Cognitive Theory and Documentary Film

This collection of essays is the first major study to explore the intersection between cognitive theory and documentary film studies. As such, it offers a vital interpretation not only of how we perceive reality through documentary, but also of how we perceive it because of documentary. Western audiences live in a mass-mediated culture that filters reality through the prism of factual media; hence, their emotional and cognitive comprehension of the world is, to a significant extent, informed and consolidated by documentary film. The essays in this volume seek to illuminate the production, exhibition and reception of documentaries, exploring intratextuality (in which filmmakers employ narrative and aesthetic strategies to achieve particular audience responses and effects) and extratextuality (whereby filmmaking practices and sociocultural traditions negotiate the indexical link between representations and their real-life counterparts).

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