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Title: Mental images in cinema : flashback, imagined voices, fantasy, dream, hallucination and madness in film
Author: Luchoomun, Lawrence
ISNI:       0000 0004 2738 7137
Awarding Body: University of Roehampton
Current Institution: University of Roehampton
Date of Award: 2012
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In this thesis we consider cinema’s representations of mental images. Our central concerns are the formal aspects of the presentation of memory and imagination, and the various functions which the different types of mental images perform. While along the way we engage with a number of expedient theories, on the whole the argument is free of any over-arching theoretical approach, instead focusing largely on the evidence of the wide range of films — from different eras, genres and national cinemas — with which we engage. We begin with a consideration of filmic representations of memory, tackling such questions as: What exactly is a flashback? What different functions do flashbacks perform? What is the relationship between flashback and the mental images of memory? Identifying an inadequacy in current terminology, we here introduce the concept of ‘act of memory’ in order to distinguish between representations of the past which constitute an analogue of the mental images of memory and more properly subjective representations of mental images. In Part II we develop a taxonomy of the major forms of imagination. Here our discussion of imagination draws on cognitive and phenomenological theories of imagination, and the chapter on dreams draws substantially on Freud. In our consideration of the functions of the various sorts of mental images we establish a series of character types who are prone to experiencing mental images. Throughout Part II we argue that representations of mental images are often closely related to themes of madness — that many representations of mental images can be understood as traces of madness.
Supervisor: Chanan, Michael ; Witt, Michael ; Sutton, Paul Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: cinema ; movies ; mental images ; memory ; imagination ; madness