Cancelled – The Place of Breath in Cinema

Author's talk: Davina Quinlivan

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9 July, 2018, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

£9 – £11

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Due to unforeseen circumstances, this talk has been cancelled. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.

This talk will consider a cultural history of breath in art and moving image studies, followed by a reflection on the particular significance of breath, wind and air in the contemporary film experience.

From Henry Gray’s beautiful scientific illustrations of the lungs in his anatomical study of the human body to rather more abstract, evocative images of stillness and silence in the films of Chantal Akerman and Lars von Trier, the foregrounding of the breathing body, air and other forms of airy presences (dust, mist, fog) have long been the subject of Davina Quinlivan’s groundbreaking research into the place of breath in cinema.

Davina Quinlivan is the author of The Place of Breath in Cinema (EUP, 2014) and Filming the Body in Crisis: Trauma, Healing and Hopefulness (Palgrave: 2015), and a Senior Lecturer in Critical and Historical Studies at Kingston School of Art, Kingston University

Reviews of The Place of Breath in Cinema:

Associated with the soul, animating the lungs, breath is that invisible and usually intangible entity that makes its passage known sonically. Davina Quinlivan demonstrates with precision, grace, and acute attention to cinematic sound how the cinema can embody both the environments we inhale and the interiorities we exhale.
Dr Laura U. Marks, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver


Davina Quinlivan’s distinctive volume newly attends to the body in cinema. With infinite delicacy, her readings of recent films attach breathing and vision, opening vivid questions of spatiality, contemplation, invisibility, and rhythm.
Emma Wilson, University of Cambridge

Part of a series of event which coincide with Breathe, an exhibition of works by Fay Ballard and Judy Goldhill on display at the Museum 16 May – 15 July 2018.


9 July, 2018
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
£9 – £11
Event Category:


Freud Museum London
20 Maresfield Gardens
London, NW3 5SX United Kingdom
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020 7435 2002

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