Film-Philosophy Conference, Film-Philosophy Conference 2012

(Ex)treme Cinema: Sensing the Incredible

Jiaying Sim


What is a sensuous cinema? How are sensory stimuli related to a phenomenological-based theory of film? How can one benefit from such an approach to cinematic experience? These questions are essential to the exploration of another approach to cinema where the audio-visual senses have been ostensibly favoured. With a close analysis of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011), directed by Stephan Daldry, this paper contends that the interconnectivity of all our senses is exposed during cinematic experiences through synaesthesia. Such synaesthetic experiences may be called upon through cinematic techniques—cuts and edits, use of sounds, mise-en-scène, camera movements. An openness in spectators towards accepting a sensuous cinema—one which uses the senses in our response to cinema, opens up one's cinematic experience to multiple possibilities of investigation—one that ables the already dis-abled viewer, inviting a plurality of interpretations and understandings within any film and cinema as an extension of disability discourses. Perhaps then, proposing another way of regarding disability.

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About the Presenter

Jiaying Sim
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Sim Jiaying is a graduate student, pursuing a Master of Arts degree in English at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She specializes in film studies. In 2011, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature with Second Class Honours(Upper Division) from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She is currently working on her Master’s thesis, focusing the senses in cinema.