I thought searching for a “knowledge claim” would be quite easy – one of the homework tasks Adrian has set out for us to achieve for Research Strategies. I was first attracted to the evolution of Michael Lesy’s book Wisconsin Death Trip (pub. 1973) into James Marsh’ docudrama of the same title, then used as a referential tool in I’m Not There (2007) by director Todd Haynes. Haynes references quite a bit in his work – especially from admired filmmakers Douglas Sirk and Fassbinder.
I remembered viewing the progression of filmic elements in Mark Cousin’s recently aired Story of Film (2011), especially the shots in The Apartment (1960, dir. Billy Wilder) and The Trial (1962, dir. Orson Welles) looking down upon an open-planned office space of worker bees.
Then Blue Velvet (1986, dir. David Lynch) sprang to mind. The scene where Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) finds the severed ear in the field, covered by ants, is a direct reference to Luis Bunuel’s Un Chien Andalou (1929).