Die Hard as an Emotion Symphony: How Reptilian Scenarios Meet Mammalian Emotions in the Flow of an Action Film

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

The article will analyze how action films use different emotional sources of arousal to create narrative tension and suspense in the PECMA flow i.e. the mental flow of perceptions that activate emotions, cognition and action as described in Grodal 2009. It will analyze how different emotions link to each other or contrast each other in the narrative flow that you metaphorically might call an emotion symphony. The flow may create a time-out experience due to the way in which the action-oriented flow recruits consciousness in full, similar to the way in which music creates flow experiences as discussed by cognitive music aestheticians. The article will discuss how the flow supports character simulation and how it uses a small set of scenarios, HTTOFF-scenarios to drive the flow. To illustrate the symphonic flow it will make a close reading of John McTiernan’s Die Hard 1988.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProjections: The Journal for Movies and Mind
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)87-104
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - character simulation, cognitive film theory, emotion regulation, evolution, flow experience, paradigm scenarios, visual aesthetics

ID: 185907682