The Multisensory Film Experience (Book)

A Cognitive Model of Experiental Film Aesthetics

When the lights dim in a movie theatre and the projector begins to click and whir, the light and sounds of the motion picture become the gateway to a multisensory experience. Moving beyond the oft-discussed perceptual elements of vision and hearing, The Multisensory Film Experience analyses temperature, pain and balance in order to argue that it is the experience of film that's inherently multisensory, not the medium. Luis Rocha Antunes here explores the work of well-loved filmmakers Erik Jensen, Gus Van Sant and Ki-Duk Kim to offer new insights into how viewers experience films and understand their stories. This is an original contribution to an emerging field of research and will become essential reading for film scholars.


Luis Rocha Antunes received the 2017 Graduate Research Award from the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Kent. Luis has a Ph.D. in film studies for the University of Kent and a Ph.D. in aesthetics for the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. His work explores fundamental questions related to film's philosophy of perception.He is also the author of The Multisensory Film Experience. 

Foreword by Michael Grabowski


Chapter 1: The Multisensory Film Experience, Experiential Film Aesthetics, Cinema and the Senses

Chapter 2: The Vestibular in Film: Orientation and Balance in Gus Van Sant’s Cinema of Walking

Chapter 3: Nociception in Film: A Cinematic Account of Ki-Duk Kim’s Aesthetics of Pain

Chapter 4: Thermoception in Film: Knut Erik Jensen’s Experiential Aesthetics of Cold

Chapter 5: Conclusion 



'The Multisensory Film Experience is so insightful and interesting—an academic page-turner.' 

Grimes B

'I think Antunes’ book is worth reading if you’d like to understand the psychological and biological processes behind the multisensory film experience. Antunes cognitive model can be overwhelming, but it is an eye-opener, or perhaps rather a reminder of what cinema is about, namely experience.'

Mai N

'Antunes’ book is a valuable contribution to our understanding of the role of the senses in the film experience, one that commendably explains the actual mechanisms that contribute to our engagement with the characters and worlds the medium offers.'

J Horton, The Senses and Society
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