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Le monde vu par un autre : L’identification et ses limites dans Premier Contact (Arrival, Denis Villeneuve, 2016)

Abstract : Arrival (Denis Villeneuve, 2016) explores the link between language and cognition, espousing the linguistic theory known as the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, according to which the language one speaks shapes one’s cognition and worldview. The film focuses on a linguist who, after learning how to speak the language of extra-terrestrial visitors who recently landed on Earth, finds out that she can think and feel like the aliens do—she thus undergoes a revolutionary transformation, as the alien language enables the protagonist to transcend humanity’s view of time, thus gaining the capacity to foresee the future. This article suggests that by staging such a perceptual and cognitive revolution, the film explores the possibility of cinematic identification: by identifying with the protagonist, can the viewers also experience a worldview that is so radically other? I posit that the film celebrates the ethical dimension of identification while encouraging viewers to reflect upon the limits of cinematic identification and, in the process, the limits of the human capacity to identify with an Other.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 12:25:30 PM
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Vincent Jaunas. Le monde vu par un autre : L’identification et ses limites dans Premier Contact (Arrival, Denis Villeneuve, 2016). Miranda : Revue pluridisciplinaire sur le monde anglophone. Multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal on the English-speaking world , Laboratoire CAS (Cultures anglo-saxonnes), 2021, Unheard Possibilities: Reappraising Classical Film Music Scoring and Analysis, https://doi.org/10.4000/miranda.37194. ⟨10.4000/miranda.37194⟩. ⟨hal-03412790⟩



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