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  • Memories made in seeing: memory in film and film as memory

Vallance, Andrew, 2017, Thesis, Memories made in seeing: memory in film and film as memory PhD thesis, Royal College of Art.

Abstract or Description:

Memories Made in Seeing considers the relationship between memory and film through examining what is its cultural and experiential effect, how it can show and write memory and
History. Four post-war films - Muriel, or the Time of a Return (Resnais, 1963), (nostalgia) (Frampton, 1971), Level Five (Marker, 1996) and Memento (Nolan, 2000) – that are complex manifestations of thought in practice, which trace and examine film’s ability to distinctly embody and produce
memory, and are part of a dialogue in form and time.
To contextualise and consider memory’s effect, it is charted from the advent of film (the nineteenth century’s ‘memory crisis’, the founding and understanding of modern memory, the related ideas of Proust, Bergson and Freud), through the twentieth century (the development of a more subjective reckoning, the seeming impossibility of memory (and understanding) that followed World War II’s trauma), till its millennial disposition (multi-various considerations, the inception of prosthetic memory, the seeming need for nostalgia). The case studies’ varied forms and alignments consider the tension between the demands of narrative resolution and the mutable and open-ended nature of memory, and how different film practices seek to utilize and
appraise its perceived function, relevance and production.
These films are also a record of viewing experiences, which influence one another and create a narrative of personal engagement that forms and substantiates recollection. To examine this conceptual process further I contend the tension between narrative (something fixed by duration
and intention) and memory’s imperatives (formal and personal) form an axis of experimentation and exploration and this correspondence is central to comprehending the ways in which films represent and invoke forms of subjective and cultural recollection. I propose that film’s unique
and associative account of memory’s evolving resonances becomes a series of palimpsests, which emphasize that the experience of film is an act of re-writing and recollection and misrecollection. This context tethers the subject, is the point of initiation, and explores how memories, which are made when seen, are mutable, historical and present, essential.

Qualification Name: PhD
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W600 Cinematics and Photography > W630 History of Cinematics and Photography
School or Centre: School of Communication
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2017 11:46
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2017 11:46
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/2848

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