Cinema and Choric Connection: Lost in Translation as Sensual Experience

Document Type


Publication Date



Communication | Film and Media Studies


The rise of the new information technologies, and corresponding proliferation of signs, images, and information, has contributed to a growing sense of alienation and dislocation. For many, the contemporary moment is an unending and disorienting sea of sensory-symbolic excesses. Lost in Translation is a film addressed to these anxieties. Engaging the film as a sensual experience, we argue that Lost in Translation equips viewers to confront the feelings of alienation and dislocation brought on by the sensory-symbolic excesses of (post)modernity by fostering a sense of choric connection. This sense, we demonstrate, is elicited primarily by the film's material (nonsymbolic, aesthetic) dimensions. Drawing on an analysis of the film's aesthetic elements, we conclude by reflecting on the implications for film studies, rhetorical studies, and everyday life.


Reprinted in: Ott, B. L. & Dickinson, G. (Eds.). (2012). The Routledge Reader in Rhetorical Criticism. New York: Routledge.