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The archive, the auteur and the unfilmed film: Reflections on Dreyer’s and von Trier’s Medea

Thomson, CC; (2017) The archive, the auteur and the unfilmed film: Reflections on Dreyer’s and von Trier’s Medea. Journal of Scandinavian Cinema , 7 (2) pp. 99-112. 10.1386/jsca.7.2.99_1. Green open access

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Abstract

This article engages with Lars von Trier’s 1988 television adaptation of Carl Th. Dreyer’s screenplay Medea to explore the concept of the unfilmed film. Beginning with von Trier’s adoption of Dreyer’s tuxedo, the article asks how the notions of auteurship and the archive itself produce the unfilmed film as ‘unrealized’, and probes the concept of the ‘unfinished’ film. Some examples of unfilmed films, and documentaries about them, are discussed as examples of archival practices in the mediation of unfinished, unrealized and unfilmed films, sometimes by directors themselves and sometimes by their successors. Dreyer’s research materials and methodologies for his screenplay Medea, preserved in the Danish Film Institute, are discussed as an intertext to the later adaptation for Danish television by Lars von Trier.

Type: Article
Title: The archive, the auteur and the unfilmed film: Reflections on Dreyer’s and von Trier’s Medea
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1386/jsca.7.2.99_1
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/jsca.7.2.99_1
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Carl Th. Dreyer; Lars von Trier; Medea; archive; auteurship; unrealized films
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1553075
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