The Circular Camera Movement: Style, Narration, and Embodiment

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It has been an accepted precept in film theory that specific stylistic features do not express specific content. Nevertheless, it is possible to find many examples in the history of film in which stylistic features do express specific content: for instance, the circular camera movement is used repeatedly to convey the feeling of a man and a woman falling in love. This raises the question of why producers and directors choose certain stylistic features to narrate certain categories of content. Through the analysis of several short film and TV clips, this article explores whether or not there are perceptual aspects related to specific stylistic features that enable them to be used for delimited narrational purposes. The article further attempts to reopen this particular stylistic debate by exploring the embodied aspects of visual perception in relation to specific stylistic features such as the circular camera movement.