I discovered a passion film somewhere between my comprehensive exams and dissertation proposal–something not typically included on a Psychology Ph.D. Degree Plan. I found that psychology is a great, if not unique, wheelhouse to explain the parts about film, the film industry, and our power as audience members that typically get glossed over in film media. This “glossed info” ranges from the cinematic manifestation (or lack thereof) of social justice issues, honest conceptualization of human characters (conveniently, also the subject of my academic expertise), and how nearly all movies and capitol-F Films contribute to the shaping of our cultures, beliefs, and attitudes in some way–even ones that we carry far beyond the movie theater. I think it’s easy to forget between the mainstream and social media madness exactly how influential we, as audience members, are on what Hollywood makes and promotes. This raises an additional question: What does modern cinema tell us about us?
This is where I present my melting pot of film-centered philosophy: An academic psychology perspective on a subjective artistic industry with emphasis on how this relates to people. I certainly don’t mind offering my own film critiques (I am a millennial, after all!), but my greater goal is to offer new ways to think about cinema and its underlying psychology.