Taking a cue from Arthur Frank's model of reading, this essay proposes a "thinking with" mode of engagement with narrative film, with the implicit aim of developing a pragmatic application for film viewing in narrative medicine. Few approaches to film take the feelings that attend or that are provoked by film seriously, despite the fact that emotions elicited while watching film feel very real to us. These are emotions with depth, emotions we have felt before, and are inexorably attached to specifics within the narratives of our own lives. This essay explores how the inherent characteristics of narrative film can provide fresh and sometimes surprising access to viewers' affective lives as dissociative barriers are temporarily relinquished. Viewers' attention to inner processing of their viewing experience may be usefully employed to gain greater access to processes of valuation and what Cathy Caruth terms "unclaimed experience," if we take time and attend, and if we develop techniques and skills for doing so.


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pp. 463-474
Launched on MUSE
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