Upside-down cinema: Simulation of the body in the film experience

Cinema 3:155-182 (2012)

This essay examines the motif of the upside-down image in cinema and focuses on the perceptual and cognitive activity of the spectator. In the first part, I refer to Maurice Merleau-Ponty discussion of psychological experiments on retinal inversion and describe the dynamic disembodiment/re-embodiment as a way of providing the spectator both the thrill of unbalance and the perceptual re-orientation functional to the cognitive comprehension of the film. In the second part, I analyse the formal and stylistic modes of representation of the upside-down image of the character in selected film scenes. In particular, I argue that the rotation al camera movement is a filmic “gestures” that simulates the human bodily movement
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