The 7th Sense
In a previous blog post I suggested that the Academy Awards should introduce new award categories to liven things up and keep things fresh.
I realized there’s an additional category that should definitely be included, but it’s a minor challenge to articulate just what it is in only a few words!
The award should be given to the film that most elicits an empathetic sense of dread or doom. This is something that most people would usually feel in their stomach (sometimes called “gut-wrenching”). But it can encompass more, and perhaps even reach an indescribable dimension of negative feeling or negative sensation.
In this prospective category, you’d expect a slasher-type horror film to win, and maybe it usually would, but not always. The most recent film that comes to mind, and one that really excelled in this category, is Beyond The Gates.
So why dread and doom instead of happiness or levity, and what does any of this have to do with 7 senses?
First, apparently we have 6 senses, not 5. According to wikipedia, our 6th sense is actually vestibular, and it governs our sense of physical balance (equilibrioception).
So, if we have a sense of physical balance, might we also have a sense of life balance, or rather, sense when there is impending risk to life or well-being? I would certainly keep as an open question the idea that our physical body can sense very acute situations that threaten life or well-being, in ways that don’t correlate directly to the 6 basic senses.
Then again, maybe it’s all just fear and certain thought patterns. Either way, the prospective category would be a winner. The ability to affect an audience this way is a triumphant selling point for cinema. One might even argue that there are few aspects greater than this! So when you stop and think about it, it’s kind of strange that there’s little in the way of recognition for those who do it skillfully.