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The agentic child: Redefining the child seer in contemporary Spanish horror film

Beaney, Rachel 2018. The agentic child: Redefining the child seer in contemporary Spanish horror film. MPhil Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis reassesses the actions of the child protagonists in El laberinto del fauno / Pan’s Labyrinth (del Toro 2006) and El espinazo del diablo /The Devil’s Backbone (del Toro 2001). I argue that the child protagonists of these films have often been regarded as the mute victims or witnesses to the violence of the Spanish Civil War and Franco regime. Thus, they have frequently been interpreted as ciphers for victimhood in the field of Visual Hispanic Studies. In this study, I set out to make the case for instances of agency, for the child protagonist’s capacity for social participation and for his/her ability to shape or change events within the filmic narrative. Much of the scholarship around child-centred Spanish cinema tends to present childhood as intertwined with victimhood. My analysis moves away from this trend and instead seeks to recognise instances of agency through multimodal analysis of mise-en-scène, dialogue, lighting and characterisation.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Date Type: Submission
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Modern Languages
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Funders: Henrique's Scholarship
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 January 2019
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 01:56

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