Doctoral research project

”Entering the Frame – Agency of the Editor” by Kersti Grunditz Brennan

Researcher: Kersti Grunditz Brennan

Entering the Frame – Agency of the Editor is a doctoral reserach project by Kersti Grunditz Brennan. Kersti is a doctoral candidate in film and media.

Kersti Grunditz Brennan’s doctoral research project is based on her experience as film maker, editor, choreographer, and dancer. It will explore an aesthetic of fragmentation and reassembly that revolves around movement, body and embodied experiences in a film context.

Goal & purpose

This research explores a cinematic aesthetic of image sequence fragmentation and reassembly motivated more by kinesthetic empathy than narrative logic. How the shaping of the physical experience of body, volume, scale, rhythm, sound shapes the experience of the cinematic story. Part of that exploration is about defining the agency of the editor – in relation to the content, to the editor’s role in the collaboration, to the forming and interpretation of an artistic vision for the film, to the context in which the film is made and meant to be screened, and to the editor’s personal experiences, methods and artistry.

The potential of cinematic storytelling to affect audiences and their opinions, seems to lie in its seductively deceptive resemblance to the (a) real world. One goal of this exploration is to heighten the awareness of the limiting frames of realities captured on film - both documentary and fictional. By virtue of aesthetic choices, it will add to the discourse on the authoritarian gaze and multitudes of perspectives in narrative cinema.

Research questions

How does a film allow its viewers to experience a film primarily on a physical level and how does this affect the cinematic storytelling?

How can the cinematic experience invite the audience into conscious interaction rather than impose emotional triggers or force a kinesthetic response?

How can the use of cinematic storytelling that bypasses the intellectual understanding and goes straight from a body on film via kinesthetic empathy to the body of the viewer, be used as a means to challenge narrative, authority of image and/or emotional manipulation without sacrificing connection/commitment to the cinematic experience?

In shaping the film experience through editing, how is the editor using her own experiencing of the film in progress – the editor as viewer - as an instrument?


The project will be carried out through the artistic practice and process of creating, filming and editing film content that emphasizes embodied experiences - content that has the potential to be researched through editing by virtue of its subject matter, its relation to the editor/researcher and its aesthetics. The research will also be undertaken in essay form; outlining issues, contextualizing them and drawing conclusions that point to the next step - from the project itself as it evolves and from editing and filmmaking experiences from the 15 years leading up the articulation of the research project.

Part 1 – presented at 30% seminar ‘Attempts at Breaching the Bloody Framework’;

Phase one of film project ‘BLOD’ (with co-researcher Annika Boholm)

Artist Statement Kersti Grunditz Brennan

Acts of Cinematic Seduction with Varying Success Rates (Essay on previous artistic practices)

About Documentation (Paper on what constitutes the documentation of the project)

Research Catalogue exposition ‘Entering the Frame’.

Part 2;

Phase two (making the film) of film project ‘BLOD’ (with co-researcher Annika Boholm)

Exposition of research methods in ‘BLOD’.

Part 3; 

Research Catalogue exposition ‘BLOD/Treatment’.

Writings situating the research questions in a film studies/media studies context.

Re-editing of ‘BLOD’-material

Part 4;

From ideas and reflections generated in the practice and writing about Blod, a new film project will be mapped out as the site for further practice.

Terms and topics to be explored and written about

(Cinematic) Storytelling/Narrative
Kinesthetic Empathy
Reality claims

Inspiration and references

Susan Sontag
Yvonne Rainer
Marie-Louise Ekman
Kerstin Ekman