Para uma Teoria do Cliché



Cliché, Cinema, Gestalt, Semiotics, Stylistics


We call cliché an image whose shape is repeated and therefore becomes recognizable. Films live upon clichés and create clichés — simple images that are easily retained. Clichés are essential forms of perception and cognition, like gestalt. The cliché is a mixture of an image, an idea and an emotion.
The aim of this essay is to research and define what is a cliché and also to demonstrate its importance inside the process of film semiotics. Could we say that a cliché is a visual sign? This theory presents the hypothesis that — for cognition reasons — cliché is the embryo of a cultural sign, which could be developed inside a semiotic theory of film.

Author Biography

Leonor Areal, CIC.Digital NOVA FCSH

Leonor Areal was awarded a PhD in Communication Sciences, specializing in Film, in 2009 by the New University of Lisbon, with a thesis entitled Um País Imaginado: Ficções do Real no Cinema Português, already published by Edições 70. She has directed various documentaries, including Fora da Lei (2006), prizewinner at doclisboa. She teaches at the School of Fine Art and Design of the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria. At the moment, she is developing a post-doctoral research project on censorship in Portuguese cinema at CIC.Digital NOVA FCSH.



How to Cite

Areal, L. (2011). Para uma Teoria do Cliché. Cinema: Journal of Philosophy and the Moving Image, (2), 141–164. Retrieved from