The most powerful films have an afterlife. Their sensory appeal and their capacity to elicit involvement in story, character and conflict reaches beyond the screen to subtly reframe the way spectators view ethical issues and agents within the narrative, and in the world outside the cinema. "Pulling Focus: Intersubjective Experience and Narrative Film" questions how cinematic narratives relate to and affect ethical life. Extending Martha Nussbaum and Wayne Booth's work on moral philosophy and literature to consider cinema, Dr. Stadler shows that film spectatorship can be understood as a model for ethical attention that engages the audience in an affective relationship with characters and their values.Building on Vivian Sobchack's "Address of the Eye and Carnal Thoughts", she uses a phenomenological approach to analyse ethical dimensions of film extending beyond narrative content, arguing that the camera describes experience and views screen characters with an evaluative form of perception: an ethical gaze in which spectators participate. Films discussed include "Dead Man Walking", "Lost Highway", "Batman Begins", "Nil By Mouth" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind".
Dr Stadler is Lecturer in Film and Television Studies at the University of Queensland, Australia, and is on the editorial advisory board of the online journal IM: Interactive Media. She was Convenor of the Film Studies Major at the University of Cape Town (2002-2005), and is the recipient of the Murdoch University Vice Chancellor's Teaching Excellence Award (2000) and the University of Cape Town Teaching Merit Award (2004, 2005). She is co-author of Media and Society with Michael O' Shaughnessy, Oxford University Press: 2005 (with Michael O'Shaughnessy).
Chapter 1: Ethics in Narrative Form and Content; Chapter 2: A Phenomenological Approach to the Ethics of Film; Chapter 3: Losing the Plot: Narrative Structure and Ethical Identity; Chapter 4: Under the Influence: Vice, Violence and Villainy; Chapter 5: Resistance and Responsiveness: Emotion and Character Engagement; Chapter 6: Imagination: Inner Sight and Silent Voices; Chapter 7: Seeing in the Dark: Cinema, Ethics, and Alternative Engagement.