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Title: An investigation of priming, self-consciousness, and allegiance in the diegetic camera horror film
Author: Turner, Peter D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7971 7361
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2017
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The main research question underpinning this study asks why and how the diegetic camera technique has become so popular to both contemporary horror filmmakers and audiences. In order to answer this question, this thesis adopts a mainly cognitive theoretical framework in order to address the mental schemata and processes that are elicited and triggered by these films. The concept of the diegetic camera is explored by analysing specific films and constructing an argument for the effects that this aesthetic and narrational technique can have on the cognition of viewers. Applying theoretical notions such as schema, priming, identification, recognition, alignment, and allegiance to the analysis of the focus films, I examine how the viewer's mind works when watching these films. Another central concern of this thesis is the way in which mediated realism is constructed in the films in order to attempt to make audiences either (mis)read the footage as non-fiction, or more commonly to imagine that the footage is non-fiction. I demonstrate that the films under scrutiny create a sense of increased immediacy and alignment with the characters through various techniques associated with the diegetic camera. The concepts of identification and character engagement are interrogated by using cognitive concepts such as recognition, alignment, and allegiance (Smith, 1995). These individual concepts break down the notion of identification into distinct processes, allowing for a more rigorous examination of the notion of character engagement. The thesis also considers how priming and self-consciousness eventually affect the audience's perception and cognition of the films, most significantly in relation to the theory of personal imagining (Currie, 1995).
Supervisor: Russo, Paolo ; Steenberg, Lindsay Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral