Fictional reliefs and reality checks

Vaage, Margrethe Bruun (2013) Fictional reliefs and reality checks. Screen, 54 (2). pp. 218-237. ISSN 1460-2474. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/screen/hjt004) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Abstract

The present paper explores the moral psychology of fiction conceptually through the paired concepts ‘fictional relief’ and ‘reality check’. I suggest that the spectator of fictional films and television series sees himself as relieved from some of the moral obligations the spectator of nonfiction films sees himself as subject to, such as considering the consequences of a character's actions and attitudes. A fictional attitude is disturbed when elements of nonfiction are inserted into the fiction, such as the documentary photographs in Dogville (Lars von Trier, 2003), or when the fiction otherwise reminds the spectator of the moral and political consequences of his engagement. I call this reality check, and explore how Dr Melfi often reminds the spectator of The Sopranos (HBO, 1999–2007) of the consequences of having a sympathetic attitude towards the main character and gangster Tony Soprano. The related notion fictional relief captures the relief from considering such consequences, and finally I discuss how Omar Little exemplifies fictional reliefs at work in a socially realistic setting in The Wire (HBO, 2002–08).

Item Type: Article
Subjects: N Fine Arts
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of Arts
Faculties > Humanities > School of Arts > Film
Depositing User: Margrethe Bruun Vaage
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2014 00:05 UTC
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2016 11:53 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/40571 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Vaage, Margrethe Bruun: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7608-0025
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