Haptic experience, film, movie, Persona, Un Chien Andalou, Gravity, Koyaanisqatsi, The Exorcist, Irreversible, Raw, Climax, Love, Blue is the warmest colour, Ingmar Bergmann, Luis Buñuel, Alfonso Cuarón, Gaspar Noé, Godfrey Reggio, Abdellatif Kéchiche
The following essay concerns audio-visual representations of the sense of touch in cinema, with a focus on contemplative and experimental cinema, and the affect it has on a general audience.
To explain what happens physiologically and psychologically that allows us to feel, I've studied the works of authors, specialists in the fields of phenomenology, philosophy, intercultural studies, film theory and cognitive research. I've selected chapters within their works relevant to my topic, which I read attentively over the past months. Fewer resources were found online. Many resources I found were explicitly linked to my topic, others more broadly connected to it.
I encountered fascinating pieces of writing, as to how cinema conveys an impression of touch, through intangible senses. I hope to explore, furthermore, this topic in the future, and perhaps use the knowledge I've acquired on it to incorporate it in an audiovisual piece.
[...] Gaspar Noé. Mars Distribution. Raw. (2016). [film] Dir. Julia Ducournau. Wild Bunch. Focus World. Climax. (2018). [film] Dir. Gaspar Noé. Wild Bunch. O'Brother Distribution. [...]
[...] Nevertheless, it is undeniable that the medium of cinema possesses the qualities and power to affect us. Human beings can empathise and feel, which is why we can relate to things we see. However, there are factors which make it more-or-less achievable. It partly relies on contextual factors, such as cultural or individual influences. As developed by Luis Rocha Antunes in Multisensory film experience, the Eastern claim to be the only one who knows how to create sensory, affective audiovisual content. [...]
[...] Figure 20: Irreversible. (2002). [film] Dir. Gaspar Noé. Mars Distribution. Figure 21: Roma. (2018). [film] Dir. Alfonso Cuarón. Espectáculos Fílmicos El Coyúl, Netflix. [...]
[...] They have acquired knowledge of what pain is, how pain feels. When characters go through a physically unpleasant situation, our body reacts accordingly: we may shiver, cringe of disgust, of discomfort, as we face this distressing yet relatable representation. When thinking of “touch", what it first evokes is the body, the hand, contact - Contact, which is inexistent between the screen and the spectator. A way for cinema to recreate that contact is to touch us, however, it can. Through uniquely visual representation, Luis Buñuel shows a man preparing a razor. [...]
[...] This lets us question: which is more powerful? If feeling comes before thinking, then the emotional understanding is what guides the intellectual understanding. We do not realise that we are emotionally reacting as we do it, “uncontrollable convulsion or spasm” mentioned by Linda Williams is provoked involuntarily, our body talks before us. (1991:269) Therefore nature, as in our instinct is more powerful than nurture, the knowledge that we accumulate during our lives, through which we make sense of given information and organise this information, by contextualising them in our reality. [...]
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