The Experience of “existence” with the cinematographic screen: the Identification Context

Hanna Chmil

Institute for Cultural Research of the National Academy of Arts of Ukraine, Kyiv.
ORCID 0000-0001-6569-1066


Keywords: identification, phenomenological perspective, touch aesthetics, tactility.

Abstract. The article provides a deep analysis of a vast range of human experiences by means of highlighting the mechanisms of identification and the ways of their conceptualization. The present study grounds on the assumption that contemporary screen theories regard screen experience as a broad concept rather than a bunch of processes of visual consumption. Consequently, a creative product is viewed as a means for enriching human experience through the interaction of two types of embodiment and subjectivity: a human and a screen one. Such experience is construed via games with material features of the environment. A game creates space that encourages convergence with the object and accounts for the identification with the film as an event rather than identification with characters that are in the centre of the plot development. 

Drawing on contemporary touch aesthetics, the authors of the article reveal tactile features of screen experience proving that tactility deals not only with skin or screen but permeates through all the parts of viewer’s body as well as the film body.

Author Biography.

Hanna Chmil, Director of the Institute for Cultural Research of the National Academy of Arts of Ukraine, Full Member of National Academy of Arts of Ukraine, Doctor of philosophical sciences, associate professor, Kyiv.


Baracco, A. (2017). Hermeneutics of the Film World: A Ricoeurian Method for Film Interpretation. Palgrave Macmillan.

Barker, J. M. (2009). The Tactile Eye: Touch and the Cinematic Experience. MPublishing, University of Michigan Library.

Beugnet, M. (2007). Cinema and Sensation: French Film and the Art of Transgression. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. DOI:

Buckland, W. (2000). The Cognitive Turn in Film Theory. In W. Buckland (Ed.), The Cognitive Semiotics of Film (pp. 1–25). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Carroll, N. (1988). Philosophical Problems of Classical Film Theory. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Carroll, N. (2008). Philosophy of Motion Pictures. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Gaut, B. (1999). Identification and Emotion in Narrative Film. In C. Plantinga, Smith, G. M. (Eds.), Passionate Views: Film, Cognition, and Emotion (pp. 200–216). DOI:

Husserl, E. (2009). Idei k chistoy fenomenologii i fenomenologicheskoy filosofii [Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie]. Kniga pervaya. Obshhee vvedenie v chistuyu fenomenologiyu [Book one. General introduction to pure phenomenology]. Translation from German by A. V. Mihaylova. Moscow: Akademicheskiy proekt. (In Russian)

Kracauer, S. (1997). Theory of Film: The Redemption of Physical Reality. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Lacan, J. (2009). «Ya» v teorii Freyda i v tehnike psihoanaliza [The Ego in Freud’s Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis]. (Seminar, Book II (1954/55)). Translation from French by A. Chernoglazova. Moscow: «Gnozis», «Logos». P. 508–516. (In Russian)

Metz, C. (1983). The Imaginary Signifier: Psychoanalysis and the Cinema! Trans. by C. Britton, A. Williams, B. Brewster, A. Guzzetti. London and Basingstoke: The Macmillan Press LTD. DOI:

Plantinga, C. (1999). The Scene of Empathy and the Human Face on Film. In C. Plantinga, G. M. Smith (Eds.), Passionate Views: Film, Cognition, and Emotion (pp. 239–255). Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press. DOI:

Shaw, S. (2008). Film Consciousness: From Phenomenology to Deleuze. Jefferson, North Carolina, and London: McFarland, Incorporated, Publishers.

Sobchack, V. (1992). The Address of the Eye: a Phenomenology of Film Experience. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Sobutskyi, M. (2003). Dosvid-mezha i dosvid za mezheiu [Experience-border and experience behind the border]. Kino-Teatr. № 1(45). P. 40–41. (In Ukrainian)

Thomson-Jones, K. (2008). Aesthetics and Film. Great Britain: MPG Books Ltd, Bodmin, Cornwall: Continuum.

PDF (English).

Published: November 23, 2021.

Vol 21 No 1 (2022).