Blank Gaze and Vacant Skull—Cinema & Brain(s) & (Dis-)Affection in Recent Mindful and Mind-Related US Cinema


  • Benjamin Betka Goethe University Frankfurt/Main



Screens and brains are peculiar processual frames and/or framing devices. This essay which is part of a larger project intends to demonstrate the value of neurocinematic frames for both cultural studies and scientific considerations. The fusion of theories of cinema and neuroscience needs a media theory that is informed by the affective turn in the humanities. The delicacy of neurocinematic frames becomes visible once they get torn and ruined by diverse depressed, entropic, and disaffected minds as trains of thought that seem to disperse and combust. These phenomena give the project traction and focus. A certain kind of film theory might challenge traditional scholarly concepts of the mind but leads towards a fertile enunciation of the volatile and fragile (en-)trails of thought itself.It is a film theory that includes autopoietic psychological systems in the sense of Humberto Maturana and others which was formulated first and foremost by Gilles Deleuze in his two monographs on movement-images and time-images (2006, 2009).

Author Biography

Benjamin Betka, Goethe University Frankfurt/Main

Benjamin Betka studied Information and Communication before switching to American Studies, Philosophy, and Pedagogics at Leibniz University Hanover. He received a B.A. at San Angelo State, TX, and obtained a Magister Artium“ degree with a thesis on male adolescence in recent US fiction. As a lecturer and PhD candidate at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main he intends to renovate traditional notions such as media, mind, and matter by considering recent US cinema with a neuroscientific impetus.




How to Cite

Betka, Benjamin. “Blank Gaze and Vacant Skull—Cinema & Brain(s) & (Dis-)Affection in Recent Mindful and Mind-Related US Cinema”. Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies, vol. 13, Apr. 2012, doi:10.5283/copas.52.