The art of sound pictures (1930)

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128 THE ART OF SOUND PICTURES FEELINGS Pleasantness and unpleasantness are called feelings, or “affective elements.” They are somewhat like emotions, though not so complex. These feelings are the simplest experiences of an emotional nature which enter human life. Pleasantness accompanies the expression of our natural impulses without interferences which cause us to stop and reflect on the consequences of our behavior. In other words, when everything goes the way we want it to, we feel pleasantness. This is because our impulses to behavior find successful and uninterrupted outlet. There is no conflict, no hesitation — only a smooth carrying through of our original impulses. When there is a conflict of impulses, a weighing of factors, or an interruption in our original impulse tendencies, we feel unpleasantness. WTien you put out a hand to pick up an object on the table, reach the object, and carry through the original plan of using it in some way, this action carries with it pleasantness of a mild sort. But if, as the hand is extended, it is jammed up against the table by an opposing force, and the original plan is frustrated, unpleasantness occurs. It is unpleasant to have the impulse checked or stopped, even if the whole process can be gone through successfully almost immediately. In the writing of motion pictures, pleasantness and unpleasantness must be combined, so that there is not too y much of the first to make the picture saccharine, nor an overdose of the second to make it morbid. The final