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Framing Rivalry: the representation of Alain Prost in Senna (2010) [Paper]

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Senna is a 2010 documentary film, directed by Asif Kapadia, that portrays the public and personal life and the tragic death of Formula 1-racer Ayrton Senna (1960-1994). Despite receiving general critical acclaim of journalists worldwide[1], Formula 1-racer Alain Prost (1955), former team member and eventual life-long rival of Senna, explicitly renounced the way in which he was represented in the film. This paper discusses Prost’s major arguments for this renunciation in the light of the two existing versions of the film and their differences in terms of content and montage. I argue that the award-winning[2] montage of the regular, theatrical cut establishes a paradoxical relation between the film’s purportedly independent quality as an artwork and the external objections of its accuser: while the film’s critical acclaim is partly the result of the refined montage, the montage is also precisely what has made the film controversial.

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