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    On the maternal ‘Creaturely’ cinema of Andrea Arnold

    Jacobs, Amber (2016) On the maternal ‘Creaturely’ cinema of Andrea Arnold. Journal of British Cinema and Television 13 (1), pp. 160-176. ISSN 1743-4521.

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    Abstract

    This article argues that Andrea Arnold's cinematic treatment of the maternal body is transgressive and innovative. Through a close analysis of Arnold's first film Milk (1998) and using an example from Fish Tank (2009) I analyse Arnold's production of what I call a specifically maternal, embodied, sexualised viewing experience. I suggest that the viewer is addressed and positioned as always in a state of being-with the maternal sexual subject on a corporeal, intimate level. I develop a notion of ‘maternal creaturely cinema’ of which, I suggest, Arnold's work is exemplary, and discuss how this particular creaturely cinematic treatment of the maternal is inaugurated in Milk, as well as indicating how it can be traced through in the later Fish Tank. I argue that Arnold's maternal creaturely cinema, through a complex interaction between form and content, transmits to the viewer a mode of ethical relatedness, or hospitality towards the stranger/other, that is situated in a specifically maternal, sexual and corporeal experience.

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