Saturday, April 13, 2013
Emotions and Sentimentality
Harry thinks he has everybody and everything figured out. All men think this and all men think that. As Sally listens she is somewhat offended - generalizing people and the relationships between men and women. Although his statements are funny, sometimes we can't help that Harry is a wise-guy who secretly just want to have sex with Sally (as we can predict a foreshadowing in some form). As they separate and get involved again, the two do become friends - being there to talk on the phone at night, double-dates with friends, and enjoying each other's company. Finally, after sleeping together, the two decide that having sex really did complicate things and grew apart again. In each others' absence they realized that they have fallen in love.
The audience needs, as Plantinga says, "a language and a method to enable us to understand better the specators involvement in movies" (151). Plantinga suggests emotion and a certain cognitive undertaking by the audience. I think this is quite appropriate because how we think is directly related to sentiment and sentimentality. If we are able to connect on a level not only with human characters but also their "inferences, appraisals, judgements, hypotheses, etc" we can experience this sentiment and deeply connect to the situations the characters are in. For example, the judgements that Harry makes at the beginning pan out into the relationship between himself and Sally. These cognitive inferences arouse sentiment in the audience by comparing to real life situations. In other words, we are forced to judge on our own whether we think that "sex really does prevent friendship" or any other wise words from Harry. It is the audience's cognitive responses to the characters' judgements that arouse sentiment and aid in the success of the film's bringing about emotion. But! As Plantinga also says, and as many of us know, emotions cloud judgement. How does this complicate what we've just read and watched? Are there fundamentals to our cognitive interests and connections? Or are their only subjective experiences because each person has is or her own relationships qualities, that may differ from others?