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Title: 'The earth is on the move' : modern mobilities and the travelling cinema of René Clair, Fritz Lang and Alfred Hitchcock
Author: Dooley , Benedict
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2013
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This project is concerned with the European careers and early Hollywood films of Rene Clair, Fritz Lang and Alfred Hitchcock and deals with the period from 1919 to the early 1940s, arguing that these three directors were engaged with an examination of modern life, which is best considered under a paradigm of ' mobilities'. Their presentation of modernity makes particular use of tourist imagery or 'film tourism', expressed through movement within the shot, editing and camera mobility. Their films draw attention to the flaws of an apparently 'mobile' capitalist world through a complex aesthetic, setting cinematic movement against cinematic stillness, in a dialectical manner, in order to challenge social immobilities. This offers the potential for critical reflection and questions how far the current formation of modem mobilities can be considered a 'natural' or ' ideal' form of social reality. Challenges to the dominant view appear in the directors' work, drawing on ' alternative' cinematic styles such as 'documentary' and 'mi cinema' to counter the industrialized nature of commercial cinema. This appear::> particularly through a challenging of conventional forms within cinema, which are seen to often provide a limited vision of modern life. A key dialectic that occurs throughout these directors' work is one between the national and the transnational, which primarily appears through the consideration of national cinemas within Europe and the global dominance of Hollywood cinema. The central dialectic in each of these directors' films, however, is one between individualism and collectivism. This dialectic can be considered a result of each of these directors' engagement with the ways in which capitalism constructs flawed forms of 'subjectivity' and ' objectivity' within cinema, as well as within modernity as a whole. Each of these directors this provides a vision that draws attention to the problems within the mobilities of modern life.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available