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Title: Metacinematic gestures : an investigation of the productionist aspect of self-reflexive films
Author: Ciccognani, Matteo
ISNI:       0000 0004 7428 3787
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2018
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The thesis focuses on the dilemmas raised by self-reflexive filmmaking through the scrutiny of different metacinematic gestures. This thesis presents a definition of metacinematic gesture as a film segment which exhibits the mediality of cinema and opens up a discourse on its technical, linguistic and organisational implications. This definition and its attendant reflections are the result of a critical understanding of the notion of gesture for Giorgio Agamben and Walter Benjamin. Subsequently, I propose a grid of intelligibility of different categories for metacinematic gestures: Referential, Realist, Surrealist, Experimental, the Look into the Camera and Productionist. This classification contributes to fill the theoretical gaps within Film Studies literature about metacinema and narrows down the category that this research explores: the productionist. Productionist metafilms expand and reflect on the processual dimension of filmmaking to the extent that the frontstage of production might be said to coincide, or tend to coincide, with its own backstage. In fact, it is proposed that productionist metafilms serve to reveal and construct a self-reflexive form of directorial subjectivity through the acknowledgement of some specific strategic choices operated on the set. But, the emergence of these subjectivities is mostly influenced by the material conditions of production, the budget, the film crew, the environmental conditions or the limits set by the screenplay. So, the main contribution of this research is to provide a new theorisation of self-reflexivity in films with particular focus on the productionist aspect of metacinema. The last point is explored through the analysis of ten selected productionist metafilms, by highlighting how their unpredictable occurrences are surfaced by means of a multi-faceted exposure of cinematic mediality. These films produce scenarios and visual articulations which are revelatory of otherwise invisible aspects of the filmmaking process. Finally, this thesis presents its analytical results about filmmaking as endowed with a distinctive degree of linguistic and technical experimentation, but also with precious information of how cinema observes itself as a form of organised work.
Supervisor: Parker, Martin ; Rhodes, Carl Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available