What is it about?

Mueller and Kappelhoff claim that currently available models feeding into a full-blown theory of metaphor in film are for various reasons inadequate, and present their own model as a good alternative. Specifically, they criticize (1) Lakoff & Johnson's Conceptual Metaphor Theory; (2) Cognitivist film scholarship; (3) Forceville's approach to metaphor in film. I consider their criticisms seriously misguided, and argue in this review paper why I think so. Although I see some strengths in their model, I am not convinced it works well.

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Why is it important?

The greatest challenge in metaphor scholarship these days is developing (better) models for identifying and interpreting in media and discourse genres that are not, or not exclusively, verbal in nature; that is for identifying and interpreting visual and multimodal metaphors.


As one of the first scholars to explore and map visual and multimodal metaphors, I have devoted much thought and many words to the crucial issue of metaphor identification outside of language -- and I like to think my proposals are hitherto, relatively speaking, the most promising ones. This is one of several papers in which I critically evaluate a competing model.

Dr Charles Forceville
Universiteit van Amsterdam

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This page is a summary of: Review Article: Multimodality, film, and cinematic metaphor: an evaluation of Müller and Kappelhoff (2018), Punctum International Journal of Semiotics, December 2018, Hellenic Semiotic Society, DOI: 10.18680/hss.2018.0021.
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