Time after time: cinema, trauma, and (a)temporality

By Allan Cameron
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McGowan_outThe emergence, since the mid-1990s, of popular films featuring achronological narrative structures, labyrinthine multilinear plots, and the juxtaposition of parallel ontological worlds has attracted a growing amount of scholarly attention in recent years. Within the body of work exploring these films, time has been a central and ongoing concern.[1] [open endnotes in new window] This critical work has occurred, furthermore, within the context of a broader resurgence of interest in cinematic time, from the contingent temporality of early cinema’s actualités to the increasingly malleable temporality of digital production and reception.[2] Although these analyses vary widely in their conclusions regarding the status of temporality within the contemporary mediascape, they are united, in the main, by a shared investment in time as a bearer of cultural, political and social value.

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