One theme that Elsaesse and Hagener missed the boat on was the “skin” of physical non-living objects in cinema, and the producers ability to create emotional attachment to these objects to the audience. The first non-living object that comes to mind is car, however this skin-audience attachment relates with many other things. In fact, as I put my mind to it, I can’t think of anything that completely and wholly does not have some sort of skin. It’s the interactions with these objects that creates meaning, not the physical skin itself.
If a car crashes, the first things that goes is it’s skin. Then liquids spew from its under happenings, before it is towed away. How is this much different from a human body? I could make this metaphor for just about anything, just like I can relate everything to having a skin.
How does the producer make this emotional attachment? In the movie Gone in Sixty Seconds, the audience ultimately develops an attachment to a 1967 Shelby GT500 . As the scenes progress, many other cars get trashed in which the audience has no attachment to, yet the GT500 is clearly invested.
Looking at a very similar situation, the new movie Django has multiple scenes where many non-emotionally attached people die in which the audience has very little emotional remorse, yet when people actually matter, the audience feels pain. Very similar to the GT500 situation.
Maybe this subject comes up later in their writings, but I feel the relationship of human emotions, and “skin” in cinema is far deeper than one that only applies to living organisms.