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Title: Complicating articulation in narrative film : tracing the relationship between inarticulate form and character
Author: Morrison, Benedict
ISNI:       0000 0004 6498 4408
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis explores the relationship between film form and character expression, both of which are seen as articulated structures, that is utterances in which separable parts operate cooperatively to create meaning. The specific films examined present characters who struggle to express themselves. These inexpressive characters are combined in each case with a disrupted form which displays its own many-jointed structure. The thesis argues that the dynamic relationship between inarticulacies of character, narrative, and form generates an indeterminate dialectic. The unresolved relationship between parts and whole (reminiscent of a complex mosaic structure) complicates the process of reading for univocal meaning. The operation of this dual inarticulacy is discussed in Chapter One. Each subsequent chapter is devoted to a single film and a particular example of formal disjuncture: contrapuntal narrative levels, clashing styles, discontinuous editing, bricolage, the dislocation of genre signifiers from conventional meanings, and intermedia. The films discussed at length in connection with these theories are: 'Journal d'un curé de campagne' (1951); 'Germania anno zero' (1948); 'Belle de Jour' (1967); 'Distant Voices, Still Lives' (1988) and 'The Long Day Closes' (1992); 'Meek's Cutoff' (2010); 'The Pillow Book' (1996).
Supervisor: Klevan, Andrew Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Characters and characteristics in motion pictures ; Expression (Philosophy) ; Meaning (Philosophy) ; Narration (Rhetoric) ; Motion pictures--History--20th century