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  • Off the Rails: Animating Train Journeys

Hosea, Birgitta, 2015, Book Section, Off the Rails: Animating Train Journeys In: Animated Landscapes: History, Form and Function. Bloomsbury, New York; London; New Delhi; Sydney, pp. 159-177. ISBN HB: 978-1-6289-2351-3

Abstract or Description:

In 2012 the average resident of the UK spent 361 hours travelling a total of 6,691 miles. 11 % of this travel was done by public transport. During their travels, the experience that these average residents had of landscape was of passing through places before arriving at their final destination. The mobility paradigm in urban geography and sociology proposes that cities and society can be studied in terms of travel rather than stasis – through the movement of peoples, resources, data, finance – in order to understand the formation of identity, ideology, power and society.
 
In accord with these ideas about mobility, rather than considering landscape as a static entity, this chapter focuses on animations that move between locations and are concerned with trajectory and locomotion. After noting the connections between early cinema and the train, it examines a body of works that are all thematically linked through their association with animated train journeys, although the individual pieces of work may take different forms – from the pre-filmic phantom rides, to Ivor the Engine, Thomas the Tank Engine, Madame Tutli~Putli, Polar Express, transport information films and post-filmic subway zoetropes and railway simulation games. To conclude, it argues that the animated railway journey can be read as a metaphor for the transience and flux at the root of contemporary society that Zygmunt Bauman has termed liquid modernity.

Subjects: Other > Social studies > L700 Human and Social Geography
Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art > W190 Fine Art not elsewhere classified
Creative Arts and Design > W600 Cinematics and Photography > W690 Cinematics and Photography not elsewhere classified
School or Centre: School of Communication
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2016 12:34
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2016 12:34
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/2506

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