This collection of new writing on contemporary Greek cinema builds and expands on existing work in the field, providing a coherent analysis of films which, despite their international importance, have so far received limited critical attention. The volume maps key trends in Greek cinema since the 1990s within the wider context of production and consumption at both national and international levels. It offers a wide range of critical analyses of documentary and avant-garde filmmaking, art house and popular cinema, and the work of established and new directors as well as deliberations on teaching methodologies and marketing strategies. The book seeks to highlight the continuities, mutual influences and common contexts that inform, shape and inspire filmmaking in Greece today.
4 This Tongue Is Not my Own: Dogtooth, Phobia and the Paternal Metaphor (Ben Tyrer)
Ben Tyrer 4 This Tongue Is Not my Own: Dogtooth, Phobia and the Paternal Metaphor Yorgos Lanthimos’s Kynodontas/Dogtooth (2009) exists in the shadow of certain real life cases and, as a film about a dictatorial Greek patriarch, is open to readings of political allegory; aesthetically, it is a post-Haneke minimal-realist piece, of fixed shots and cramped framing, and it employs an amalgam of professional and non-professional actors; it is also a reflec- tion on the transgressive and liberating possibilities of the cinema itself; but what is most interesting about the film, from a Lacanian perspective, is what it suggests about language and family structure. Through concepts such as phobia and the paternal metaphor, as well as alienation and the uncanny – as they are theorized by Lacanian psychoanalysis – this chap- ter will explore the constitution of the Subject, in and through language, in Dogtooth to reveal – in a properly psychoanalytic manner – what the ‘pathological’ instance here can tell us about the general condition. Home / School / Garden / Prison The film depicts the home-schooling ideal pursued to its logical (and absurd) conclusion, showing the lives of three apparently adult children who have never left the walled garden of their isolated house, and who receive all their care and guidance from their very literally ‘stay-at-home- mother’ and middle-management father. The family’s only contact with the outside world is the father’s colleague, Christina, a security guard whom he pays to satisfy the sexual needs of the son, and who has also befriended...
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