eMAEX (electronically based media analysis of expressive movement images) has been developed in the course of exploring the shaping of emotions in classic Hollywood war films. That particular genre has been chosen because it serves as a prime example for strategic use of audiovisual media to mobilize emotions. It brings a highly developed knowledge about poetic strategies of eliciting emotions together with an explicit political intention to do so. In turn, these strategies of mobilizing emotions can be systematically analyzed and described by examining the war-film genre. In doing so we emphasize the development of film analytical methods. These methods are supposed to allow us to reconstruct the specific forms of orchestrating moving images dedicated to triggering and shaping emotion.
Verifying a poetics of affect
Starting from these basic assumptions, we initially followed two research objectives: First of all, our aim was to verify whether this poetics of affect is revealed by certain cinematic forms of expression and patterns of presentation.
Developing an empirical method
Secondly, we had to provide a systematic mode of describing poetic strategies to invoke emotion, which could be used by empirical studies on audiovisual media in related fields of research – such as social science, psychology or linguistics.
Multimedia tools and database
In order to accomplish this, we needed to develop multimedia tools of presentation and description, along with an advanced computer database.