Author Archives: nphjones

Victoria Grace Walden presents ‘Holocaust Animation: Textural Confrontations with a Difficult Past’

 

Holocaust animation

The Holocaust and animation may seem in tension with one another. The Holocaust was one of the most devastating events in Twentieth-Century European history, while animation is usually associated with childhood fun and fantasy. However, there are an increasing number of animations that confront the Holocaust. Surprisingly, very little has been written about these works. Considering the rhetoric about appropriate Holocaust representation, it seems peculiar that these animations have been mostly ignored by the academic community and yet the format has been adopted by several stakeholders in Holocaust commemoration and education such as the Anne Frank Trust, UK and Yad Vashem, Israel without debate (considering that the format seems so in tension with the subject matter).

There is more to films that confront the Holocaust than questions of appropriateness. The representational values that approaches concerned with this issue take as their foci, underplay the significance of medium specificity. In this presentation I will focus on the material specificity of animations that confront this difficult past. The Holocaust can be considered a difficult past in many ways: in relation to survivor trauma, familiar and affiliative postmemory and the integration of the Holocaust into national or ideological narratives. Adopting a phenomenological model, I claim that the presence of the animated body – its particular expression of intentionality – draws attention to specific issues related to these different scenarios. I will discuss a variety of animated works produced by a survivor, with survivors, contemporary younger generations and nations that might at first seem particularly distant from the Holocaust. In acknowledging the presence of the animated body, I argue that these Holocaust animations not only attempt to re-present this past in their diegeses, but also draw attention to specific difficulties related to confronting the Holocaust through their material engagements with this past.

5.15pm, Wednesday 16th December, Arts One G34, to be followed by Christmas drinks

ALL WELCOME

 

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Hollie Price presents ‘Disillusion and the Armchair: Furnishing the Living Room in Film Noir’

armchair1

Wednesday 21st October 2015, 5.15pm, Arts One G34

Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Campus

 

Please join us for the first session of PostProduction this academic year, in which Hollie Price will discuss her recent chapter published in Spaces of the Cinematic Home: Behind the Screen Door (Routledge 2015), followed by wine, snacks and socializing.

The paper explores the mise-en-scène of the living room in Hollywood film noir, in a period of transition from war to peace in the 1940s. Following the US declaration of war in 1941, icons of domestic comfort, including the hearth, the mantelpiece and the armchair, had inalterably shifted from their familial compositions and meanings. Fathers and husbands vacated their traditional positions in fireside armchairs to participate in the conflict, while women relinquished their roles catering for the family and arranging domestic furnishings in order to replace the male workforce. However, advertisements continued to feature living rooms, and particularly armchairs, as reassuringly recognizable symbols of comfortable dwelling and family stability. The home, these advertisements seemed to declare, could remain unchanged even in a changing world, and so could be readily reoccupied once the war was over. By the mid-1940s, Hollywood film noir highlighted the anxieties linked with the doomed domestic space for a generation of returning veterans and women workers, and its failure to live up to the promises of such wartime advertising. Focusing on Double Indemnity (Wilder, 1944) and The Big Sleep (Hawks, 1946), this paper analyzes living rooms in 1940s films noir as symbolic of disillusion with previously advertised domestic ideals.

Disillusion and the Armchair

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