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Do (or can) movies hypnotize us?


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I was having lunch with a friend earlier today when the idea for this thread was born. He's a licensed therapist who uses hypnosis to help people quit smoking (I gave up smoking five years ago).

 

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I told him that I had watched THE WHISPERERS recently on TCM, and that Edith Evans has a new scene every ten minutes where she is making a pot of tea. By the end of that film, I wanted a cup of tea badly!

 

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Also, every time I watch MAN WITH A CLOAK and I see all the wine that Joseph Cotten sips or Louis Calhern guzzles, I feel the need to get a corkscrew out and reach for a bottle of port.

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And then there are those movies where the actors smoke. Every time Joan Crawford lights one in DAISY KENYON, I get the hankering for a cigarette.

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Are these films hypnotizing me? Is there really that much power of suggestion up on screen...?

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Are these films hypnotizing ? Is there really that much power of suggestion up on the screen ?

 

No, I do not believe that films hypnotize us. If that were the case, I am sure we would have had documentation or proof of that happening by now.

 

As far as "power of suggestion", as you mentioned, everytime you see someone drinking tea or having a glass of Wine, you feel the need to get a corkscrew. That "power of suggestion" in the movies works exactly in the same manner that a 'commercial' does !

 

Think about it, how often do we hear people saying that everytime they see a Big Mac advertised on TV (especially up close), they have a yankering to go out to Macdonalds or at the very least, it makes them hungry !

 

Theres your proof of "power of suggestion"!

 

Twink

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Congrats on quitting smoking!

 

I usually am not influenced by the power of suggestion of eating or drinking in a movie, but I just don't have that kind of personality.

But I can see how others might suddenly "crave" what they are seeing. (what about sex scenes TopBilled?)

 

My issue is movies truly hypnotizing me. I practice self hypnosis, meditation if you like, and am so adept at it almost anytime I concentrate and relax, will fall asleep.

 

It's not so disturbing when watching a DVD, I just turn it back and watch again. I've SEEN what was "slept" through, just my mind was elsewhere. It's hard to explain.

 

What's really scary is when I have to drive long term on a highway. The idea of DVD players in cars is particularly terrifying.

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I wouldn't call this being hypnotized, but there are certain scenes from movies that I've seen over and over again. Whenever these scenes come on the TV screen, I sit glued in anticipation of what's going to happen The number of times that I've seen these movies has nothing to do with my fascination. Two examples would be the final scene from "Sorry, Wrong Number" when you see the shadow of the killer on the wall as he comes up the stairs to kill Stanwyck. The other is the emotional scene from "Imitation of Life" when Juanita Moore sees her daughter for the last time at the nightclub. Maybe for me that is a form of hypnotism.

 

 

 

 

 

Terrence.

 

 

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Your experience may be associative behavior.

 

It is possible that you had once watched: *The Whisperers* (1967) while drinking tea. Your conscious mind may have found it a humorous coincidence that a character drank tea while you did. Your subconscious linked the pleasant sensations of drinking tea and the humor with watching the movie and it now wishes to recreate those good feelings.

 

It would not even have had to be tea which you were drinking. It could have been any beverage which has unique class taste and which you associate with comfort or ease.

 

I associate cleaning the bathroom with listening to: *The Bishop Misbehaves* (1935) as it plays in the next room. I feel no urge to clean the bathroom while watching the movie but I do recognize a desire to have the movie playing while I clean the bathroom. I have no similar associations with the cleaning of any other room.

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SORRY, WRONG NUMBER

 

....when you see that shadow of the killer come up the stairs...OMG, I feel the same way everytime I see that movie and I see that shadow. It certainly does not 'hypnotize' me, but it Does send my heart razing !

 

Even though we Know what is going to happen, it is still Scary everytime. I feel it is because of Stanwyck's brilliant performance as she is sacreaming into the phone that "he is coming up to kill me", it is soo convincing !

 

Twink

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> {quote:title=TikiSoo wrote:}{quote}

> What's really scary is when I have to drive long term on a highway. The idea of DVD players in cars is particularly terrifying.

 

"When I die, I want to go peacefully like my Grandfather did - in his sleep. Not yelling and screaming like the passengers in his car." - Jack Handey

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Twink, thanks for your input on "Sorry, Wrong Number". It's such a thriller! It's no wonder that Stanwyck received an Oscar nomination for that one. Even though she does not play a likeable character, I always feel sorry for her and what she endures.

