Week 12: Additional Research

While I mainly focused on my dissertation this week, I was able to apply some of my research about the qualities of analogue film to our project. Although our group has decided to wait until we have had an opportunity to test the Arri SRII camera before committing to a format, my research has helped inform and develop our decision process. There are some arguments that analogue film is aesthetically distinct or superior, but my research also focused on the audience’s awareness of the filmmaking process and the presence of a physical object as important factors in their engagement with a work. I also discovered strong arguments that working with film can benefit students as its restrictions film promote discipline and a more decisive and intentional working practice.

In addition to my research around analogue film, I looked at some key sources regarding the representations of trauma and the female body in cinema, with particular attention to the horror genre. Kaplan and Wang investigate the challenges of representing trauma on screen, arguing that it can often become sanitised or lose impact through pressure to adhere to audiences’ expectations. Barbara Creed argues that the female body is often objectified in horror cinema, whether as a victim or a monster.

With these sources in mind, it is clear that we must be very careful in our approach to Wee Wild Flowers, keeping the focus on Valerie as an active protagonist and avoiding trivialising her trauma through stereotypical horror tropes and Halloween imagery – though these may be important in other moments of the film which focus less on her traumatic experience of confronting her rapist.

I also watched some more films from Emma’s initial references, including The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Diary of a Teenage Girl. Although these films may have a less direct influence on our project, it was interesting to explore a range of styles and genre codes which we can choose to employ our subvert in our own project.

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