Rediagnosing A Matter of Life and Death

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A reading of Powell and Pressburger's "A Matter of Life and Death" from the conceptual and theoretical perspective of trauma theory, arguing that the film presents an informed and fascinating study of the wounded returning serviceman. This experience is rendered in medically accurate detail and through its central device of "stopping time" the film also offers a complex meditation on the operation of past and present as simultaneous coexistence, as theorized by philosophers such as Bergson and Deleuze. Its treatment of the fantasy sequences through trauma and the various metaphors used to represent the relationship between mind and body exemplify a problem of film studies in general in interpreting the difference between the objective world and the subjective mind. (Quotes from original text)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-61
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2005


  • Cinema
  • A Matter of Life and Death
  • Powell, Michael
  • Pressburger, Emeric
  • Psychological Trauma
  • Theoretical Models


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