Database for Animation Studies


Re-Animating Space

Animation has the capacity to re-invigorate how we think about cinematic space. Cinematic space is able to represent and be expressive, and its place in generating narrative meaning is taken to be central to cinema. This, however, overlooks another aspect of space, one associated with intensive spatial experience and other kinds of transformation. As it is rare for live-action images to show space in the process of change, this aspect is not often addressed in the cinema. By contrast, in many animations, space is caught in the act of changing, making it especially relevant to thinking about experiences of spatial transformation. The emphasis in this article is on exploring animation as a revitalization of cinematic space. By paying close attention to both the form and content of Duck Amuck (Chuck Jones, 1953), The Street (Caroline Leaf, 1976), The Metamorphosis of Mr Samsa (Caroline Leafs, 1977), Flatworld (Daniel Greaves, 1997) and Nocturna Artificialia (Brothers Quay, 1979) the author shows how animation re-animates space. To generate this position she formulates a view of space as undergoing processes of reverberation: existing beyond the location of events, fluid and marked by heterogeneity, shifting between familiarity and uncertainty, and finally, as chaotic and potentially unknowable.

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Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal
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