skip to content


Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Vertigo Effects: Film, Flight, and Simulation Sickness


Vertigo Effects: Film, Flight, and Simulation Sickness

Dr Patrick Ellis
Georgia Institute of Technology

4pm, Wednesday 8th May 2019
McCrum Lecture Theatre, Corpus Christi College

One of the first media pathologies associated with cinema was “camera sickness,” a vestibular malady that shared symptoms with other newly identified motion sicknesses. Dizziness, nausea, perspiration: many early film viewers simply dismissed the medium due to these unintended effects, which were associated with a sensory mismatch that cinema, with its immersive mobility, imposed upon the stationary viewer. Camera sickness was especially tied to aerial films.

Drawing from classical film theory and medical literature, this talk will discuss initial public encounters with films that provoked motion sickness, before pivoting to later experiments that used cinema as a potential cure for the same. The paradoxical premise: that the vertigo effects of this media pathology could double as filmic cure.

This event is supported by The Philomathia Foundation