Cinematography « sans frontières ». International Cultural Metaphors and Commonplaces in Romanian Cinema Terminology

Author: Helga-Iuliana Bogdan Oprea, Melania Roibu (University of Bucharest, Romania)
Speaker: Helga-Iuliana Bogdan Oprea, Melania Roibu
Topic: Language in Real and Virtual Spaces
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL COMELA 2020 Colloquium Session

Colloquium Abstract

Our paper deals with a larger domain, namely, that of cultural and linguistic anthropology, following the cultural conceptualisations based on the relationship between language and cinematography in universal linguistics. These conceptualisations are transferred into numerous cultural metaphors, which derive from the most various fields of everyday life and set a unique target in the world of film, encompassing the glamour of the latter.

Among these cultural metaphors, we enumerate red carpet, top event, dress code, style, glamour, nominees, emotion, main stage, public recognition, international fame, box-office. Other cultural metaphors focus on different categories of awards achieved at different international film festivals from three major cultural spaces: U.S.A. (golden statue, Oscar), Western Europe – Cannes Festival (Palme d’Or), Venice Biennale (Golden Lion), Berlinale (Golden Bear) and Eastern Europe – TIFF (Transylvania Trophy). Moreover, other film awards such as Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director etc. have become commonplaces in the international awards list.

The purpose of the research is to show that universal cinema involves the same concepts when it denotes extra-linguistic realities specific to the world of film and to the organisation of film festivals. Therefore, universal cinema uses a great variety of cultural metaphors, with different origins and evolutions at the level of the concepts they illustrate. Furthermore, these cultural metaphors have been included in Romanian cinematic terminology. As a consequence, the result of our research is the grouping of cultural metaphors into metaphorical fields and subfields, according to the mechanism of analogy which generates them (rendering metaphors, metonymies, synecdoches).

The conclusion of our work is that, neither cultural boundaries, nor several marked linguistic differences are relevant in terms of cinematography. In fact, the discussion centres upon interferences and identities which, from a cultural perspective, are common to geographic spaces which are located at significant distances from one another. Those interferences and identities have settled in the collective unconscious as various forms of one and the same cinematic show.


Darian, A. (1985). Mirajul statuetei de aur. Oscar 55. Bucureşti: Meridiane.

Grainge, P. (2008). Brand Hollywood: Selling Entertainment in a Global Media Age. London, New York: Routledge.
Kövecses, Z. (2005). Metaphor: A Practical Introduction. New York: OUP.
Levy, E. (2003). All about Oscar: The History and Politics of the Academy Awards. New York: Continuum.
Passek, J.-L. (Ed.). (1995). Dictionnaire du cinema. 2 vol. Paris: Larousse.
Sharifian, F. (2011). Cultural Conceptualisations and Language: Theoretical Framework and Applications. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Keywords: anthropological linguistics, cultural metaphor, commonplaces, interferences and identities, universal cinematography, Romanian cinema terminology