The visual and multimodal representation of time in film, or : How time is metaphorically shaped in space
Faculty of Social Sciences. Communication Sciences
Image and narrative online magazine of the visual narrative
, p. 85-100
University of Antwerp
In conceptual metaphor theory it has been noticed that our reasoning about time is often couched in terms of space. To validate this claim, studies rely almost solely on verbal metaphors such as The future lies ahead of us or Time flies by. If, however, the conceptual metaphor time is space governs our thinking about time, as claimed by these scholars, then it is only likely to assume that the conceptual metaphor expresses itself through non-verbal discourses as well. Studies dealing with non-verbal and multimodal manifestations of the time is space metaphor are, however, rather scarce. The present article seeks to address this issue. Using visual and multimodal examples from various films we demonstrate that the use of spatial time metaphors is not only apparent in language, but in non-verbal modes of communication as well.