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A Structure of Antipathy: Constructing the Villain in Narrative Film

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Many narrative films feature villains, major characters that audiences are meant to condemn. This article investigates the cognitive-affective underpinnings of audience antipathy in order to shed light on how filmic villainy is constructed. To that end, the article introduces an analytical framework at the intersection of cognitive film theory and moral psychology. The framework analyzes villainy into three categories: guilty intentionality, consequential action, and causal responsibility.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProjections: The Journal for Movies and Mind
Pages (from-to)67-90
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Antagonist, Antipathy, Blame, Cognitive film theory, Film characters, Moral judgment, Moral psychology, Villain

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  • SCSMI 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in or organisation af a conference


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