Impossible Puzzle Films: A Cognitive Approach to Contemporary Complex Cinema

Kiss, M. & Willemsen, S., 2017, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 240 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBookAcademic

Narrative complexity is a trend in contemporary cinema. Since the late 1990s there has been a palpable increase in complex storytelling in movies. But how and why do complex movies create perplexity and confusion? How do we engage with these challenges? And what makes complex stories so attractive?

By blending film studies and cognitive sciences, this project looks into the relation between complex storytelling and the mind. Analysing the effects that different complex stories have on viewers, the research addresses how films strategically create complexity and confusion. It introduces the specific category of impossible puzzle films to examine movies that use baffling paradoxes, impossible loops, and unresolved ambiguities in their stories and storytelling. By looking at how these films play on our mind’s blind spots, this project explains their viewing effects in terms of the mental state of cognitive dissonance that they evoke.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages240
ISBN (Print)9781474406727
Publication statusPublished - 2017

ID: 37898960