When was the last time you experienced entertainment-induced chills? Here’s why I’m asking: I just watched the Flashdance: Special Collector’s Edition DVD, out Sept. 18, and when the chorus to “What a Feelin'” kicked in during Alex’s audition, I got one.
Now I’ve spent a good hour Googling to find out what physically happened in my body at that moment. (I experience this frequently, so I’m curious.) I didn’t find any explanation that made sense. I just don’t get how this could be related to the “Fight or Flight response” when I would never want to fight or flee such awesomeness. (If you know the answer, do tell.) But I did stumble onto this 2006 article, which says there’s an institute in Germany studying why we get chills from music. “Our results suggest that chills depend very much on our ability to interpret the music,” said Oliver Grewe, a biologist and musicologist at the Institute for Music Physiology and Musicians’ Medicine in Hanover. “Music is a recreative activity. Even if it is relaxing to listen to, the listener has to recreate its meaning, the feelings it expresses. It is the listener who gives life to the emotions in music.”
That makes sense: When the “What a Feelin'” chorus kicks in, I know that means Alex (Jennifer Beals) will make it through the audition — and that in a moment or two, she’ll run into the street with an euphoric feeling of accomplishment that I’m envious of. Annie Barrett and I were just IM’ing about another film, Girls Just Want to Have Fun (because that’s what we do), and she admitted she gets chills at the “Look at me now, I can fly-eeeee!” part of the “rehearsal” montage in the middle of the film. Why? “Because I know what’s coming at the end of the movie — that same lift, but this time with so much at stake!”
Let’s start or our own study: What moments in movies, TV shows or songs have given you chills, and why?
addCredit(“Image Credit: Flashdance: Everett Collection”)