Meaning and Film: Setting the Agenda for an Embodied Cognitive Approach



This paper takes up the challenge of setting up a preliminary research framework for analysing meaning in film from the perspective of the embodied cognition thesis. We first establish the theoretical context from which this framework emerges, starting with a discussion of a paradox that lies at the heart of the relationship between meaning and film. Second, we briefly discuss what has been the most influential model in film theory for dealing with this paradox, namely the linguistic model (also known as the “film as language” view). At the same time, we argue why this model is no longer sustainable in the light of the recent “embodied turn” in cognitive science. Third and last, we show how an embodied view of meaning forces us to address the paradox of cinematic meaning anew, thus prompting the need for a new research agenda.

Keywords: conceptual metaphor, embodied cognition, film style, image schema, meaning

DOI: 10.24193/ekphrasis.20.3