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    “Then Look!”: unborn attachments and the half-moving image

    Asibong, Andrew (2015) “Then Look!”: unborn attachments and the half-moving image. Studies in Gender and Sexuality 16 (2), pp. 87-102. ISSN 1524-0657.

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    Abstract

    This article explores the emotional impact on the viewer of disturbing and disorienting images of infant-caregiver relationality in four “melo-horror” films: Imitation of Life (Stahl, 1934), Imitation of Life (Sirk, 1959), The Brood (Cronenberg, 1979), and Beloved (Demme, 1998). Comparing some of these filmic images with the infant performances of “disorganized” attachment styles captured on videotape by attachment researchers such as Mary Main, the author argues that the filmed audiovisual enactment of relational trauma, whether in the context of scientific research or cinematic art, offers the spectator an opportunity to work consciously and unconsciously with representations of unbearable psychic and psychosocial experience—both her own and that of others—that may hitherto have been thought unrepresentable or simply not thought at all.

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