Advertisement

Precarious Images: Media and Historicity in Pablo Larraín’s No

  • James Cisneros
Chapter
Part of the Global Cinema book series (GLOBALCINE)

Abstract

Set against the historical backdrop of the Chilean Referendum of 1988, Pablo Larraín’s No (2012) presents a fictional account of the television campaign that sought to depose General Pinochet. Larraín structures the film around archive images taken from the “Yes” and “No” campaigns, which make up roughly a third of the film, and fictional sequences shot with the same audiovisual technology from the eighties: U-Matic video and Tube cameras. With this singular formal composition, No invites us to consider how the historicity of its footage—new images shot with old technology, archive images recuperated by digital means—interacts with the ongoing history of the moment it represents. While the film seems to comment on the continuity between the dictatorial past and the democratic regime that replaced it, echoing a position held by sociologists and cultural critics, Larraín’s wish to seamlessly integrate documentary and fiction, effectively erasing the temporal difference of the archive images, also seems to contribute to a sense of historical stasis. We explore these questions through contextual readings of how artists and activists conceived of media technologies, and especially video and photography, in the Eighties, and of how Larraín evaluates digital and analog audiovisual formats, as well as through analyses of the film’s narrative, casting, and audiovisual aesthetics.

Works Cited

  1. Benson-Allott, Caetlin. “An Illusion Appropriate to the Conditions.” Film Quarterly 66, no. 3 (2013): 61–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barraza Toledo, Vania. “Reviewing the Present in Pablo Larraín’s Historical Cinema.” Iberoamericana XIII, no. 51 (2013): 159–172.Google Scholar
  3. Colectivo Acciones de Arte (CADA). “La función del video.” In CADA día: la creación de un arte social, edited by Robert Neustadt. Santiago: Cuarto Propio, 2001.Google Scholar
  4. Cronovich, Paula T. “‘No’ and No. The Campaign of 1988 and Pablo Larraín’s Film.” Radical History Review 124 (2016): 165–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Delgado, Teresa. No+ Pinochet. Documentación, publicidad y ficción en torno al plebiscito chileno de 1988. Berlin: Jakob Kirchheim Verlag, 2013.Google Scholar
  6. Doane, Mary Ann. “The Indexical and the Concept of Media Specificity.” Differences 18, no. 1 (2007): 128–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Doane, Mary Ann. “Indexicality: Trace and Sign.” Differences 18, no. 1 (2007): 1–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dzero, Irina. “Larraín’s Film No and Its Inspiration, El plebiscito: Chile’s Transition to Democracy as a Simulacrum.” Confluencia 31, no. 1 (2015): 120–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fornazzari, Alessandro. Speculative Fictions. Chilean Culture, Economics, and the Neoliberal Transition. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013.Google Scholar
  10. Howe, Alexis. “Yes, No, or Maybe?: Transitions in Chilean Society in Pablo Larraín’s No.” Hispania 98, no. 3 (2015): 421–430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hartog, François. Régimes d’historicité. Présentisme et expériences du temps. Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 2003.Google Scholar
  12. Hazanavicius, Michel. The Artist. La Petite Reine/ARP Sélection, 2011.Google Scholar
  13. Jung, Berenike. “Imagining the Past. The Politics of Corporeality in Pablo Larraín’s Dictatorship Trilogy.” Paper presented at the workshop, De l’Unité populaire à la transition démocratique: représentations, diffusions, mémoires cinématographiques du Chili, 1970–2013, October 9–10, 2013.Google Scholar
  14. Kay, Ronald. Del espacio de acá. Señales para una mirada americana. Santiago: Editores asociados, 1980.Google Scholar
  15. Kay, Ronald. “On photography Time Split in Two.” ARTMargins 2, no. 3 (2013): 114–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Larraín, Pablo. Post Mortem. Santiago (Chile): Fábula, 2009.Google Scholar
  17. Larraín, Pablo. Tony Manero. Santiago (Chile): Fábula, 2009.Google Scholar
  18. Larraín, Pablo. No. Santiago (Chile): Fábula, 2012.Google Scholar
  19. Larraín, Pablo. Neruda. Santiago (Chile): Fábula, 2016.Google Scholar
  20. Liñero Arend, Germán. Apuntes para una historia del video en Chile. Santiago: Ocho Libros Editores, 2010.Google Scholar
  21. Neustadt, Robert. CADA día: la creación de un arte social. Santiago: Cuarto Propio, 2001.Google Scholar
  22. Niemeyer, Katharina, ed. Media and Nostalgia. Yearning for the Past, Present and Future. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.Google Scholar
  23. Poblete, Juan. “The Memory of the National and the National as Memory.” Latin American Perspectives 42, no. 3 (2015): 92–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Richard, Nelly. “El drama y sus tramas.” In Espacio urbano, comunicación y violencia en América Latina, edited by Mabel Moraña, 195–202. Pittsburgh: Instituto Internacional de Literatura Iberoamericana, 2002.Google Scholar
  25. Richard, Nelly. Cultural Residues: Chile in Transition. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2004.Google Scholar
  26. Rodowick, David N. The Virtual Life of Film. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007.Google Scholar
  27. Romney, Jonathan. “The Future Is No.” Sight and Sound 23, no. 3 (March 2013): 28–30, 32.Google Scholar
  28. Schaeffer, Jean-Marie. L’image précaire: du dispositif photographique. Paris: Éditions du seuil, 1987.Google Scholar
  29. Thayer, Willy. La crisis no moderna de la universidad moderna. Santiago: Cuarto Propio, 1996.Google Scholar
  30. Urrutia, Carolina. “Campo contra campo. El cine de Cristián Sánchez y de Pablo Larraín.” laFuga 15 (2013). Accessed February 20, 2016. http://www.lafuga.cl/campo-contra-campo/636.
  31. Zemeckis, Robert. Forrest Gump. Los Angeles , USA: Paramount, 1994.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Cisneros
    • 1
  1. 1.Université de MontréalMontreal, QCCanada

Personalised recommendations