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  • REALISED RECORDINGS: HOW DOCUMENTARY STRUCTURES QUESTION

    THE COMMUNICATION, CONSTRUCTION AND MEMORY OF THE REAL OF PAST OCCURRENCES

    by

    ANDREW GERRARD LENNON

    A thesis submitted to the University of Birmingham for the degree of MASTERS BY RESEARCH

    Department of Drama and Theatre Studies School of English, Drama, American and Canadian Studies

    College of Arts and Law University of Birmingham

    October 2014

  • University of Birmingham Research Archive

    e-theses repository This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.

  • II

    ABSTRACT This thesis offers a comparison of documentary case studies to explore how moments from reality are recorded and how future representations of them can offer or instigate a parallax to create a new or different way of understanding the occurrence of such moments and how they have been remembered. I postulate that this shift in perspective offers an interaction with reality through a reconfiguration of the Real of these moments. The study will consider this assertion in relation to ieks and Baudrillards reflections on the Real as being an excessive moment unable to be assimilated (iek) and the veiled encapsulation of what lies beyond the Image-Event (Baudrillard). After exploring the use of images from reality, my thesis will go on to consider the processes of recollecting and communicating past occurrences (and people) to highlight the potential that documenting and revisiting past memories re-collecting them can actively impact and evolve the trajectory of personal histories. Utilising LaCapras notion of the working through traumatic memories enables my investigation to plot a course which considers the memory narratives of my case studies as subject to a, continual process of retranslation (Nicola King) and, as such, explores the subjectivity of the Real of occurrences.

  • III

    DEDICATION

    Dedicated to Emma and my family

    &

    For everyone who hides something, now and then

  • IV

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    This thesis would not be possible without the invaluable contribution of Dr Elizabeth Tomlin, for all her influential feedback and positive questioning. Thanks Liz. It has been actively shaped by various conference attendances, notably the IFTR conference in Warwick (2014), Sites of Memory conference in Plymouth (2014) and Seeds of Memory conference in Birmingham (2013). It is indebted to all my colleagues and friends from Trinity College, Dublin, particularly Professor Matthew Causey and Professor Brian Singleton as well as my time spent with friends at the Motley School of Stage Design.

  • V

    CONTENTS

    LIST OF FIGURES .............................................................................................................. VI

    INTRODUCTION.................................................................................................................... 1

    CHAPTER ONE: THE NAUDETS 9/11 .............................................................................. 9

    i. Representations & 9/11 ................................................................................................... 17

    ii. Recollection & 9/11 ........................................................................................................ 32

    iii. Perspectives & 9/11 ....................................................................................................... 50

    CHAPTER TWO: CLIO BARNARDS THE ARBOR ...................................................... 67

    i. Now and Then / Then and Now: Imploding Timelines in The Arbor ......................... 76

    ii. Sounds like Diegesis: Audio Dislocation in The Arbor ............................................... 93

    iii. History in the (Re-)Making: Aesthetics and Structure of The Arbor .................... 108

    CONCLUSION .................................................................................................................... 127

    BIBLIOGRAPHY ................................................................................................................ 131

  • VI

    LIST OF FIGURES

    Chapter One

    Figure 1: Tony watching the attacks ........................................................................................ 22 Figure 2: The first impact ........................................................................................................ 30 Figure 3: The collapse of the first tower in 9/11 ...................................................................... 40 Figure 4: Jules' camera lit image inside the wreckage ............................................................. 41 Figure 5: The presence and post-occurrence image of Father Judd......................................... 43 Figure 6: The first collapse in Oliver Stone's World Trade Centre ......................................... 44 Figure 7: Jules recalling his entrance into the lobby of the WTC ........................................... 54 Chapter Two

    Figure 8: David Dunbar ........................................................................................................... 71 Figure 9: Andreas Father ........................................................................................................ 72 Figure 10: First theatrical in-scene .......................................................................................... 82 Figure 11: Interaction of Theatrical and Lip-Synching Realms .............................................. 85 Figure 12: The archival presence of Andrea ............................................................................ 92 Figure 13: The description of Harris death ........................................................................... 104 Figure 14: The shift of focus and tone during Anne and Steves audio accounts ................. 105 Figure 15: The artefacts utilised by Barnard and Lorraine .................................................... 112 Figure 16: Dream / Apparition sequence of Lorraines happy memories ............................. 117 Figure 17: Lorraines performs her speech from A State Affair ............................................ 121 Figure 18: Lorraines family watch from the auditorium ...................................................... 122

  • 1

    INTRODUCTION

    The question of modality is not, Did what we see in this image really happen?, or Does what we see in this image really exist, but Is it represented as though it really

    happened or as though it really exists? (Van Leeuwen, 2001, p. 396, original emphasis)

    What is a Realised Recording? Surely through the process of capturing a moment visually or

    aurally, a recording has come into existence; it has become realised. It follows that through

    the action of recording and the resultant document, a realisation of the recording process

    occurs; there is created an artefact to be played and re-played. To that end all recordings are

    realised recordings in this semantic exploration of the term. I use the term to suggest an

    enrichment of the presentation of past occurrences that are examined in this thesis through

    two philosophical frameworks; namely, these are theories of the Real and those concerned

    with the questioning of memory. I utilise various methodologies within these fields to

    compare differing representations of processes of recording, recollecting (or re-collecting)

    and communicating past moments. This thesis explores the way documented reality can be

    re-presented for a viewer to offer a heightened connection to the first occurrence of these

    recorded or recollected moments; I call this heightening of presentation a reconfiguration of

    the Real.

    My objects of analysis are all based in reality; they take real events as their subject matter,

    either through their visual or aural communication. What will become clear through my

    discussion is that the concept of real events can be considered a contradiction in terms

    when considered in light of the theories I will examine. Suffice to say for now, read the

    words real events as would be done in a non-philosophically charged sense. The case

  • 2

    studies examined in this thesis are two documentary films; 9/11 (2001) by Jules and Gdon

    Naudet based on the September 11th attacks, and Clio Barnards verbatim documentary The

    Arbor (2010) based on the life of playwright Andrea Dunbar. Through elements of their

    structure and their juxtaposition of real-world accounts with recorded accounts, each example

    is purposefully displaced from creating a sense of a passive reality which envelops the

    viewer. Instead, each example depicts new perspectives of occurrences that conflict with

    assimilated and accepted notions of past occurrences. This active challenging of accepted

    notions of the past, their modus operandi, aids the creation of a re-configured Real.

    There are a number of common strands that I will trace through each case study to help

    clarify my argument; these include the capturing of moments and the presentation of