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The University of Southampton
FilmPart of Humanities

Rewriting the Stars? De-Aged Doppelgängers and ‘Youthed’ Performance in Contemporary Hollywood Cinema Seminar

16:00 - 17:45
27 November 2018
Lecture Theatre C Building 65 Avenue Campus University of Southampton SO171BF

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Dr Corey Kai Nelson Schultz at .

Event details

Part of the Research in Film Studies: Guest Lecture Programme. All welcome.


A spate of recent franchise films that fall largely within the overlapping action, superhero and science-fiction genres – such as Tron: Legacy (Joseph Kosinski, 2010), Terminator: Genisys (Alan Taylor, 2015), Ant-Man (Peyton Reed, 2015), Captain America: Civil War (Anthony Russo & Joe Russo, 2016), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (James Gunn, 2017) and Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017) – all mine the capabilities of computer animation to ‘de-age’ its star performers in feats of astonishing technological expressivity. This talk interrogates how the ‘youthing’ of aged bodies via high-definition computer-generated likenesses represents a possible future for, and increasingly pervasive substrate of, both animated performance and digital stardom. Older actors are now afforded the opportunity to appear as their younger selves, with the star image digitally recalibrated to pass seamlessly and convincingly through specific time periods and to fit particular historical moments. Founded on unique strategies of resemblance, these digitally de-aged doppelgängers invite spectator scrutiny and contemplation through ulterior levels of equivalence, placing the image of aging front and centre of the spectators’ comprehension of different kinds of bodily form. By examining the ‘coming of age’ of computer graphics in a cross-section of contemporary Hollywood films, this talk uses simulated youth as a paradigm to think in new ways about the wider body politics of cinema’s increasingly all-digital residents.

Speaker information

Dr Chris Holliday, King's College. Liberal Arts Early Career Development Fellow in Film Studies. Christopher Holliday teaches Film Studies and Liberal Arts at King’s College London specializing in film genre, animation history and contemporary digital media. He has published several book chapters and articles on digital technology and computer animation, including work in Animation Practice, Process & Production and animation: an interdisciplinary journal. He is the author of The Computer-Animated Film: Industry, Style and Genre (Edinburgh University Press, 2018), and co-editor of Fantasy/Animation: Connections Between Media, Mediums and Genres (Routledge, 2018) that examines the historical, cultural and theoretical points of intersection between fantasy and animation.

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