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Title: The representation of money in film : gold, paper, metal and electronic
Author: Gabrysiak, Diane
ISNI:       0000 0004 2716 2165
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2006
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This dissertation is a study of the representation of money on screen, in its textual and contextual constructions. Money, itself a representation, has a complex status: it is both an abstract concept, a symbol of value, a social convention, and a concrete object in its embodiment as gold, metal or paper. This study then is that of a representation of a representation. Its starting point is the very paradox of money as both an object endowed with great value while at the same time not worth much more than the substance it is made of or the numbers referring to it in newer forms of electronic money. The paradox is particularly salient in a medium that works through images while at the same time requiring itself so much money. The distinction between the two Latin words moneta and pecunia offers an understanding of money in its main properties and functions, as an exchange tool in constant circulation and as an object of hoarding, as belongings. This distinction is operative in the present study and runs through the thesis, together with the Marxian concepts of use-value and exchange value. The objective is to analyse patterns, peculiarities and meanings linked to the portrayal of money. This thesis does not encompass a comprehensive survey of money represented in all of cinema. Instead, the study is conducted in four groupings of films that are not necessarily thought of in connection with their images of money. Four chapters examine films from different contexts, periods, genres or trends in the cinema of various countries. The groupings are suggested partly by issues outside of money and partly by periods and kinds of money, and focus on case studies while simultaneously referring to a larger corpus. The first chapter examines the issues raised by the topic and surveys the existing literature. The second chapter undertakes an analysis of gold and gold mining in the context of the pioneering West in US films. The third chapter considers paper money and its meanings in neo-realist films. The thesis then proceeds to study films from the 1970s and 1980s. The fourth chapter concerns money in French films on high finance, and the last chapter looks at money as it appears in horror films. The thesis ends with a discussion of the recurrent patterns at work in the representation of money.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN1993 Motion Pictures