Childhood and Cinema (Reaktion Books - Locations) by Vicky Lebeau

By Vicky Lebeau

From Lolita to The 6th feel, the determine of the kid in cinematic works has been a contested web site of symbolism and controversy. early life and Cinema examines how the kid in movie has eventually been used to embrace the anxieties and aspirations of contemporary life. Vicky Lebeau investigates how motion pictures use kids to probe such subject matters as sexuality, demise, mind's eye, the terrors of early life, and wish. The booklet levels over the full background of Western cinema, from the Lumi?re brothers’ 1895 Feeding the newborn to Walt Disney’s animation classics to Truffaut’s L’enfant sauvage and up to date works similar to taking pictures the Friedmans and youngsters. The determine of the kid in movie, Lebeau argues, is essentially ambivalent—always soaring at the aspect among desire and depression, vulnerability and violence, or excitement and trauma—and it eventually bargains a distinct mind set concerning the importance of cinema itself. By turns attractive, thought-provoking, and informative, adolescence and the Cinema demanding situations us to reassess the kid determine as a conduit for severe mirrored image on what it potential to be human. (20080729)

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The ‘hit’, I think, comes through that moment of sudden transition from playing to quarrelling, from pleasure to grief, from smiles to tears. ’25 If there is, as historians of Victorian cinema have pointed out, a common, but mistaken, impression, that, loading 50 feet of film into a camera, early filmmakers simply shot until the film ran out, that impression remains, nonetheless, fundamental to the phenomenology of film, its promise to deliver raw reality. Premiers pas de bébé, for example, looks like a spontaneous record of a young child’s faltering steps as, sheltered by her nursemaid, she walks from background to foreground of the image towards her doll, lying at the front edge of the frame.

Cinema, it seems, has touched Ana’s mind; its preoccupation of her imaginary life has driven her towards hallucination – or, more precisely, towards refracting the traumas, the enigmas, of the world (the death of the soldier, the loss of her self in the woods) through a protective image borrowed from the screen. The image, in this instance, is of a Monster, brought to life by the child’s capacity to project that image into the world – be it the world of her village or her 55 Another form of enraptured looking?

In the sequence concluded by this shot, we have seen the ‘man with whom he had always been’ struggle to lay Hauser on the ground, to mould his body in place: legs straightened, arms rigid by his sides, face turned down and away from both the man and the landscape, which is about to occupy the film’s field of vision. 3 A static camera dwells on – draws us into dwelling on, dwelling in – an image in which the ‘man with whom he had always been’ sits immobile with his back towards Hauser, who, with one side of his face pressed to the earth, lies prone in the foreground of the shot, eyes open but apparently unseeing.

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