More-than-human worlds through the Neo-Western landscapes of Jauja and The Revenant

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Abstract

This article applies ideas from posthumanism and ecocriticism to a comparative study of Lisandro Alonso’s Jauja and Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant. This comparison serves to explore the narrative and aesthetic strategies by which human-scale events are decentred and colonial histories revised when the sense of place understood in terms going beyond and recreating the human, structures the cinematic object. These two films represent encounters between European and American peoples, but perhaps more significantly they represent them within more-than-human worlds that destabilise the narratives of control underpinning colonialist world-making practices. There is, however, a difference between the impenetrability and inhospitality of Jauja’s Patagonia and The Revenant’s wintry but fragile sublimity. This article discusses the implications of these differences in terms of cinematic possibilities for the reimagining of the concrete landscapes of colonial frontiers to link colonial histories to the extractivist present and the different futures–both catastrophic and creative–it presages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-169
Number of pages15
JournalTransnational Screens
Volume11
Issue number2
Early online date1 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Alejandro González Iñárritu
  • Lisandro Alonso
  • Neo-Western
  • ecocinema

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