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Le Cinéma comme expérience du monde sensible: Sombre de Philippe Grandrieux



How can a director summon up the five senses of the audience through the film medium? How can a visual (and sound) art make affects tangible? An analysis of Sombre by Philip Grandrieux in the light of Deleuzian theories may help us to propound some answers to these questions. Thus, the underexposed film photography, the blurring effects and the strongly marked grain of the image are to be linked with the gaseous perception expounded by Deleuze. This perception, characteristic of experimental films, creates a suffocating feeling in the viewer, caused by the saturation of the senses. On the other hand, in Sombre, the representation of flesh and fragmented bodies is reminiscent of the works of Bacon and the notion of haptic: can an artwork be touched with the eyes? Is the appropriation of an image by the fact of “getting as close as possible to it” a way to fulfill the scopic drive? The exacerbation of the senses in Grandrieux also involves the desire to return to natural instinct, or even bestiality, which is transmitted from the diegesis (the main character) to the viewer. By means of a mise-en-scène and a film editing which play on the suggestive power of cinema, the filmmaker manages to transport the viewer, through a nomadic path, to a maelstrom of quasi-animal sensations.

Keywords: Philippe Grandrieux, Deleuze, cinema, five senses, haptic, return