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Looking at Archives in Cinema: Recent Representations of Records in Motion Pictures

Mattock, Lindsay K and Mattern, Eleanor (2015) Looking at Archives in Cinema: Recent Representations of Records in Motion Pictures. In: Archival Research and Education: Selected Papers from the 2014 AERI Conference,. Litwin Books, Sacramento. ISBN UNSPECIFIED

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Abstract

Archivists who followed the Best Picture Nominees for the 2013 Academy Awards would have noticed the appearance of a recurring character – records. The winning film, Argo, depicts the rescue of six American hostages during the Iran Hostage Crisis. Lincoln, praised for Daniel Day-Lewis’s portrayal of the Sixteenth President, presents a look at Abraham Lincoln’s Presidency during the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment. The most controversial of the three, Zero Dark Thirty chronicles the events leading to the capture of Osama bin Laden. While archivists and archival repositories are absent from these three films, records and records creation play a central role in the development of each of the stories. This paper will analyze the depiction of records and records creation in these three films through the use of the framework proposed by Barbara Craig and James O’Toole in their analysis of representations of records in art. Craig and O’Toole argue that the way in which records are depicted can lead to an understanding of how the creators and audiences of art understand records, suggesting that these representations may further our understanding of the “cultural penetration of archives.”i The authors suggest that in art, records are depicted in a number of ways: as props, as representations of specific documents, as the central subject, and as information objects that are created and used. We expand Craig and O’Toole’s framework with the addition of two themes: the integration of original documentation into the films themselves, and the use of source material that has an affective influence on the mise-en-scène.


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Details

Item Type: Book Section
Status: Published
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Mattock, Lindsay K
Mattern, Eleanoremm100@pitt.eduEMM1000000-0002-0421-0983
Date: 2015
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Publisher: Litwin Books
Place of Publication: Sacramento
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Information Sciences > Library and Information Science
University libraries > University Library System
Refereed: Yes
Title of Book: Archival Research and Education: Selected Papers from the 2014 AERI Conference,
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2016 17:37
Last Modified: 02 May 2018 12:55
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/27604

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