Haunting in the historical biopic : Lincoln
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Lincoln features several key moments in which the conventional, realist coordinates of the historical biopic open to a deeper sense of time and place, evoked in the film's references to clairvoyance, haunting, and ‘bad dreams’ – aspects of Lincoln's interior life that are well known but seldom expressed in film. The theme of haunting in Lincoln is rendered directly, but it is also suggested in the film's multiple references to the medium of photography, and in scenes that recall the flicker effect of early film. The film's complex understanding of time underlines the uncanny nature of the historical biopic, and the strange, almost phantasmatic wish at its core – the wish to impersonate and revivify the dead – a wish that is especially visible in films that take Abraham Lincoln as their subject.
Burgoyne , R & Trafton , J 2015 , ' Haunting in the historical biopic : Lincoln ' Rethinking History , vol 19 , no. 3 , pp. 525-535 . DOI: 10.1080/13642529.2015.1006865
Copyright 2015 Taylor & Francis. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Rethinking History on 09/04/2015, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13642529.2015.1006865
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