Alessandro Pignocchi

Why are you like a movie? Publication date : April 28, 2015

Alessandro Pignocchi is a philosopher and a research fellow at Institut Jean Nicod. He has doctorates in the cognitive sciences and in the philosophy of art, from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS). He is notably the author of L’Oeuvre d’art et ses intentions, published by Editions Odile Jacob.

Viewing a film is a unique experience which elicits discussion and debate. In this illuminating work, Alessandro Pignocchi, a specialist in the cognitive sciences, explains the psychological underpinnings of our reactions to film.
We generally react to a film, as we do to other works of art (often without being aware of it), by trying to define the artist’s intentions. Did the director intend to elicit laughter, make us cry, shock us? Generally, such considerations motivate our appreciation of the film’s qualities.
Based on specific examples, taken from the works of John Ford, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Terrence Malick, Christophe Honoré and many other directors, Pignocchi develops an innovative theory that places the director’s intentions and the spectator’s interpretation at the centre of the cinematic experience.

• A highly original, jargon-free approach to cinema, focussing on the often passionate reactions and sometimes profound disagreements we have about films.
• An excellent book for cinema lovers, with its clear, in-depth study of a dozen recent and not-so-recent films, both known and less known, including: Vertigo (Hitchcock), Goodbye First Love (Mia Hansen-Love), The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick), The Bicycle Thief (Vittorio de Sica), Picnic at Hanging Rock (Peter Weir), M (Fritz Lang).