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Return to Isla Blanca: Embodied thinking in family ciné film

Andrews, S (2011) Return to Isla Blanca: Embodied thinking in family ciné film In: Performance Studies international conference #17. Camillo 2.0: Technology, Memory, Experience, 2011-05-25 - 2011-05-29, Utrecht. (Unpublished)

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From the late 1950s until the early 1980s, my grandparents and parents made a series of ciné films, from the fragmentary to more formed documentary and fiction. In these flickering images, it is family holidays to Spain that stand out. Whether on the mainland or on Ibiza, these films provide a particular thread through the collection. They are often complete films and were produced primarily for the family although in the context of community film culture and competitions. Key films from this area of the collection include A Classic View of Spain, Winter Flight to Ibiza, Passport to Spain, Return to Isla Blanca and España (all undated). The paper details the absence of theoretical writing on ciné film (Nicholson, 2006; Shand, 2008) and proposes performance theory as a mode of engagement with the staging of self, family and culture in these films. In this paper, I draw together theories of performance and sociology to reflect on the formations of ‘technology, memory[, culture] and experience in this family ‘archive’, both as they are evident in the films and in looking back and digitizing, re-playing and questioning their traces in the present. The analysis uses theories of performance as participatory experience, encounter, re-encounter and repertoire (Kester, 2004; Rendell, 2008; Taylor, 2007) to reveal layers of family ‘embodiment of culturally specific symbolic systems’, particularly, the staging of Spain as tourist destination and the location of the family within this frame. I argue that the films sit within wider emerging formations and representations of Spain as tourist destination. These contributions to a ‘tourist Spain’ comprise both formal and informal moments that reveal individuals adapting to their role in a tourist family and film. Through this analysis, I demonstrate that the instances of unfamiliarity and adaptation present particularly intimate, unguarded versions of family performance, revealing embodied thinking, improvisation and rehearsal, as if in preparation for future performances. Critically, I argue that performance analysis of ciné films can reveal particularly rich records of family thinking/actions in (and in response to) unfamiliar surrounds.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Conference Paper)
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Guildford School of Acting
Authors :
Andrews, S
Date : 2011
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 07 Aug 2013 13:01
Last Modified : 05 Mar 2019 10:38

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