A Song of Ceylon

Australia, 1985

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This film refers not only to Basil Wright’s classic British documentary “The Song of Ceylon” but also to a name erased from the map of the world, for there is no country officially named Ceylon. Invoking this idea of absence the above film pursues a certain phantasy of the body, a somewhat abstract form of the body in extremis, the body in travail, the body in torsion. The extremity in question is around forms of hysteria. A Song of Ceylon explores the narcissistic body, the masochistic body, the hysterical body and maybe a few other bodies in extremis. This is done by bringing together two different theatrical traditions from two different cultures through the mediation of cinematography.

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Laleen Jayamanne



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VHS; Access Print (Section 1)

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If you would like to cite this item, please use the following template: {{cite web |url=https://acmi.net.au/works/79837--a-song-of-ceylon/ |title=A Song of Ceylon |author=Australian Centre for the Moving Image |access-date=17 July 2024 |publisher=Australian Centre for the Moving Image}}