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What Do Animals Dream Of ? Or King Kong As Darwinian Screen Animal

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Chapter Summary

This chapter poses a question on what do animals dream of? It argues that King Kong can be interpreted as the dream of the animal, of Kong himself. The King Kong films represent the screen animal’s dream, a dream of interspecies love and loss, desire and death. But of course this recurring and changing dream is ultimately the dream of the culture that has produced the film in the first place. All three films of King Kong, from Willis O’Brien to Peter Jackson, explore the animal question but from different perspectives: the 1933 version focuses on Darwinian themes of devolution and desire; the 1976 remake on human greed and the end of nature; and Peter Jackson's film on the need for the unification of human and ape through community. The 1976 and 2005 remakes argue that woman and animal are able to communicate, primarily through touch, gesture and body language.

Keywords: animals; body language; Darwinian screen animal; King Kong; Peter Jackson; screen animal’s dream; Willis O’Brien



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