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    #1

    Pneumatic conventions

    Hello,

    What does "pneumatic conventions" mean here?

    "Had Kechiche limited himself to quick scenes featuring the long-familiar pneumatic conventions of writhing and sighing, there would be little embarrassment and little debate. But, rather, he gave the sex scenes between Adèle (Exarchopoulos) and Emma (Seydoux) a roiling power and an emotional weight that are central to the story."

    Conventions related to air or light conventions as in of little importance?

    Thank you.

  1. SlickVic9000's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Pneumatic conventions

    (Not a Teacher)

    Honestly, I'm not sure. There are three definitions of "pneumatic", two of which I have never seen before. The first, with which I am familiar, relates to compressed gas or air and anything that uses it to function. The second definition is "spiritual". The third definition is used to describe women with an attractive figure.

    If I had to guess, I'd place my vote for the third meaning.
    Last edited by SlickVic9000; 05-Nov-2013 at 17:49.

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    #3

    Re: Pneumatic conventions

    In a more literal sense, the term 'pneumatic' perhaps refers to the sighing which involves the exhaling of air; in a figurative sense however, the writer is using this term to say that sex is just a mechanical process we've all seen before and so is not that interesting and therefore doesn't need to be depicted at length.

  2. SlickVic9000's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Pneumatic conventions

    Quote Originally Posted by Pangus View Post
    In a more literal sense, the term 'pneumatic' perhaps refers to the sighing which involves the exhaling of air; in a figurative sense however, the writer is using this term to say that sex is just a mechanical process we've all seen before and so is not that interesting and therefore doesn't need to be depicted at length.
    I'm such a philistine.

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Pneumatic conventions

    Quote Originally Posted by Pangus View Post
    ... however, the writer is using this term to say that sex is just a mechanical process we've all seen before and so is not that interesting and therefore doesn't need to be depicted at length.
    "But, rather, he gave the sex scenes between Adèle (Exarchopoulos) and Emma (Seydoux) a roiling power and an emotional weight that are central to the story."
    I don't think he is saying that at all.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Pneumatic conventions

    I read it to mean that the standard boring "in and out" type of sex scenes could be compared to something pneumatic - ie the idea of pistons mechanically going up and down. The kind of sex scenes written in Mills & Boon books, all "heaving bosoms" (and dull as ditchwater) etc could be described as "pneumatic conventions".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #7

    Re: Pneumatic conventions

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I read it to mean that the standard boring "in and out" type of sex scenes could be compared to something pneumatic - ie the idea of pistons mechanically going up and down. The kind of sex scenes written in Mills & Boon books, all "heaving bosoms" (and dull as ditchwater) etc could be described as "pneumatic conventions".
    That's what I thought. That it was a reference to pneumatic pistons.

    Now I see it could also refer to the cliched "heavy breathing" in such scenes.

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Pneumatic conventions

    Quote Originally Posted by Pangus View Post
    In a more literal sense, the term 'pneumatic' perhaps refers to the sighing which involves the exhaling of air; in a figurative sense however, the writer is using this term to say that sex is just a mechanical process we've all seen before and so is not that interesting and therefore doesn't need to be depicted at length.
    I think you're right with the first part. "pneumatic conventions of sighing and writhing" has to refer in some way to sighing and writhing. He might be saying that sex is often portrayed this way, but he's not saying that this is what sex is - quite the opposite, I'd suggest.

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