Colloquium | Ivone Margulies

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 - 12:00pm


Ivone Margulies

Cinema’s Existential Arena: Torero (1956), Sophia, Her Own Story (1980) and the Celebrity Reenactment Film.

This talk examines two celebrity biopics: Sophia Loren, Her Own Story, where Loren plays herself and her mother, and Carlo Velo’s Torero (1956), a film that retraces Luis Procuna the Mexican matador, intercutting newsreel footage of the actual Procuna (as well as a host of other bullfighters) with reconstructed scenes of his awaited return to the arena. The obsession with mortality in the Mexican film as well as the uncanny casting of Sophia in a double role signal the anxious relation to finitude foregrounded in self-acted star biopics and dramatized in these films. These stars presences, each in its way temporally out of joint, are my entry to discuss the existential and ontological dimensions of reenactment. Loren’s disturbance of the biopic’s linearity and Torero’s imbalanced composite of newsreel and reenactment, of the biopic and the essay film, announce the interest of reenactment as an elastic form of representation with the capacity to problematize both cinema’s temporal strictures and forms of life representation.

Ivone Margulies is the author of Nothing Happens: Chantal Akerman’s Hiperrealist Everyday (recently translated into Portuguese) and the editor of Rites of Realism: Essays on Corporeal Cinema. She has published on André Bazin, Eric Rohmer, Jean Rouch as well as on questions of realism and theatricality. She is working in her next book The Real/Actor: Reenactment in post-war Cinema . Margulies teaches film studies at the Film and Media Department in Hunter College, and at the Graduate Center in the Theatre Ph.D and in the Film Studies Certificate Program.

Cinema Studies Program
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