Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Fauns, ghosts and vampires : the politics of fantasy and horror in Mexican and Spanish cinema
Author: Ibarra , Enrique Ajuria
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This thesis explores contemporary fantasy horror films from Mexico and Spain in relation to the politics of historicity, trauma and national identity. Mexican director Guillermo del Toro's international success offers a renovated approach to this genre. A critical evaluation of his films reveals an interest in employing supernatural creatures and events to address cultural and historical issues, such as the impact of globalisation in Mex~co or the effects of the Civil War in Spain. Whether a vampire, a ghost or a faun, the presence of monsters in del Toro's films does not aim to present a fiction that escapes from reality, but rather to assess critically the ideological and discursive frameworks that constitute such reality in both countries. My research considers the psychoanalytical definition of fantasy to be ideal for this analysis. As a setting of desire, fantasy possesses a clear narrative structure that determines subjectivity. The projection of desire can be established in film terms, where the presence of the supernatural reinforces fantasy's ambivalent feature. On the one hand, it reveals discursive inconsistencies that determine the subject and its reality, and exposes a void of horror and lack of signification. On the other hand, fantasy re-structures national and historical significations around a desire for trauma. By analysing del Toro's Mexican and Spanish productions and a selection of more recent films, this thesis establishes how the psychical structure of fantasy determines a propelling narrative of desire in the fantasy film genre. The incorporation of Gothic and horror elements in these films also provides evidence of the uncanniness of the discourse of identity. The function of fantasy, then, ideologically sutures the constitution of an historical traumatic past by means of the supernatural and the monstrous, which work as mediating devices for the discourse of national identity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available