Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Critical Side of Live Action and Animation

So I was reading this paper by Alan Cholodenko, a film theorist writing in the early nineties, a revolutionary decade for animation as lectures have been affirming!

The basis of Cholodenko's critique lies around the 1989 film, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" which uses both live action as well as animation. Although it's a bit dated I think that a lot of the suggestions put forward can be analogous to the films that we have been discussing in class which are also hybrids, for example Sin City. Such films appear to exemplify the abandonment of the either/or approach to film making in favour of the both/and method. In other words, the division and the interealation of "live action cinema" and "animation" is becoming much less discernable.

Cholodenko argues against the presuppostion that animatation is merely a marginal aspect of film. More increasingly this view is becoming mainstream, as is evidenced by the massive success of pure animation films such as "Finding Nemo" and films that inlist animation such as "LOTR."

His proposals rest on the idea of "the frame." The framework of the hyrbrid genre as a whole and the frame of the camera. He says that "according to the logic of the paragon [the frame] it is only through animation that film can define itself as film" (p 213) This is then furthered by the articulation that the frame consists of two distinct but inherently inseperable concepts: live action and animation. I think this is bang on because from a historical context it is motion picture projectors that animated still photographs to create live action reels.

So while on the face of things, live action and animation may appear to be in binary opposition, I think that this article reinforces what lectures are asking us to consider, that is, how acutely related these two paradigms are.

[ref: Alan Cholodenko, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit or the Framing of Animation," The Illusion of Life, Sydney: Power Publishers, 1991, 209-242]


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