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From the Editor

Before introducing this bumper issue of Projections, I have some exciting news
to announce. At the most recent meeting of the Society for Cognitive Studies
of the Moving Image (SCSMI), the Board of Directors voted to approve a pro-
posal to commence publishing Projections three times per year starting in
2019. This change is indicative of a steady trend of increasing, high-quality sub-
missions, which not only allows us to publish more and publish more often,
but also sends us a positive sign that our reputation for pioneering, interdisci-
plinary research is attracting attention from more and more scholars.
Next year’s move to three issues per volume will coincide with another im-
portant change: by default, subscriptions to Projections will be by electronic
access only. In line with current practices at an increasing number of other
scholarly journals, this new policy is reflective of the changing ways in which
most readers access our content. It will also result in reduced costs to you, our
readers, because it will allow us to save money on printing and shipping. Don’t
be alarmed, though: Projections will continue to exist in print, and print sub-
scriptions will still be available for a surcharge. New membership rates for the
SCSMI are available on its website.
Now, on to our current issue. The bulk of the issue consists of a sympo-
sium dedicated to Murray Smith’s new book, Film, Art, and the Third Culture: A
Naturalized Aesthetics of Film. One of the features of Smith’s book that makes
it of particular interest to our readership is its abiding commitment to inter-
disciplinarity. More specifically, Smith proposes that the study of our aesthetic
experience of cinema ought to be approached through a process of “triangu-
lation.” On Smith’s view, triangulation involves (roughly speaking) a process
of theory-building that considers and weighs the evidence of three distinct
levels of experience—the phenomenological, the psychological, and the neu-
rophysiological. Given this particular emphasis on interdisciplinarity in Smith’s
book, not to mention its scope and ambition, we’ve recruited a large group of
leading and emerging scholars across a number of disciplines—film studies,
aesthetics, philosophy of mind, psychology, and neuroscience. What emerges
is a lively and stimulating debate about a book that offers not only an account
of our aesthetic experience of film, but which sensitively explores some of the

Projections Volume 12, Issue 2, Winter 2018: v–vi © Berghahn Books


doi: 10:3167/proj.2018.120201 ISSN 1934-9688 (Print), ISSN 1934-9696 (Online)
v i / P R O J E C T I O N S

most important and difficult questions we face about the relationship be-
tween the humanities, the sciences, art, and aesthetics.
This issue is rounded out with two standard articles. The first, by Johannes
Riis, dovetails with Sermin Ildirar and Louise Ewing’s revisitation, in our previ-
ous issue, of the Kuleshov experiments, and with Smith’s discussion of what
he calls “the Kuleshov Fallacy” – the idea that “the context of an individual
shot, as established by editing, will entirely determine our interpretation of
the contents of the shot” (137). Riis’s article explores the stylistic subtleties in
the acting of Ivan Mozzhukhin, who is today best known for his putatively
“blank” expression in Kuleshov’s editing experiments. Riis’s rich analysis of
Mozzhukhin’s performances counters this erroneous legacy with which the
actor has been saddled.
The second article, by Catalin Brylla and Mette Kramer, proposes a new
framework for a “pragmatic” approach to the study of documentaries. Brylla
and Kramer seek to synthesize earlier cognitivist scholarship on documenta-
ries with other salient strands of research, building a framework that permits
a number of different research foci (e.g., the mediation of reality, character
engagement, viewer emotions and embodied experience, and documentary
practice) to be studied via a pluralistic, multimethod approach that integrates
“textual,” contextual, and intertextual elements. Like Smith and a number of
his commentators, Brylla and Kramer see the cutting edge of film scholarship
in a mutually informative collaboration between the humanities and the
sciences.

Ted Nannicelli