A Laboratory known as Cinema


The audience is like a giant organ that you and I are playing. At one moment we play this note, and get this reaction, and then we play that chord and they react. And someday we won’t even have to make a movie – there’ll be electrodes implanted in their brains, as we’ll just press different buttons and they’ll go “oooh” and “aaah” and we’ll frighten them, and make them laugh. Won’t that be wonderful?

Alfred Hitchcock, The Dark Side of Genius (1999).

In this Needull, a wonderful article by Patricia Pisters, we learn how modern cinema is playing with our brains, manipulating our emotional touchpoints like never before. They are even using findings from scientific studies in neurosciences to understand how our brains react to different scenes. While in Hitchcock’s movies, the audience ‘played God’ and was a mere spectator, in modern thrillers, the audience is an integral part of the ride, jumping and shrieking along with the twists and turns of the reel.

No wonder, with each passing movie frame, as our brain stimulations have become more intense, so have our nightmares. Read more about it in this ‘mind-bending’ essay –  Neurothriller – from the pages of one of my favourite ‘haystack’ Aeon.