Empathy in Cinema: The Psychological Landscape of the Character Film.

Helena Juliet Jung

A study of the stimulation and engagement of an audience’s empathy by psychopathic characters.

By Helena Juliet Jung 

Film Studies Research Project FLM304

120101986

7,802 words

CONTENTS:

— Introduction

— Empathy and Identification in Cinema

     Berys Gaut

— The Character Film

— Character Development

     Taxi Driver (1976)

     We Need to Talk about Kevin (2011)

— Mise-en-Scene

— Empathy and the Psychopath

— The Self and the Other

     Psychopathy vs. Sociopathy

— Psychoanalysis in the Cinema and Introverted Personality Types

— Conclusion

— Bibliography

Introduction:

“Understanding other’s mental states is a crucial skill that enables the complex social relationships that characterise human societies…[this] is known as ‘Theory of Mind’ in adults.”

This quote is taken from a psychological study measuring the effect that reading literary fiction had on participant’s ‘Theory of Mind’, finding conclusively that reading literary fiction temporarily improved their empathy compared…

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