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Un/re/production of Old Age in The Taking of Deborah Logan

Un/re/production of Old Age in The Taking of Deborah Logan The article offers a re-examination of abjected femininity and old age through a close reading of The Taking of Deborah Logan (2015), a found footage horror movie centered on spectral possession. While to a large extent the movie replicates an infamous monstrous old woman trope, it also effectively questions typical Alzheimer's disease (AD) narratives, which tend to portray life with AD as a story of unmitigated loss and debility. In The Taking of Deborah Logan, potentially destabilizing moments occur when in the face of progressive loss of control, memory, and bodily functions, the main protagonist is momentarily experienced as resisting the dehumanisation and loss of agency conventionally associated with AD and possession alike. The aim of this article is thus three-fold. The first part sketches the processes through which possession narratives generate a highly ambivalent space for aging femininity in horror film, and how aging, disability, and AD intersect both in popular understanding and in film. In the second part, the author examines how The Taking of Deborah Logan, as a found footage horror, shapes a discussion about selfhood, agency, and monstrous embodiment. Finally, the author argues that it is through the concept of transaging that one can find ways to destabilise traditional understandings of old age, female embodiment, and AD, and offer new narratives that highlight monstrous, if ambivalent, agency. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Somatechnics Edinburgh University Press

Un/re/production of Old Age in The Taking of Deborah Logan

Somatechnics , Volume 8 (2): 17 – Sep 1, 2018

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References (21)

Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
2044-0138
eISSN
2044-0146
DOI
10.3366/soma.2018.0249
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The article offers a re-examination of abjected femininity and old age through a close reading of The Taking of Deborah Logan (2015), a found footage horror movie centered on spectral possession. While to a large extent the movie replicates an infamous monstrous old woman trope, it also effectively questions typical Alzheimer's disease (AD) narratives, which tend to portray life with AD as a story of unmitigated loss and debility. In The Taking of Deborah Logan, potentially destabilizing moments occur when in the face of progressive loss of control, memory, and bodily functions, the main protagonist is momentarily experienced as resisting the dehumanisation and loss of agency conventionally associated with AD and possession alike. The aim of this article is thus three-fold. The first part sketches the processes through which possession narratives generate a highly ambivalent space for aging femininity in horror film, and how aging, disability, and AD intersect both in popular understanding and in film. In the second part, the author examines how The Taking of Deborah Logan, as a found footage horror, shapes a discussion about selfhood, agency, and monstrous embodiment. Finally, the author argues that it is through the concept of transaging that one can find ways to destabilise traditional understandings of old age, female embodiment, and AD, and offer new narratives that highlight monstrous, if ambivalent, agency.

Journal

SomatechnicsEdinburgh University Press

Published: Sep 1, 2018

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