Filmic madness : metafilms as metaphor for madness in recent film.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This thesis concerns the possibility of "madness" working within film, both in content and form, as a critical device. The questions that will first be asked and will later be explored are all relevant to the intrinsic contradictions that the postmodern period embodies. Firstly I will define the Foucauldian idea of art and madness and then define meta film and its possible symbiotic relationship with this madness. In my chosen films iies the possibility of madness and self-reflexivity coming together in different ways. I will explore the potential of madness and film working together to produce a subversive aesthetic that is able to metaphorically ask questions about society, one that might potentially carryon the "meta" modernist tradition of works of art that work against and outside the dominant order of bourgeois values and ideals. If madness can be seen to be working within these films, we might ask whether this force should be viewed as a source of insight or of deceit? Does it express or does it play with the deepest existential concerns of the human spirit? If my chosen films are able to use madness's critical ability then they might be labelled as metafilms. But in saying this I will also explore the possibility that my chosen films are just postmodern pastiche, films that use popular uncritical depictions of "madness" as hollow motifs and are in no way, other than in a postmodern recycling of style, connected to Foucault's critical modernist idea of madness.