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The Computer-Animated FilmIndustry, Style and Genre$
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Christopher Holliday

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474427883

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474427883.001.0001

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The Mannerist Game

The Mannerist Game

(p.205) Chapter 10 The Mannerist Game
The Computer-Animated Film

Christopher Holliday

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter argues that mannerism and traditions of mannerist art give greater definition to how computer-animated films playfully dismantle their illusionist activity by making false claims about their relation to live-action cinema. To consider these specific forms of Mannerist humour in the computer-animated film, this chapter plots Mannerism’s cinematic lineage within certain styles and genres (film noir, pop music film, heritage drama, period film and cinéma du look), and notes that despite scholars having employed a vocabulary drawn from European art history to describe the (often digitally-assisted) bravura camerawork of New Hollywood cinema, Mannerism has yet to be employed as a descriptor for digital animation. This chapter therefore re-imagines computer-animated film comedy as strongly Mannerist in its invention, and draws particular attention to their strategies of allusive anti-illusionism. Computer-animated films frequently stage false, illusory discourses of revelation (feigned blooper reels, outtake material, behind-the-scenes ‘actor’ interviews) as a comic flourish that maintains the genre’s illusion. To interrogate the wit of the genre’s Mannerist play, I examine its many trompe-l’œil illusion effects and activities of self-deception.

Keywords:   Mannerism, art history, comedy, deconstruction, illusionism, trompe-l’œil

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