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Katrin Heimann

Movies and the Mind: On Our Filmic Body

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Over the last decade, the role of the spectators’ body has become considerably more important in theoretical as well as experimental approaches to film perception. However, most positions focus on how cinema has adapted to the spectator’s body over time, that is, to the basic principles of human perception and cognition, in developing its immersive power. This article presents the latest contributions to this topic, while also providing a new stance regarding the relationship between the mind and movies. Based on selected research from embodied approaches to cognition and picture perception, we suggest that humans learn to see film by integrating filmic means into their body schemas, and through this process develop a “filmic body”, available to them during film watching and, possibly, also off screen. Film language and film cognition are plastic products of mutual influence between films and embodied agents, and thereby move the medium towards novel filmic means and us toward novel experiences. We propose a number of research designs for further exploring these claims.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmbodiment, Enaction, and Culture : Investigating the Constitution of the Shared World
EditorsChristoph Durt, Thomas Fuchs, Christian Tewes
Number of pages25
PublisherMIT Press
Publication year2017
Pages353-377
Chapter18
ISBN (print)9780262035552
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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