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The Call: a cinematic encounter with nonhuman animal characters and their worlds

Czatkowska, Emilia (2022) The Call: a cinematic encounter with nonhuman animal characters and their worlds. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.96672) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:96672)

Language: English

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In this thesis I bring the nonhuman animal character into the discourse of Film Studies, from which they have by and large been excluded. Including the nonhuman animal character helps to expand film theoretical discussions that have normally been restricted to human characters. In order to address this omission, I introduce and conceptualise two notions: the nonhuman animal call and the cinematic call on behalf of the nonhuman animal.

The nonhuman animal call is an umbrella term for a variety of nonhuman animal expressions. Some of such expressions are based on five basic senses on which humans rely, but the nonhuman animal call also includes senses not present in humans. The division of calls is non-hierarchical. The aim of introducing the nonhuman animal call is to emphasise nonhuman animal performance and expression as intentional, meaningful, and important for the film in which the nonhuman animal appears, and thereby opening up new interpretative possibilities which take the nonhuman animal perspective into consideration.

The cinematic call on behalf of the nonhuman animal denotes film techniques, which, under certain conditions, can provide space for nonhuman animal calls to manifest themselves in the film, or help clarify nonhuman animal calls which the spectator might find unintelligible, or strengthen the nonhuman animal call's affective impact on the spectator. Cinematic calls on behalf of the nonhuman animal character are versatile, that is, they are not limited to a particular genre or tradition of filmmaking. Therefore, the reflection on the conditions which such film techniques must fulfil to be considered as cinematic calls invites a productive dialogue across genres and aesthetic traditions. As a result of such a reflection, this thesis offers some guidelines for film production and film analysis that are, on the one hand, more mindful of the nonhuman animal characters, and on the other hand, take into account diverse types of spectators, and the ways in which to appeal to them to invite a reflection on the nonhuman animal condition.

The nonhuman animal call and the cinematic call on behalf of the nonhuman animal character are, therefore, practical, didactic, and analytic tools that can be applied in order to render the Film Studies discourse as well as film production and reception more animal-oriented.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Bruun Vaage, Margrethe
Thesis advisor: Mills, Brett
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.96672
Uncontrolled keywords: Film Studies, Animal Studies, Film Music
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2022 08:10 UTC
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2022 09:20 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Czatkowska, Emilia.

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