Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.625963
Title: Filming the filmmaker : archival and embodied strategies in autobiographical films
Author: Wagner, J. R.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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Abstract:
This thesis analyses autobiographical practices in recent films and addresses significant gaps in existing theory. I argue that the study of autobiographical films requires a new approach that must bring together diverse areas of film theory including theories of documentary, embodiment and haptics, as well as giving due attention to the use of voice. I assess the viability of the category of autobiographical film, and I demonstrate through close analysis how certain films promote complex subjectivities and effect highly emotional spectatorial engagement. I concentrate on two interrelated tendencies in autobiographical practice: the use of archival footage and the self-filming of the filmmaker. In the films I have selected for examination, all of which engage with a moment of personal crisis, the filmmaker is a dominant presence visually on screen or vocally on the soundtrack, or both. I develop a methodology based on Laura U. Marks’s (2000a) observations of archival and embodied strategies in documentary films. I extend her distinction to look also at non-documentary films, demonstrating how autobiography cuts across some of the conventional distinctions between different kinds of filmmaking. Part I focuses on archival strategies, analysing the ways in which various forms of archive can function within autobiographical films. Part II concentrates on embodied strategies, considering the performative body, illness and ageing. I argue that by considering autobiographical films in terms of archival and embodied strategies, we can better understand notions of autobiographical subjectivity, the category of autobiographical films, and the spectatorial engagement that they effect.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.625963  DOI: Not available
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