How my PhD brain ticks

Posted: February 19, 2014 in Uncategorized
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My focus is on unreliable protagonists (and possibly antagonists) in posthuman noir films and anime between 1982 and 2012.

Of course all this might change. One thing I have learned in my first term of study is that through research, my thoughts keep evolving, like the characters in a posthuman world and the other end of the PhD could look very different.

Posthuman noir? What’s that all about?

A very niche set of films that have noir themes and aesthetics but are set in futures where humanity has discovered ways of evolving themselves through robotics, genetics or virtual realities.

Why 1982 -2012?

1982 was the year that the cinematic game changer Blade Runner was released, one of the key film texts in any study of science fiction noir. 2012, because an anime series, Psycho Pass, which encompasses and builds on the themes Blade Runner, aired in this year. These two very different texts seem, for the moment, pretty interesting bookends to the genre.

Unreliable characters?

Unreliable narrators, as it were, are a little area that I have found fascinating in my own creative work. Mine is a PhD by Practice which means as well as writing an academic thesis I am also developing creative work a.k.a screenplays. There seems to me a thread of unreliability in the worlds of noir that counter balance the supposed logical perfection of evolved humanity. Here is something to investigate; researcher as detective in the mystery of the unreliable posthuman protagonist.

Thanks to reading a rather wonderful book Tech Noir by Emily Auger I’ve also realised that tied to these unreliable traits I tend to have Oedipal protagonists. Now, put your childish chuckles to one side, I’m not talking about Oedipus in the Freudian sense but  as Oedipus one of the earliest noir detectives. A guy who follows the investigation through to the bitter end, even when it becomes clear the object of his search is none other than himself. Yes, that Ouroboros shaped detective tale is something I seem aptly to repeat, and I want to investigate more about – creatively.

So there it is, a brief overview of themes and films that will appear in this blog on the PhD side of things.

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