Giovanna Santaera

4B Transcoding Storytelling/1
Session 4 – July 2, 15:30 – 17:30

Bandersnatch (Netflix, 2019) and/as Intermedial Performativity through Tv Series, Cinema and the Digital Transcodification

Bandersnatch is a visual product produced for the Netflix platform in 2018 by an idea of the Black Mirror tv series project team. It was born from the narrative concept of a young programmer that created in 1984 a videogame of the same name as an Imagine Software based on an interactive novel. The reader-spectator-user moves by choosing among several options within the narrative universe in which different possibilities of the story are outlined. 

Despite the commercial categorization of the product as an “interactive film”, in the production sector and in the Italian common and critical reception it has been indicated as an episode of the tv series, a film or a new type of transmedia storytelling neglecting the transitional character, spatial and temporal, of the realization (or the emptying) of the story to all the individual and collective co-constructions. 

But what is the difference and remedial element with respect to the literary construction, the filmic transmission and the transmedial nature of current television seriality? Can the terminological difficulty and the experience of Bandersnatch make us reflect on the use of intermediality as a procedural mode that makes performativity (material, linguistic, technical and discursive) a historic mode of expression? And at the same time can we speak of intermedial works as new forms of expression not referable to the usual categories (film, TV series, performance, installation, audiovisual product)?  

But can the digital component of the project also make us reflect on the need to reconsider the influence on the effects and deep affections involved in these expressive forms of the materiality of digital tools (coding, codec, standards, software, platform, algorithms, social networks) on their construction, reading and reception? 


Giovanna Santaera is a PhD student at the University of Catania where she is working on a research project on cinema museums in Italy between new museology, visual culture studies and communication practices.  She is part of the editorial staff of the journal Arabeschi, an international journal about literature and visuality, with which she cultivates her research interests around the intermediality through literature, cinema, television seriality, performing arts and digital media. She has participated in some conferences dedicated to the cinematographic and audiovisual realism and to the revision of the concept of archive between audiovisual products, institutions and remedial practices.