Conference Paper

Re-negotiating the real: documentary animation and its indexical other(s)

Publication

Author
Jonathan Rozenkrantz

Conference
XVI. Film and Media Studies Conference in Transylvania. Cluj-Napoca, 23-24 October 2015

Abstract

While the "real" in the documentary film is irreducible to the indexical quality of its image, it has also been claimed that "one crucial parameter of persuasion in documentary could not occur were it not for the veridical stamp of documentary's indexical sign-status" (Renov 1993). The purpose of this paper is to investigate how a number of animated documentaries face up to this challenge, engaging in a re-negotiation of the documentary "real" by setting up intricate intermedial relations between animation and its indexical other(s).

The paper will argue that the insertion of photographic and videographic "verifiers" in films as historically disparate as The Sinking of the Lusitania (Winsor McCay, 1918) and Waltz with Bashir (Ari Folman, 2009) point towards the persistence of the indexical as a prerequisite for a film's documentary claim. Taking a closer look at two Swedish examples, Hidden (Gömd, Hanna Heilborn and David Aronowitsch, 2002) and Tussilago (Jonas Odell, 2010), the paper will nevertheless also show how intermedial imbrications of animated and non-animated images can disassociate the indexical image from its verifying function, while at the same time relocating the indexical itself from the image to the sound.

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Details

  • Type:
    Conference Paper (peer reviewed)
  • Conference:
    Cluj Napoca, 23 24 October 2015
  • Published:
    2015
  • Language:
    English

About the Author

Jonathan Rozenkrantz

Jonathan Rozenkrantz has a PhD in Cinema Studies. He has been a writer and editor for more than a decade, publishing extensively on film, visual arts, and media culture. He is currently teaching at the Department of Media Studies. He is also the m... Read more

Reference

Rozenkrantz, J. (2015). Re-negotiating the real: documentary animation and its indexical other(s). In: XVI. Film and Media Studies Conference in Transylvania. Cluj-Napoca, 23-24 October 2015.