Database for Animation Studies


Reenacting Ryan: The Fantasmatic and the Animated Documentary

In this article, the author discusses the animated documentary in relation to the use of staged reenactments in works that are generally understood as documentaries. His conceptual foundation draws especially on recent work by Bill Nichols on documentary reenactments, which he argues have specific fantasmatic' and reflexive qualities. These qualities clearly dovetail with key attributes of animation, with the animated documentary standing as a significant and interestingly hybrid creative form. Key ideas are applied to a case study of Chris Landreth's Ryan (2004), in which Landreth deploys fantasmatic visual flourishes partly in order to destabilize the documentary's conventional discourse of sobriety, pushing it in the direction of its mirroring discourse of delirium, and partly to explore the current status of animation (and animation tools) in the realm of visual simulation.

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Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal
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