- Today, Icarus: On the persistence of André Bazin’s myth of total cinema
- Award date
- 3 July 2015
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
By means of an in-depth exegesis of André Bazin’s (1918-1958) film critical work, this study explains the significance of his notion of "myth" in relation to history, technology, and perspective, and examines several references to religious, scientific and poetic frameworks. Throughout his oeuvre, Bazin develops what he terms a "myth of total cinema" as a critical method that counters canonical film histories, which he crystallizes in the repeated comparison of cinema with a particular mythical figure, namely Icarus. From this perspective, Bazin’s understanding of myth offers an original reformulation of the historiography of cinema, via an affirmation of imagination as the driving force of its evolution. By analysing the endurance of the myth of Icarus in a variety of documentary, experimental, animation and feature length films, I will establish the persistence of Bazin’s myth of total cinema and ultimately argue for the validity of his critical notion of "integral realism" for film studies today.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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