Seeing Yourself in the Past

The Role of Situational (Dis)continuity and Conceptual Metaphor in the Understanding of Complex Cases of Character Perception

in Projections
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Abstract

This article examines the role of situational (dis)continuity and conceptual metaphor in the cinematic construal of complex cases of character perception. It claims that filmed events of the script “a character S seeing something O” can impede the continuity of real-life perception by eliciting discontinuity along two situational dimensions—the temporal dimension (i.e., one cannot directly see events in the past or the future), and the entity dimension (i.e., one cannot see oneself in the act of looking). The article concludes with a case study of Christopher Smith’s Triangle (2009) as an example of contemporary complex narrative cinema.

Contributor Notes

Maarten Coëgnarts holds a PhD in Film Studies and Visual Culture and an MA in Sociology (University of Antwerp, Belgium). Since 2010 he has been doing research, in collaboration with Peter Kravanja, on the interplay between conceptual metaphors, image schemas and cinema. The results have been published in Image [&] Narrative, Projections: The Journal for Movies and Mind, Cinéma & Cie, Metaphor and Symbol and Metaphor and the Social World. They have also edited the special issue Metaphor, Bodily Meaning, and Cinema of the journal Image [&] Narrative and the book Embodied Cognition and Cinema (Leuven University Press, 2015).

Miklós Kiss is assistant professor of Film Studies at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. His research and publications bridge narrative and cognitive film theories, as well as art-cinema and contemporary puzzle films. He is currently at work on two books about cognitive dissonance and contemporary complex cinema (with Steven Willemsen, under contract with Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming in 2016), and about audiovisual essaying as alternative to text-based scholarly work (with Thomas van den Berg).

Peter Kravanja is research fellow at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, Faculty of Arts, research unit Literature and Culture. Since 2010 he has been collaborating with Maarten Coëgnarts to investigate the interplay between conceptual metaphors, image schemas, and cinema. The results have been published in Image [&] Narrative; Projections: The Journal for Movies and Mind; Cinéma & Cie; and Metaphor and the Social World. They have also edited the special issue on “Metaphor, Bodily Meaning, and Cinema” of the journal Image [&] Narrative and the book Embodied Cognition and Cinema (Leuven University Press, 2015).

Steven Willemsen is a PhD candidate in Film and Literary Studies, and a junior lecturer in Film Theory at the University of Groningen. His research focuses on understanding complex narrative experiences in cinema from a cognitivepsychological perspective. He is currently writing a book with Miklós Kiss on “Impossible Puzzle Films,” which addresses cognitively dissonant storytelling in contemporary cinema (Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming in 2016).

Projections

The Journal for Movies and Mind

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