 

 

 

 

 

Terrence.

 

 

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I wonder if there's something in that, too. We know there's the occurance of when in the presence of someone who yawns, it compells YOU to yawn also. But I had this happen when seeing someone in a MOVIE yawn!

 

 

And both me and my wife find ourselves holding our breath when watching any underwater scene in a movie.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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I don't think many movies hypnotize us in a way intended by the director who might try to do it without our knowledge. However, directors DO try to influence us by suggesting things to us and showing it in movies. I've heard this called "a mild form of hypnotizism".

 

Of course, everyone knows that if we see someone yawn in a movie, we will want to yawn in the audience. BUT, the same is true in real life.

 

In fact, several people who read this post will yawn, just because they are reading about a yawn. This is an odd phenomenon, but as far as I know, no one knows why this happens, but it does.

 

So, if we see someone eating in a movie, we might get hungry, especially if they are eating a hot dog in the movie and we know we can buy a hot dog at the theater refreshment stand.

 

The same with drinks, especially cokes and pepsis and alcohol.

 

Also, what about sex in movies. What do we think about when we see a beautiful person in a skimpy swimsuit?

 

Ok, this also applies to cranks, crackpots, and crazies in the audience. That's why more shooting in modern movies has led to more shooting and murders by young people in real life today. More slasher films will lead to more slashers in real life.

 

I saw this phenomenon during the early years of the Vietnam war. Lots of my high school and college buddies wanted to go off to the war and kill the enemy, who they thought were danged commies, because they had grown up seeing victorious John Wayne war movies, which didn't really show much pain or violence. However, they found out in Vietnam that there is a lot of pain and violence in real wars.

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Grab your old 3-D glasses everybody...'cause I always found THIS more than a little hypmotizin'...

 

 

 

And then of course, there's this classic SCTV spoof of this kind of stuff...

 

 

 

Edited by: Dargo2 on Jul 18, 2013 12:21 PM

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> {quote:title=TikiSoo wrote:}{quote}

> What's really scary is when I have to drive long term on a highway. The idea of DVD players in cars is particularly terrifying.

>

>

>

> Yikes! I do that ALL the time! I will get in the car to go to work or my parents' house or some other familiar destination and when I arrive, I have no memory whatsoever of the trip. Scares me a little, really.

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As for movies hypnotizing us, I don't think they do, exactly. I think they are designed to play on our emotions. If you are the right type of person, you squirm with the main character when they are being humiliated or doing something uncomfortable, your heartrate goes up during thrillers and horror movies when the killer is stalking a victim, you tear up when something really sad or touching happens, etc...The dialogue, the actors expressions, and especially the music all work together to manipulate our emotions. (I HATE when a movie makes me cry. Stupid faulty tear ducts...) I have to say, though that food commercials showing people having little foodgasms over peppermint patties or potato chips or whatever don't make me hungry. I just think, "How sad. That girl needs to get out more..."

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>Yikes! I do that ALL the time! I will get in the car to go to work or my parents' house or some other familiar destination and when I arrive, I have no memory whatsoever of the trip. Scares me a little, really.

 

WAIT!!! This scares YOU silly?!

 

Look tracey! I ride a motorcycle, and I see you "cagers"(that's what we motorcyclists call someone driving a car) distracted ALL the time on the road around me by their phone texting or something just like what you admitted to doing here.

 

And sooooo, PLEASE reconsider this practice of yours!

 

(...'cause like James Dean said in that "Safe Driving" film he did with Gig Young back in '55..."The life YOU save may be MINE!!!!!)

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I don't know if hypnotize is the right word to describe it but I will always remember seeing Hitchcock's *Vertigo* on the big screen in the early 80's (when the "missing Hitchcock 5" were brought back for public viewing). From the start, that film really had me totally absorbed, like in a trance. Watching a film like that on a regular TV viewing (even uncut, commercial free like on TCM) doesn't come close to the big screen experience.

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LOL

 

Not bad, Twink...not bad.

 

Though actually I've developed a sort of "sixth sense" about all the distracted and clueless and inept drivers out there on the road around me while I'm riding my motorcycle. In fact, ANY motorcyclist who wishes to stay live by NECESSITY must attain this "sixth sense".

