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Journeys on ScreenTheory, Ethics, Aesthetics$
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Louis Bayman and Natália Pinazza

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474421836

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474421836.001.0001

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Gothic Journeys: Travel and Transportation in the Films of Terence Fisher

Gothic Journeys: Travel and Transportation in the Films of Terence Fisher

(p.199) Chapter 12 Gothic Journeys: Travel and Transportation in the Films of Terence Fisher
Journeys on Screen

Chris Fujiwara

Edinburgh University Press

The journey appears as a regular trope in Gothic literature and cinema, prototypically in the form of the displacement of a traveller from a safe and familiar home to an enigmatic and unpredictable space. Such journeys frequently lead to the subversion of known categories and patterns of self-identity, family, nation, and empire. The films of Terence Fisher are exemplary of the representation of the Gothic journey in cinema. As Fisher’s characters make their way across the forcefully rendered psychic geographies of his films, an initial polarity between “home” and “away” progressively loses its organising power. At the same time, the foregrounding of such problems as delays, jostling, loss of luggage, and recalcitrant drivers enables the films to ground fantasies involving mortal peril and transformation in mundane aspects of the experience of travel. Fisher’s travel sequences function on multiple levels, giving expressive visual and temporal form to the metaphysical displacements that are thematically central to his work. The chapter contends that the progressive development of the theme of the journey through Fisher's work constitutes a crucial structuring of the field of the Gothic in cinema.

Keywords:   Terence Fisher, Gothic, British cinema, post-war Britain, travel

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