Skip to main content


On Not Being Someone Else

Thursday Lecture Series, Animation

dateApril 4, 2013 timeThursday, 12:15pm EDT location The Heyman Center, Columbia University

Professor Miller’s talk considered the imagination of counterfactual self-understanding in literature and film, with special attention to the film Another Year (director Mike Leigh, 2010). This “optative” mode of self-understanding compares who one is with whom one might have been had events in the past been different; it is sustained by branching or forking narratives. Leigh’s film portrays such self-understanding by both isolating its various middle-aged characters and juxtaposing those isolated lives. The particular technical devices used by Leigh receive special attention.