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

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

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.
TidsskriftProjections: The Journal for Movies and Mind
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)87-104
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - 1 dec. 2017


  • Det Humanistiske Fakultet - karaktersimulering, kognitiv film teori, følelsesregulering, evolution, flow-oplevelser, paradigm scenarier, visuel æstetik

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