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Cinema DNA: The Elephant Man

Submitted by Yuko Mera on January 29, 2019 - 3:42pm
Elephant Man

Professor José Alaniz will explore the cultural, social and cinematic influences that went into David Lynch’s The Elephant Man (1980) – a problematic yet ground-breaking representation of disability in film in SIFF Cinema's Cinema DNA class.

This class first examines the history and key issues in representing disabled people in movies, with a combination of lecture and clips of relevant works, including Tod Browning's Freaks (1932), William Wyler's The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) and Hal Ashby's Coming Home (1978). We will use these as an entry point for discussing David Lynch's ground-breaking 1980 film The Elephant Man, about the 19th-century sideshow performer and "medical curiosity" Joseph Merrick. 

Additional information about the class is available on the SIFF Cinema website.