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March 2009, Week 2


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Michelle Langford <[log in to unmask]>
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 9 Mar 2009 16:34:46 +1100
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Hi all thanks  so far for the wonderful suggestions:

Below is a list of a few films that I consider to be allegorical.

Note, however, many of these cannot simply be reduced to a statement of X
film is an allegory of Y. Many of them I consider to be allegorical on the
level of style and structure. Many are films  that (for me) strongly evoke
aspects of Walter Benjaminıs theory of allegory, which he discusses in his
book ­Origin of the German Trauerspiel. Additionally, it is crucial to point
out that these films generally sit within what Benjamin termed ³modern
allegory² (which he argues emerged in the 17th century ‹ Benjamin analyses
the works of the Spanish playwrights eg. Calderon and bitterly opposes his
Œnewı theory of allegory to the German Romantic movementıs (eg.
Schopenhauer) take on allegory). ³Modern allegory² must also be
differentiated from the kinds of Œdidacticı allegorical works prior to the
17th century and tends to take on a subversive potential.

That said, however, the course I am writing will look at numerous approaches
to allegory, including taking up the contentious statements by Paul de Mann
(³all interpretation is allegorical) and Fredrick Jamieson ³All third world
literature is allegorical).

(this is a selected list of the kinds of films I already have on my list)

Cria Cuervos (Carlos Saura)
The Day I Became a Woman (Marziyeh Meshkini)
Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame (Buda as sharm foru rikht, Iran, Hanah
Makhmalbaf, 2007) 
(In fact most of Mohsen Makhmalbafıs work is relevant here as is that of
Bahram Beizai and Majid Majidi)
 Panıs Labyrinth (El Laberinto del fauno, Spain/Mexico, Guillermo del Toro,
 Raise Ravens (Cria Cuervos, Spain, Carlos Saura, 1976)
Land in Anguish or Antonio das Mortes)
Ararat (Canada/France, Atom Egoyan, 2002)
The Female Patriot (Die Patriotin, Germany, Alexander Kluge, 1979)
The Proposition (Australia, John Hillcoat, 2005)
Silences of the Palaces (Samt el qusur, Tunisia, Moufida Tlatli, 1994)
Viridiana (Mexico/Spain, Luis Buñuel, 1961)


Dr Michelle Langford
School of English, Media and Performing Arts
The University of New South Wales
Sydney 2052 Australia
Room: Webster 311O
Phone: + 61 2 9385 4489
Fax: + 61 2 9385 6812



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