Sunday, September 21, 2014

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2959: The Hunger Games Mockingjay - What makes Donald Sutherland (as President Coriolanus Snow) look so Evil? Body Language Trailer Tells (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Another Trailer for "The Hunger Games Mockingjay: Part 1" was released a few days ago. In this movie adaptation Donald Sutherland plays President Coriolanus Snow. Sutherland is a very good actor and thus he's good at looking evil when he wants to - and here he definitely wants to project madness. This provides a good nonverbal teaching moment to dissect one of the many nonverbal manifestations of crazy.

In general facial asymmetry is very common in the presence of  insincerity (However it's not always indicative though). In addition a person can be insincere during moments of symmetrical facial expression). President Snow is displaying considerable asymmetry here - most conspicuously with his eyes - as he speaks to Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence). With regards to mild-to-moderate anger, the eyes are partially closed and tense (particularly visible in the lower eyelids). This is seen on Sutherland's right eye. However with severe-to-extreme anger (rage), the eyes open wider - as is exampled on Sutherland's left. This asymmetry combined with two different levels of anger projects a "crescendo of crazy".

Be sure not to overlook the fact that his eyebrows are also drawn both together and directed downwards. This is also highly indicative of anger.

Whenever a mouth smile exists with contradictory body language on the eyes or forehead (or both) this should strike us always peculiar - and it profoundly projects emotional dissonance. Think of this disparity as a body language metaphor for irony. Whenever irony is found, it is a signal that there is either a lack of knowledge on the part of the observer - or deception on the part of those being observed. In this case it is the latter.

What other crucial component of Coriolanus's nonverbals diminishes our trust and elevates our dislike for him?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2958: Jameis Winston's Suspension - Press Conference

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2267:  Body Language at the 2013 Golden Globes The Influence of Color on Human Sexuality - Claire Danes, Zooey Deschanel & Jennifer Lawrence

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2316:  Jennifer Lawrence's Response to Her Oscar Stumble -  Silver Linings Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2899: Jennifer Lawrence, Katniss Everdeen, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I" Trailer and Recognizing Facial Components of Fear-Surprise

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2595: Barack Obama's Emotional Dissonance, Low Confidence and the "Turtle Retreat" - He Does Not Want To Be There

Nonverbal Communication Analysis 2759: Vladimir Putin, Annexation of Crimea and Mouth Asymmetry - Body Language 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2942: Vladimir Putin's & Recognizing Duplicity in Body Language