Skip to content

Cinematheque, Spring 2012: “Anthropomorphism”


Anthropomorphism is the granting of that which is considered human to anybody or anything that is considered non-human. Think English-speaking lions and hyenas in The Lion King (1994). Or the talking moon in The Future (2011). Or Maria/Maschinenmensch in Metropolis (1927). Or R2D2. But anthropomorphism could appear in the movies in any number of ways, not just through the attribution of human characteristics to non-human characters. The camera itself might act human or its movements might seem best described in human terms (like in the opening camera movement of The Clergyman and the Seashell [1928]). Anthropomorphism can also occur when something non-human becomes central to a film in a way that’s normally only allowed for humans, for example the horse in The Turin Horse (2010), the hotel room/bathroom in Psycho (1960) immediately following the shower scene, or the goat/tree/lump of coal in La Quattro Volte (2010). We invite presentations of films that feature anthropomorphism of any sort, including but not limited to any of the sorts mentioned above, for this spring’s edition of Cinematheque.

Get Your Human On.

NEW DAY: Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m. 1/18, 2/1, 2/15, 2/29, 3/14, 3/28, 4/11

E-mail Jeff Heinzl at or Veronica Fitzpatrick at if you’re interested in presenting.

LOCATION: Crawford 169

How to get to Crawford Hall from the Cathedral of Learning: Exit the Cathedral of Learning towards Fifth Ave. Take a right on Fifth Ave. Turn left on Tennyson Ave. (between Alumni Hall and Clapp Hall). Pass Clapp Hall and Langley Hall on your right. The building immediately after Langley Hall (and also on your right) is Crawford Hall.