ANIMAFEST PRO | ANIMAFEST SCANNER VIII | SYMPOSIUM FOR CONTEMPORARY ANIMATION STUDIES | Panel 1 – ANIMATION AND THE LIVING: How Animated Films Can Invite Us to Rethink Our Relationship with Biodiversity
Towards a New Koinocene Epoch? Representation of Nature in The Red Turtle directed by Michael Dudok de Wit - Andrijana Ružić (Independent Scholar, Italy)
Panel 1 – ANIMATION AND THE LIVING
08/06, TUE 11:00 – 11:30, Kino Tuškanac
To an attentive and patient audience Dudok de Wit’s first feature film The Red Turtle (2016) reveals itself as a richly layered and meditative cinematographic experience, with heterogeneous contents, both on narrative and visual level. One of its thickest layers is a vivid, almost tangible, omnipresent representation of nature throughout the whole film – in brevis, nature IS the protagonist of this film. Since his early childhood Dudok de Wit was attracted by and fascinated with nature, and this resulted in all his films, particularly in Father and Daughter (2000) and in The Red Turtle. The director’s propensity to concentrate in his animated fable on various aspects of natural world intertwined with castaway’s presence on the island has brought several film critics to label it as an eco-movie. However, Dudok de Wit only partially agreed with this labelling. In this paper I will focus on the reasons of this discrepancy and eventually offer a clarification regarding the relationship between a human being and nature as well as questions of ecological sensibility represented in The Red Turtle. By introducing a recent neologism Koinocene epoch (literally translated as an epoch of connections or participations or even as a Common New World), I shall discuss in which way The Red Turtle can take us away from the anthropocentric point of view, through mediation and beauty, and why this should not be understood as a mere representation of utopia.
Andrijana Ružić graduated in History and Criticism of Art at the Università degli Studi in Milan, Italy where she fell in love with the medium of animation. She specialized in History of Animated Film under Giannalberto Bendazzi's mentorship: the subject of her master thesis was the opus of two unpredictable spirits of American independent animation scene, John and Faith Hubley, and their Storyboard Studio in NYC. As an independent scholar she participated to numerous conferences for animation studies presenting the works of diverse independent authors of animation. In the last seven years she has been curating the section dedicated to animated film at the International Comics Festival in Belgrade, Serbia. She writes about animation and art for Belgrade weekly magazine Vreme. Andrijana Ružić has recently published her first book Michael Dudok de Wit - A Life in Animation (CRC Focus).