Bordwell the constructed fabula from viewer to

Bordwell (1985)
talks of the schémas, assumptions, inferences, hypotheses that are used in film
viewing and actually takes for granted that the audience is engaged in
primarily non-conscious procedures which are goal-directed to make sense of the
narratives of the films. For him, the audience goes on to construct the fabula
or story of the film during the process of watching it. The degree of
consistency of the constructed fabula from viewer to viewer is dependent on the
kind of processes which are involved in the construction of the fabula.

Majority of
cognitivists, including Bordwell and Currie, are in vehement favor of the
naturalistic explanations of the phenomena of film. This entails that the
audience makes sense of films in many of the similar ways in which the sense of
the real world is made. The primary interest of cognitive theory in the present
day is how the audience makes sense and responds to movies and also the textual
structures and the filmic techniques which lead to the audience’s response and

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From the viewpoint
of cognitive theory, Bordwell has set up a constructivist approach and has
advanced to develop a very compelling theory of cinematic narration and this
theory is quite an useful one. A major area of research in this discourse is
the means by which films elicit emotions. Cognitive film theory is delving deep
into this matter of late and the basic assumption which has been propagated is
that emotions have reasons. To put differently, the emotional response of the
audience or readers to the texts (and the other phenomena) is partly dependent
on how the people evaluate and assimilate the information which the text
carries. The argument of cognitive film theory is that in response to the
films, thinking and feeling are very closely related to each other.

Murray Smith calls
character identification as character “engagement” and it is one of the very
dominant means through which the audience gets involved with the movie
emotionally. Smith goes on to argue that the structure of sympathy which is one
primary mode of engagement to the film is a process which involves three
components which are recognition, alignment and allegiance. Recognition is the
means by which the spectator goes on to construct a character, while alignment
means how the audience is placed in relation to the characters shown in the
movie both visually and epistemically. It is through allegiance that the
audience evaluates the characters shown on the large screen morally.