Psychology in film

arguing birds

I’ve started appreciating the psychological aspects of film-making since my daughter has been studying it. Here are just a few: Once I said I would have preferred a different ending to her film. She responded that she had considered that ending, but it would not have been “in character.” As in life, the character is made up not only of his own complexity but of the complex interrelationships with other people in his environment, and he or she will act differently with each of the other characters and different from any of these ways when alone. Even subtle movements made by a character at the right time are actually profound.

We did a little improvisation with the family at dinnertime. The feedback was very interesting. She explained that when one person moved his arms behind his head that “helped” him to say what he wanted to say. To me she noted that I didn’t change my tone of voice throughout the argument. This meant that I was not affected by the other person and that I wasn’t listening. While I thought that I was just being “determined” in making my point, she explained that if I would have listened something would have changed in my manner, tone and so forth as the disagreement progressed. Since I consider myself and truly want to be a good listener, this was alarming to me and I asked myself how this can happen. I think that as I got into the character, I felt threatened. And I understood from this that when I feel threatened I’m not capable of listening. I guess I knew that before, but I hope that this will make me more sensitive to the need to be accepting of another person’s difference of opinion and also make me aware of my own feelings and how they are influencing me in the discussion. (Submitted by Batya)

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2 Responses to Psychology in film

  1. There are no coincidences, right? I just finished reading The Sleeping Doll, by Jeffrey Deaver. The book features a character named Katherine Dance who uses body language to solve crimes. I’ve found myself using some of this character’s techniques when listening to my children, much like your daughter read your own body language. It’s a fascinating subject.

    It’s interesting how you learned something about yourself, confronted as you were by your daughter’s knowledge of body language. I’m thinking about how a graphologist I know said we can change our midot by changing our handwriting and wondering if we can change our midot by changing our body language, too?

    • logogroup says:

      Yes, if you walk “as if” you are confident, it will make you feel confident. At the same time it won’t work if you don’t really believe it. Knowing you really do have the ability in you to face a certain situation you can already express that now. Logotherapy points the person in the direction of what is true, not in a technique-y kind of way but by focusing on your true potential and unique tasks set out for you – through your God-given talents, past life experiences and present “invitations” to meaning.

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