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Buñuel’s social close-up: An entomological gaze on El ángel exterminador/The Exterminating Angel (1962)

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This article proposes a new interpretation of Buñuel’s film-making strategies by examining his training in entomology and his early theorization of the Griffithian close-up as a technique whereby edited film-making can be made to conceive in a way that simple images or continuous shots cannot. This technique, I argue, implies the opposite of Auerbach´s unipersonal subjectivism in modernist literature, requiring a cinematic multipersonal subjectivism that is covalent with Bakhtinian dialogism. In developing his multi-personal subjectivism into a rational tool for opening a window on the irrational world of the unconscious, I believe Buñuel´s entomological training led him to conceive and represent a dialogical parasitism, similar to the posthumanist philosophy of Michel Serres decades later, as being inherent in all human relationships, a view most clearly conveyed in El ángel exterminador/The Exterminating Angel (1962).
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Keywords: El ángel exterminador; Luis Buñuel; Michel Serres; Mikhail Bakhtin; entomology; posthumanism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Unidad Cuajimalpa

Publication date: September 1, 2016

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