How Do Zombies Gaze at Us?

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  • <論文>ゾンビはいかに眼差すか

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With the hits of Resident Evil and 28 Days Later in 2002, the themes depicted by zombie movies now have become broad. In other words, what came to be depicted as the central theme of zombie movies is not only the revival of the dead, fear of loss of reason and humanity, but also the coexistence with heterogeneous things that are zombies, or conflicts and survival competitions arise among the people left behind. Factors of this change are variously mentioned. For example, "zombie movies reflect the transformation of view of life and death in modern society, " or "zombies are a metaphor of refugees." In this way, the diversity of stories in zombie movies has become the subject of various discussions and academic research, but in this paper we discuss not the differences in the nature and behavior of the zombies. We pay attention to the shaping of the zombies themselves. In this paper, in order to clarify the change of zombie film in 2002, we will reconsider mainly the expression of zombies, especially the expression concerning zombies' eyes. Because it seems that the representation of zombie's "eyes" reflects the intention of production and the taste of the audience for each work. In the first place, when distinguishing between life and death, physical signs such as whether the eyelids and pupils are open or closed are playing an important role. In the expression how eyes look, the state of the human being at that time is reflected most remarkably. And, zombies are placed at vague boundary of life and death, and rather, the essence of zombies and the theme of the works are included in this ambiguity itself. In other words, a zombie movie is a genre that expresses dead, death itself, or ambiguous place of life or death by borrowing the body of zombies. Therefore, by tracing the transition of the expression of zombie eyes in each era, it is possible to read out what kind of intention holding zombies and how zombies were accepted by the audience at the time. Here, in the first chapter, we first confirm that in early zombie movies, their dull eyes, or the eyes of the dead were expressed by blinks or eyes with a small iris. In the second chapter, since the 1970s, zombies were drawn like older people or sick people by emphasizing hollows around the eye and the depth of the eye holes. In chapter 3, we confirm that the relationship between "eyes" and humanity is specially directed at the level of visual expression in 28 Days Later and it is handed over to the sequel 28 Weeks Later (2005). As described above, the transition of the expression of "eyes" in zombie movies shows clearly what kind of zombies are handled in each era, while the development of technologies such as special makeup and VFX is affected. The purpose of this paper is to clarify how contemporary zombie epidemics were created, from the aspect of design and modeling of zombies.


  • Diaphanes: Art and Philosophy

    Diaphanes: Art and Philosophy 4 71-94, 2017-03-30


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