restricted access Race, Cognition, and Emotion: Shakespeare on Film

This article examines four Shakespearean film adaptations from the point of view of four directors' perceptions of race and ethnicity, and the reactions they seek to elicit in their audiences. In applying the tools developed by cognitive neuroscience and narratology the paper explores how Oliver Parker's Othello, Tim Blake Nelson's O, James Gavin Bedford's Street King, and Uli Edel's King of Texas variously use the generic codes and conventions of contemporary cinema—time, language, imagery, sound, perspective, and editing—to prime, cue, and trigger a number of determinate cognitive and emotive responses in their audiences. It also explores how these directors stylistically and thematically retool such cinematic conventions not only to creatively reshape Shakespeare's stories, but to do so in ways that complicate their audience's cognitive and emotive scripts of ethnic identity and experience.