Author: Rory McAteer

“I’m not in the business. I am the business”: The Vertovian Replicant in ‘Blade Runner’

Blade Runner (1982) and Soviet montage documentary The Man with the Movie Camera (1929) are two films not easily reconciled on first glance—one is a widely praised masterpiece, well known as a touchstone of science-fiction cinema, and perhaps Ridley Scott’s finest work; the other is a little-known film by a little-known director from the 1920s, obscure and inaccessible in its daring embrace of the avant-garde. The discordancy is predictable given Dziga Vertov’s deeply unconventional “kinok” style of cinema, which The Man with the Movie Camera stunningly showcases. The Vertovian style was in fact so radically opposed to popular cinematic...

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Dog People: The Legacy of Anthropomorphic Animals in Disney’s ‘101 Dalmatians’

“Imamura thought that Western, and especially American, animated films had a mythic quality to them and that their power lay in the ability to teach by metaphor. Imamura compared the power of Disney films to ancient Greek fables and held the genre in high esteem.”[1] When Disney’s first full-length animated feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, debuted in 1937, the entire world took notice of America’s newfound cinematic marvel. More so than the unprecedented proficiency of Disney’s animation, political leaders across the globe recognised the unique form of storytelling and didactic power that the film contained. With...

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What the Devil? – The Language of Hell in Dante’s ‘Inferno’ XXXI

Canto XXXI of Dante’s Inferno stands as one of La Commedia Divina’s most famous, and studied passages. This is despite its relative tameness in comparison with the bulk of the Inferno: we are not given hordes of the wailing damned, nor lakes of boiling blood as we see in Violence, nor souls bound writhing in the eternal fire of Heresy. These elements are widely considered Inferno’s major attractions, at least to the initiate Dantisti, for their graphic depiction of sin and the appropriation of poetic justice. Nevertheless, Canto XXXI’s major attraction, and the item for which it receives special...

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