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Ekphrasis

Synesthésies au cinéma ou l’expression d’une poétique

Marion POIRSON-DECHONNE


Abstract:

Before cinema, theoreticians have established a relationship between the notes of the scale and colors, based on the idea of vibration. Kandinsky questioned the relationship between arts and used the principle of synesthesia. But films that were inspired by painting have also raised the question of synesthesia. The director S.M. Eisenstein, who was also a painter, tried to make color sensations by musical vibrations in his films. Christian Metz, who analyzed the impression of reality in film, emphasized the “stereocinetical” effect in the 7th Art. He said that the movement produced the impression of reality. For the viewer, what is tangible is real. The Italian semiotician Gianfranco Bettettini showed that that audience filled the lack of sensoriality by making some symbolic prostheses. Thus the cinema, in relationship with painting, tries to perceive the sense of touch. The philosopher Gilles Deleuze has questioned the proximity in painting using the example of Francis Bacon. He showed how the eye could have two functions, one optical, corresponding to distance vision, the other haptic, or tactile vision. Jacques Aumont and Pascal Bonitzer adapted some of Deleuze’s ideas to cinema, in what we can find the same difference between optical and haptical vision. For some filmakers (Kurosawa, Dreams, Paradjanov, Sayat Nova, Tsvet Granata, or Achik Kerib), there is a synesthetic dimension given by the haptic vision. By demonstration of synesthesia, cinema joins poetry, the figural becomes close to the poetic.

Keywords: synesthesia, vibration, poetic, symbolic prostheses, painting, reality effect, cinema, haptic vision, distance vision, poetry, figural

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