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Film and the Imagined Image$
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Sarah Cooper

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474452786

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474452786.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

Seeing Pictures

Seeing Pictures

(p.3) Chapter 1 Seeing Pictures
(p.iii) Film and the Imagined Image

Sarah Cooper

Edinburgh University Press

This opening chapter serves to introduce the principal focus of the book, which explores the felt experience of mental image-making while watching film. The introductory discussion positions the book first of all in relation to cognitivist work on imagination within film studies and points to the gap in scholarship on spectatorship regarding the experience of the image-making capacity of the imagination, situating it within a broader debate on mental imagery. The chapter engages with film theory and philosophy that anticipates the kind of image-making that will be focused on throughout the book and introduces what it means to imagine in images. It also justifies the book’s concentration on sound rather than silent cinema, since the verbal dimension and soundtracks are crucial to the kind of direction that produces the most vivid mental images, and the verbal dimension in particular permits introduction of the work of Elaine Scarry on guided imagining. It is the vivacity of such mental images that this first chapter outlines. In conceptual terms, this chapter and the following chapter serve to set up the key notion of ‘dual vision’ – of seeing what is on screen and ‘seeing’ what is in the mind – that informs the entire study.

Keywords:   Image-making, Mental imagery, Guided imagining, Dual vision, Sound cinema, Spectatorship, Cognitivism, Film Theory, Film Philosophy

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