Self-Projection: The Director’s Image in Art Cinema
Professor of Scandinavian Linda Rugg’s research interests include autobiography and visual culture, particularly photography and film; comparative studies in literature and film; ecology and culture; whiteness studies; the use of scars as a metaphor for writing; and nineteenth- and twentieth-century Swedish literature and film. Her new book, Self-Projection: The Director’s Image in Art Cinema (University of Minnesota Press, 2014), explores how non-documentary narrative art films create new forms of collaborative self-representation and selfhood.
Self-Projection examines the work of celebrated directors who plant autobiographical traces in their films, including Truffaut, Bergman, Fellini, Tarkovsky, Herzog, Allen, Almodóvar, and von Trier. It is not simply that these directors make autobiographical references or occasionally make appearances in their own films, but that they tie their films to their life stories and communicate that connection to their audiences. Projecting a new kind of selfhood, these directors encourage identifications between themselves and their work even as they disavow such connections. Self-Projection sheds new light on the films of these iconic directors and on art cinema in general, ultimately showing how film can transform not only the autobiographical act, but what it means to have a self.
After an introduction by Hertha Wong (English and Art Practice), Professor Rugg will speak briefly about her work, read a short excerpt, and then open the floor for discussion.