Recreation and Representation: The Middle Ages on Film (1950-2006)

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Recreation and Representation: The Middle Ages on Film (1950-2006)

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dc.contributor.author Elliott, Andrew Brian Ross en_GB
dc.date.accessioned 2009-12-22T18:01:56Z en_GB
dc.date.accessioned 2011-01-25T16:54:32Z en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2013-03-21T10:46:57Z
dc.date.issued 2009-07-21 en_GB
dc.description.abstract In evaluating the Middle Ages on film, this thesis combines two different critical approaches, drawn from historiography on one side and semiotics on the other. In the first chapter, I argue that historiographic criticism has largely undermined our belief in a monolithic, objective History, and that modern historical enquiry contains a tacit admission of its own subjectivity. In Chapter Two, I use these admissions to argue the case for history on film, demonstrating that in terms of the construction of history, the processes of filmmaking closely resemble those of ‘doing’ history, and that criticisms of historical films are often the same criticisms which Historians raise in respect of their own works of ‘pure history’. In the remaining chapters (3-6), I look at specific examples of types of historical character, drawn from the medieval separation of society into “those who work, those who fight and those who pray”, as well as “those who rule”. In each case, I adopt a similar methodological approach, conducting close cinematographic analysis on a range of film extracts in order to see how filmmakers have tried to construct the past visually in their representation of historical characters. Here my arguments move away from historical criticism to focus instead on aesthetics and cinematography. The overall theory is that there exist two fundamental approaches to the medieval past in film: the first iconic and syntagmatic, the second paradigmatic. Iconic approaches, I argue, work to try to recreate the lost medieval referent by using aesthetic ‘signifiers’ in order to communicate their significance to a medieval audience. The paradigm, on the other hand, works in the opposite way; in order to explain a medieval object, the filmmaker casts about for modern equivalents to use as metaphors. Where the icon recreates the object to communicate the concept, the paradigm communicates the object by re-presenting the concept. en_GB
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10036/88498 en_GB
dc.language.iso en en_GB
dc.publisher University of Exeter en_GB
dc.rights.embargoreason Thesis forms basis for a monograph to be published with McFarland, 2010. en_GB
dc.subject Middle Ages en_GB
dc.subject Film en_GB
dc.subject Semiotics en_GB
dc.subject Medieval en_GB
dc.subject Historiography en_GB
dc.subject Historicon en_GB
dc.subject Icon en_GB
dc.subject Paradigm en_GB
dc.title Recreation and Representation: The Middle Ages on Film (1950-2006) en_GB
dc.type Thesis or dissertation en_GB
dc.date.available 2011-04-05T09:45:36Z en_US
dc.date.available 2013-03-21T10:46:57Z
dc.contributor.advisor Canaparo, Claudio en_GB
dc.contributor.advisor Cayley, Emma en_GB
dc.publisher.department School of Arts, Languages and Literatures en_GB
dc.type.degreetitle PhD in Modern Languages en_GB
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en_GB
dc.type.qualificationname PhD en_GB


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