Re-enactment in Cinema

Graduate Courses

CINE 501 - Re-enactment in Cinema

ARTH 590 | COML 599 | ENGL 569
402 |Margulies, Ivone |M 12-3pm |FBH 16

Re-enactment, a common strategy for reconstructing past events in cinema, has, in the last four decades gained a new critical currency as a way to articulate history and the embodied self. We will consider the ritual, psychological and evidentiary connotations of reenactment in cinema and in related practices (commemorative pageants, mass theatrical spectacles, battle reenactments; psychoanalysis and tribunals) as well as its currency in contemporary art. The course explores the impetus for self-revision in cinema’s appropriations of pedagogic, clinical and legal models (such as talking cures, psychodrama, public testimony and truth and reconciliation commissions) to deal with the past asking when and how it matters in the film that the person herself act her story; what part reenactment plays in memorial and testimonial practices; what is the interface between theatrical and therapeutic repetition and how verbal recall differs from mimetic replay. We discuss a number of classic and contemporary reenactment films, It’s All True (Welles); Attempted suicides (Antonioni); Chronicle of a Summer,(Morin and Rouch); Shoah (Lanzmann); Close up (Kiarostami), S21 the Khmer Rouge Killing Machine (Rithy Panh) and Andrea Tonnaci’s Serras da Desordem (Hills of Chaos, 2007) featuring the original protagonists on camera. We also discuss the role of reenactment in social documentaries, historical and biographical films.


last updated 06/17/2014 - 2:13pm

Cinema Studies Program
209A Fisher-Bennett Hall ⋅ 3340 Walnut Street ⋅ Philadelphia, PA 19104 ⋅ (215) 898-8782