Week 16, February 17th and 21st

Mi-do on subway train

Supervisor Meeting 17/02/2020

Attending: Ian Hunt , Bruce Bennett

Feedback on my essay notes –  Films in Flashback.

  • Wrong to state that the films have nothing in common, when they have so much in common.
  • Auteur directors’ films make good case studies and what is interesting about these films is that they are good examples of film form and playing with film form. You should use them to make your argument.
  • Not narrated entirely in Flashback – Yes, I corrected this statement on my blog page.
  • Flashback devices – must be much more detailed, you could easily make a 10,000-word chapter using these film examples. Lots of ways a flashback can be motivated – obvious is a problematic term. Explain in detail these devices.
  • Look in detail at the Limey as the flashbacks are not always memory related?
  • The question is what is a flashback showing us?
  • American film is realist, doesn’t risk itself with a narrative from a single character’s point of view. God like perspective, but in a flashback, we are brought into a single character’s point of view.
  • Flashbacks can be confusing, clarifying and disruptive, look in detail at this aspect, shot by shot, consider audio, visuals.
  • In the Limey the flashbacks try to emulate memory – faded, out of focus.


  1. Ongoing project – Write a chapter about the use of flashbacks in film. Use the same films and look in detail at some of the key sequences maybe the first 3 minutes or in detail of any flashback sequence. 10K+
  2. Ongoing project – Research and write a chapter about film as a memory piece.
  3. For the next supervisor meetings writing piece, write a detailed piece about one of these films in preference The Notebook or The Limey rather than then The Grand Budapest Hotel.
  4. OK to use flashbacks in my film practice (as I had originally planned). What about experimental use of flashbacks – investigate and experiment their uses in documentary.
  5. Check out the book from the library ‘The Classical Hollywood Cinema – done, read chapter 4.
  6. Watch Rashomon – it’s a good example of what we see in flashbacks cannot be real.
  7. I suggested watch Meet Joe Black (1999) as an example of causality.
  8. Watch Casablanca for examples of a classic films use of flashbacks.
  9. Writing Style – find a style that I like for example. Richard Dyer check out his books. He moves from close analysis of film, film theory and film history, simple writing style that is clear to read. But pick a style that engages me.
  10. I suggested going on the academic writing course if it is PhD level.

Flashbacks in film

Oldboy (2003) Movie PosterStarted writing an example chapter for my thesis on Flashbacks in films. I decided to use the South Korean Film Oldboy (2003) as one of the films to analyse along with a greater, more in depth analysis of The Limey (1999) and possibly The Notebook (2004). There are several other possibilities to consider primarily those films created by Auteur Directors, Independent films rather than mainstream Hollywood studio films.


Week 14, Feb 3rd to 7th Feb

The Limey

Film meetings

Lyrics and Lunch

Arranged to meet with the person running Lyrics and Lunch events at St Thomas’s Church this Friday. They run meeting for people and their carers living with dementia. Group singing and a meal. I’m hoping that there are interesting people with a story to tell and maybe some music for the film.

The Bay Information Hub

Met with Penny Foulds to discuss the next steps in making the film. Added a couple of new contacts who might be interested in a collaboration and participation in the film.Supervisor meeting on the Monday:

Supervisor Meeting

  • Supervisory meeting 03/02/2020
  • Attended by Dr Bruce Bennett and Dr Maryam Ghorbankarimi
  • Key points

1. Continue with my research into the use of flashbacks in films.
2. Research the history of flashbacks.
3. Research the function of the flashback.
4. Have another look at the film The Limey as an example of a film told entirely in flashback. I’ve seen it many years ago on TV but not looking for meaning in the flashbacks.
5. Revisit the experimental filmmaker Jonas Mekas films.

Look again at my writing style which can be interpreted as film review, rather than a scholarly analysis of a film.

Mulholland Drive






Are some filmmakers trying to confuse the audience in their use of flashbacks or just confusing generally? Dark City for example, a guy wakes up in a hotel room with no memory in a world with no sun and controlled by strange beings. Mulholland Drive, has been said to be like a series of short films with no connection to each other, a collage that in the end delivers no answers. Twelve Monkeys where to start? Bruce Willis is sent back in time to find out who created the virus which has devastated the future, which seems reasonable, but the film is wonderfully chaotic and confusing as hell to watch.

Continued writing an essay on films told seemingly in flashback, my film examples include:- The Notebook (2004), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) and The Limey (1999). On the face of it there seems to be little to connect these films other than they are a representation of memory but they are linked through there use of flashbacks to narrate the extensive parts of the film and 2 of these films use a book as a device for the flashbacks, while The Limey uses a letter and a collection of photographs.


Week 8, Nov 25th to 28th Nov – Atlas.ti and other things

Butterfly House Williamson Park Lancaster

Atlas.ti and other things

Strike Action

No seminars this week or next due to the UCU strike action, which is a shame as the FASS510 Interviewing in Qualitative Research – I & II would have been helpful as I will be conducting interviews for the documentary film. Fortunately, I will have the opportunity to take these again in the new year.

Atlas.ti and NVivo

So, for this week I concentrated on my reading and learning how to use the Qualitative Analysis applications, Atlas.ti and NVivo. I had already decided that I would most probably go with Atlas.ti but the more I use it the less it appeals. The user interface is not as friendly as I would like and the screen gets too busy with small text for me to view on a MacBook Pro’s 15” screen, so either I get a much larger screen to work on or consider using NVivo? NVivo seems to have a improved layout compared to Atlas.ti but I’m not sure if it is as powerful as Atlas.ti, this is going to be a work in progress for a while as I plan to run them together until a clear winner presents itself.

Supervisor meeting, 26th

Key points

1. Think about the style of your Documentary, will you be a participant?
2. Consider how using someone to act as the interviewer in the film, as they may become the most important part of the film and may influence how the film is produced.
3. Instead of using a go between (which is required by the venue) the best answer maybe to just become someone they know through attending several screenings a visitor who also makes films. Take time to get to know your subjects.
4. My synopsis for the 2nd film looks promising, maybe instead of a 2nd film it could find a place in the documentary so that the documentary has an experimental element to it.
5. Take the list of memory sequences in the experimental film and use these as questions in the documentary – ask people living with dementia about their dreams?
6. Look again at my proposal for funding and simplify it and make it more readable for people outside of the subject area. Explain (collective, cultural, new media) memory in simpler terms.
7. Reading list is progressing, and it is good that I am using a referencing software tool (Mendeley and Endnote).
8. Write short notes against your references to explain why it is important and why you have selected it.
9. Continue working and reading for the 2 set questions and think about how the written thesis and practical element will come together.
10. The competition details I received from is worth pursuing and would be a perfect opportunity for students.
11. Regarding the recent contact showing interest in having me make a film for an external charity, I will keep in contact with them and suggest my idea of creating a film festival and competition instead with the winner’s film as the film they could use for their charitable work.

Some interesting ideas came out of this weeks supervisor meeting, one of the best and the more I think about the more I like the idea is to try and incorporate my idea for the standalone experimental film into the documentary film. This would be unexpected and would add an interesting new way of looking at the documentary film format. Of course, I can always edit several versions so there could be films with and without the experimental film footage but as I said the more, I think about this the more attractive it seems.

Research and Reflection