 

(...BUT, this of course does NOT negate the idea that "cagers" SHOULD ALWAYS be focused on their task at hand...NAMELY piloting a two ton vehicle which can and often DOES create tremendous bodily harm AND loss of life at a SECOND'S NOTICE when they fail to REMEMBER THIS!!!)

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>Your experience may be associative behavior.

 

That could be the case. I don't remember having anything to drink while watching THE WHISPERERS. And what I thought interesting about my sudden craving for tea after the movie, is that I do not normally drink tea. It's always coffee with me. Maybe it just looked so good on screen, and so inviting!

 

Someone else asked about sex on screen. I think that pornography operates on that principle. It has to be stimulating to the point that viewers (voyeurs) want to commit the same acts.

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>I saw this phenomenon during the early years of the Vietnam war. Lots of my high school and college buddies wanted to go off to the war and kill the enemy, who they thought were danged commies, because they had grown up seeing victorious John Wayne war movies, which didn't really show much pain or violence. However, they found out in Vietnam that there is a lot of pain and violence in real wars.

 

That's a great comment. Filmmaking may inspire imitative behaviors, especially if something seems glamorous-- or in this case, patriotic.

 

With Oliver Stone's BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY, however, the intent seems to be to de-hypnotize or de-glorify that sort of patriotism.

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Are you capable, Darg, of jumping to conclusions ON your motorcycle, ala Steve McQueen?

 

 

I worked for General Motors starting when I was 20 years old. The days before cell phones and texting( I'll tell you now, I don't, and never HAVE used my cell phone while driving, and don't text).

 

 

Since my shift started at 6:00am, I would get up at 4:30am every morning to breakfast and get ready for work. If I had any difficulty getting to sleep the night before, it would be a rough time getting going the next morning. Many were the times that I, like Twink, would travel a considerable distance on the freeway before I realized it, without remembering anything that may have transpired in that time frame. Freaked me out everytime. Luckily, the fact that traffic was light that time of morning was probably the reason nothing tragic happened.

 

 

Now, as to the notion that movies might hypnotize someone:

 

 

If you mean "hypnotize" in the sense that one is put into a "deep sleep", then I'd say there were PLENTY of movies that managed to "hypnotize" me!

 

 

And who's to say that "sublimital" messages weren't inserted into some movies long before the practice of such was legally discontinued ( which really doesn't mean it stopped)?

 

 

But the power of suggestion is an absolute. How many times has anyone cranked up the air when watching or seeing a movie that takes place in the desert? For example, I find myself "beading up" and struck with a sudden thirst when watching *Hidalgo .* I already mentioned the underwater thing, and sometimes it seems chillier in the room when I watch a movie that takes place in the cold.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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> {quote:title=TopBilled wrote:}{quote}

> And what I thought interesting about my sudden craving for tea after the movie, is that I do not normally drink tea. It's always coffee with me. Maybe it just looked so good on screen, and so inviting!

 

It is possible that you identify strongly with the character and that leads to you subconsciously wishing to be them in the movie or to emulate them.

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How many times hasn't someone cranked up the Air when they are watching or seeing a movie that takes place in the desert ?

 

Sep,.... you're referring to 'hot flashes' !

 

The next time it gets too hot, watch FARGO, that will cool you down ! :)

 

Twink

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> {quote:title=Dargo2 wrote:}{quote}

> > Yikes! I do that ALL the time! I will get in the car to go to work or my parents' house or some other familiar destination and when I arrive, I have no memory whatsoever of the trip. Scares me a little, really.

> WAIT!!! This scares YOU silly?!

>

> Look tracey! I ride a motorcycle, and I see you "cagers"(that's what we motorcyclists call someone driving a car) distracted ALL the time on the road around me by their phone texting or something just like what you admitted to doing here.

>

> And sooooo, PLEASE reconsider this practice of yours!

>

> (...'cause like James Dean said in that "Safe Driving" film he did with Gig Young back in '55..."The life YOU save may be MINE!!!!!)

I don't do it on purpose! I don't text behind the wheel or do anything but drive (except for hitting the button on the radio occaisionally) but if I have a lot on my mind, I do sometimes "zone out" while driving. Don't know why or how to fix it...

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