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Visual affect in films: a semiotic approach

Authors
  • Jing, Yi1
  • 1 Harbin Institute of Technology, China , (China)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Semiotica
Publisher
De Gruyter
Publication Date
Feb 05, 2021
Volume
2021
Issue
239
Pages
99–124
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/sem-2019-0081
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

This study investigates affective meanings expressed in facial expressions and bodily gestures from a semiotic perspective. Particularly, the study focuses on disentangling relations of affective meanings and exploring the meaning potential of facial expressions and bodily gestures. Based on the analysis of over three hundred screenshots from two films (one animation and one live-action film), this study proposes a system of visual affect, as well as a system of visual resources involved in the expression of visual affect. The system of visual affect makes a further step in the investigation of affective meanings afforded by facial expressions and bodily gestures, and can provide methodological insights into the examination of affective meanings expressed visually. The system of visual resources provides a more meaning-motivated framework for systematic tracking of the visual resources, which may be applied to the analysis of other visual media apart from films.

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