“Today is Tuesday, September 11th”: Representation of Trauma in the Film Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
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This thesis examines the representation of trauma by means of cinematic techniques (sound, editing, and cinematography) in the film EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE. The main question for this thesis is: To what extent can the use of cinematic techniques in EXTREMELY -LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE be associated with the representation of post-9/11 trauma? The central theory for this thesis is trauma and trauma representation in film, where the works of E. Ann Kaplan and Thomas Elsaesser constitute the central argument. Kaplan offers a strong argument on defining the concept of trauma, stating that in order to analyze its representation, one must be aware of its meaning. Elsaesser mainly argues that trauma representation in fiction is condescending towards real victims, and he offers a theory of parapraxis, which states that the sense of trauma merely arises when evidence of its presence can be found in the absence of what stays hidden in trauma film and/or literature. For the analysis, three scenes have been chosen and they will each be analyzed for the use of sound, editing, and cinematography. For each scene, it will be discussed whether the use of these cinematic techniques contributes to the representation of trauma in this film. By analyzing the scenes in itself, and each time discussing the cinematic techniques again, it will offer a more complete analysis of said scene, because the techniques can also be discussed in relation to each other. In the end, however, it will be made clear that the cinematic techniques in itself cannot represent trauma, and the emotions that are conveyed by the scenes are mostly due to the narrative elements: the cinematic techniques only emphasize these emotions.