Filming the Senses

Filming the Senses 

Essential Questions:

. What are the senses that we use to interact with the world around us?
. How can a filmmaker re-create or reference these senses for an audience?

What are the human senses?
Touch (tactile)
Sight (visual)
Sound (auditory)
Taste (gustatory)
Smell (olfactory)
Movement (kinesthetic)
Emotional (humour, sadness, shock, fear, pleasure, empathy. sympathy,shame)

How do you think films can create sensory experiences for their audiences?

Are there any sensory experiences which cannot be recreated?

Literature, Film and the Senses
How do authors of literary works recreate sensory experiences for the readers? What devices do they use?

In groups, look at the opening passage from Perfume.

How does the text convey a sensory experience?

What are the Literary Devices used to create the sensory experience?

Watch the opening scene from the film Perfume.

1st Viewing:

list the senses that are appealed to

2nd Viewing:

 this time make notes on techniques the filmmakers have used to create a sensory experiences and what affect this has on you as a viewer.

What are filmic devices or techniques used by filmmakers? This guide will help you review:  film language


Some more sensory clips from Perfume for you to enjoy. 



How are the literary and filmic experiences different?

Does film, as a medium, lend itself to the more effective evocation of sensory imagery? How?

Smell– Is it the un-filmable sense? Read this article  do you agree or disagree?

SergeiEisenstein – Montage and the Senses

In The Film Sense Sergei Eisenstein, the Soviet filmmaker celebrated for work including Battleship Potemkin (1925) and Alexander Nevsky(1938), speaks to film’s potential to bring together otherwise disparate elements of human sensory (and emotional) experience in search of a representational synthesis which exceeds the sum of its parts.

“Representation A and representation B must be so selected from all the possible
features within the theme that is being developed, must be so sought for, that their juxtaposition – the juxtaposition of those very elements, and not of alternative ones – shall evoke in the perception and feelings of the spectator the most complete image of the theme itself (69).” Sergei Eisenstein


Watch the clip below. Use film language to describe how the shots work together to create the theme and the sensory experience as described by Eisenstein.

Dexter analysis document




Art and the Senses

What is the impact of the aesthetic experience? Is it different from the impact of literature and film?

Art, Film and the Senses presentation

Read this article about Colour in film to give you some more ideas of how to use it meaningfully in your own films.

Colour Theory for Cinematographers