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Remembering objects in the essay film: Andrés di Tella as heir, archaeologist and collector

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Although Andrés di Tella is among the leading documentary filmmakers in South America, his work has received scant attention in the Anglophone world. Di Tella’s essayistic films mix personal and intimate perspectives with public and historical concerns, crafting a tentative filmic voice that is articulated on the borders between the public and the private. In his subjective explorations of personal and collective pasts, di Tella calls on material objects to play a vital role. Subjective recollections are accompanied by the constitution of collections of objects, material items that are the remainders from and the keys to the past. Remembering is remembering with and through things and senses of self and identity are forged and questioned in dialogue with constellations of objects. This article examines the interaction between subjects and objects in di Tella’s work with special attention to Fotografías (Photographs, 2007) and Hachazos (Ax Blows, 2011).
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Keywords: Latin America; documentary; essay film; material objects; memory; migration; ruins; subjectivity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Duke University

Publication date: 01 September 2015

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  • The journal aims to provide a platform for the study of new forms of cinematic practice and fresh approaches to cinemas hitherto neglected in western scholarship. It particularly welcomes scholarship that does not take existing paradigms and theoretical conceptualisations as given; rather, it anticipates submissions that are refreshing in approach and exhibit a willingness to tackle cinematic practices that are still in the process of development into something new.
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