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GIACOMO TAGLIANI

Pictorial Real, Historical Intermedial. Digital Aesthetics and the Representation of History in Eric Rohmer’s The Lady and the Duke

Abstract

In The Lady and the Duke (2001), Eric Rohmer provides an unusual and "conservative" account of the French Revolution by recurring to classical and yet "revolutionary" means. The interpolation between painting and film produces a visual surface which pursues a paradoxical effect of immediacy and verisimilitude. At the same time though, it underscores the represented nature of the images in a complex dynamic of "reality effect" and critical meta-discourse. The aim of this paper is the analysis of the main discursive strategies deployed by the film to disclose an intermedial effectiveness in the light of its original digital aesthetics. Furthermore, it focuses on the problematic relationship between image and reality, deliberately addressed by Rohmer through the dichotomy simulation/illusion. Finally, drawing on the works of Louis Marin, it deals with the representation of history and the related ideology, in order to point out the film's paradoxical nature, caught in an undecidability between past and present.