Upside-Down Cinema. (Dis)simulation of the body in the film experience

Adriano D'Aloia

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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 (theoretical) 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 reorientation functional to the cognitive comprehension of the film. In the second (analytical) 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 rotational camera movement is a filmic “gestures” that (dis)simulates the human bodily movement.
Titolo tradotto del contributo[Autom. eng. transl.] Upside-Down Cinema. (Dis)simulation of the body in the film experience
Lingua originaleItalian
pagine (da-a)155-182
Numero di pagine28
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2012
Pubblicato esternamente


  • Embodied cognition
  • Film-body
  • Perceptual adaptation
  • Prägnanz
  • Retinal inversion
  • Upside-down vision


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