Reassessed authorship: Frank Tashlin’s postmodern cinema, or the “cross-referred” media of animated short and live-action film

Baldauf, Nikolett (2012) Reassessed authorship: Frank Tashlin’s postmodern cinema, or the “cross-referred” media of animated short and live-action film. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This dissertation will concentrate on ideas of authorship in connection with Frank Tashlin whose extensive oeuvre predicted the 1980s and 1990s postmodern cinema. Nevertheless, his disappearance from the cinematic map in the 1960s justified the critical neglect of his artistic achievements, creating a contemporary memory-gap in film history. His role as a consensual Hollywood animator and film director, drawing on the popular imagery of the late 1930s and early 1940s and that of the 1950s, enabled him to perceive the American consumer society from an ironic, distant and apolitical point of view. His incorporation of mainstream values exclusively as an aesthetic choice was largely misinterpreted and, thus, dismissed on grounds of lacking profundity. It was chiefly the French critics of 'Cahiers du Cinema', especially Jean Luc Godard, who realised his legacy.
    With the aim of reinstating such popular cultural amnesia, I will inspect the auteur theory in film and animation studies as to underscore that in a sense postmodernism facilitates the implementation of personal signature. Then I will proceed to argue that Tashlin‟s thematic and formal imprints chime in with the postmodern debate and the key aspects of his Warner Brothers cartoons and live-action films are what Greg Ford calls “cross-referred” (Ford, 1994, p. 79). In order to illustrate this point, I will compare perhaps the most highly regarded pieces of Tashlin‟s work, 'The Swooner Crooner' (1944) and 'The Girl Can’t Help It' (1956).

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Creative Technologies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2014 15:25
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:32
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/14084

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