    Conde Aldana, Juan Alberto

    Pages 39-57

  • Documentary Spectatorship and the Navigation of “Difficulty”

    Corner, John

    Pages 59-73

  • Docudrama and the Cognitive Evaluation of Realism

    Grodal, Torben

    Pages 75-91

Buy this book

eBook £71.50
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-90332-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £89.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-90331-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Cognitive Theory and Documentary Film
Editors
  • Catalin Brylla
  • Mette Kramer
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-90332-3
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-90332-3
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-90331-6
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXI, 343
Number of Illustrations and Tables
6 b/w illustrations, 3 illustrations in colour
Topics