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


Jonathan Rozenkrantz


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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  • Typ:
    Konferensbidrag (refereegranskat)
  • Konferens:
    Cluj Napoca, 23 24 October 2015
  • Publicerad:
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Om författaren

Jonathan Rozenkrantz

Jonathan Rozenkrantz is a PhD candidate at the Department of Media Studies. He holds a BA and an MA in Cinema Studies (Stockholm University). He has been a writer and editor for more than a decade, publishing extensively on film, visual arts, and ... Läs vidare