Tren de sombras: memory, genre and film technology


Davies A (2019) Tren de sombras: memory, genre and film technology. Quarterly Review of Film and Video, 36 (2), pp. 87-103.

José Luis Guerín’s early film Tren de sombras (1997) is used in this paper to question the role of genre and film technology in the discourses of memory commonly claimed for contemporary Spanish cinema production. Technology works in combination with the demands of genre (primarily the Gothic but also mockumentary and found footage), to problematise the connection between technology and the recording of the past. The fragile and deteriorating film stock of Tren de sombras becomes a microcosm of the capacity of film technology to collapse under the burden it is charged with: capturing the spectral illusion of memory amid multiple narratives. This paper ultimately argues that the Gothic genre, together with the technological implications of memory recuperation, obscures rather than preserves memory and demonstrates that memory is always subject to the demands of genre frameworks.

Tren de sombras; Guerín, José Luis; memory; Gothic; genre; film technology

Quarterly Review of Film and Video: Volume 36, Issue 2

Publication date31/12/2019
Publication date online25/03/2019
Date accepted by journal05/06/2018