The psychology of film & TV, media, & work

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Film & TV Psychology - page 3

Film & TV Psychology

Do masks make villains scarier?

If you want a villain with impact, try concealing their face. The face is the most personal thing about us. It portrays who we are, reveals our emotions, and helps others anticipate our behaviour. Filmmakers often use masks to conceal the faces of villains. Perhaps this unsettles us because we struggle to connect with them and… Keep Reading

Film & TV Psychology

New Bond film hooks us in with nostalgia

The new James Bond film looks like it might be jumping back in time. It’s called, Spectre, which was the criminal organisation from the early Connery films (remember the dude with the white cat?). So, why do new films end up going back in time to revisit old ideas?  Batman Begins took us back to Batman’s origins. Star Trek (2009)… Keep Reading

Film & TV Psychology

Star Wars 7 trailer and its character archetypes

Although it be a bit premature, it’s often easy to work out the character archetypes from a trailer. Archetypes are universal characters we see over and over again in stories (see my analysis of archetypes in Game of Thrones here). What universal characters can we expect from the new Star Wars based on the trailer that was… Keep Reading

Film & TV Psychology

The top neurotic moments of George Costanza

“They’re men with jobs, Jerry!”  George Costanza is one of the most memorable TV characters. We laugh at his expense but, perhaps, we are laughing at something we see in ourselves. This ‘something’ is what psychologists like to call ‘neuroticism’. But what is this exactly? Let’s explore some neurotic characteristics with… Keep Reading

Film & TV Psychology

Why Game of Thrones surprises us – Part 2

Previously on Game of Thrones…I discussed the common archetype of the hero and how George RR Martin uses our familiarity with this archetype as a form of misdirection. Part 2 looks at the archetype of the ‘Lover’ and the ‘Innocent’ and how Martin dangles hope for one character to tease the audience. The Lover is… Keep Reading

Film & TV Psychology

Why Game of Thrones surprises us – Part 1

What’s in a plot twist? Part of it’s surprise. In the case of Game of Thrones, it’s usually in the form of a sudden and brutal shock. Just when you thought you knew what was going to happen, writer George RR Martin throws a curve ball. To surprise a modern, savvy audience, you essentially need… Keep Reading

Film & TV Psychology

Twin Peaks and the need for closure

Do you think you’ll ever get a good answer for that dancing dwarf? If you’re celebrating the return of Twin Peaks and the possibility of getting some closure to the weird, cult 90s series, then you might be a bit disappointed. Part of its charm was that it wasn’t about answers. And part of its… Keep Reading

Film & TV Psychology

Death anxiety drives Walter White?

What happens when you are diagnosed with a terminal illness? I can’t speak from experience and, perhaps, nor can Vince Gilligan, creator of Breaking Bad. But he had a crack at it with his iconic creation, Walter White (Bryan Cranston), the teacher who is diagnosed with lung cancer on the first episode of the series. Walter subsequently   uses his intimate… Keep Reading

Film & TV Psychology

Why are clowns so scary? Meet TV’s new clown, Twisty

Clowns have become consistently homicidal on television and in films. Does anyone associate them with fun and comedy anymore?Put an actor in a scary clown suit and you’ve got a compelling villain. It’s almost a sure thing. Why is the very personification of humour, happiness and silliness aligned so easily to shear terror and murder? Twisty… Keep Reading

Film & TV Psychology

What will motivate the new Avengers’ villain?

Now that the teaser for the new Avengers movie, the Age of Ultron, has been released, let’s take a closer look at the new villain, Ultron. If we follow a long line of classic villains, he’s ultimately motivated to bring about a new world order. Let’s take a look at some of the more memorable villains to… Keep Reading

Film & TV Psychology

Psych Profiles of TV’s Favourite Detectives

What lies beneath the surface of some of television’s great detectives? Have you ever noticed that they have an uncanny ability to solve impossible mysteries when the ordinary run of the mill detective would be shuffling papers? Or that they are often eccentric, bad-tempered and are willing to bend, disregard or blatantly abuse the law? Let’s look at… Keep Reading

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