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Time and Space in Contemporary Greek-Cypriot Cinema

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Lisa Socrates

Why does the 1974 war in Cyprus remain so dominant in Greek-Cypriot cinema? How has this event shaped the imagination of contemporary filmmakers, and how might one define the new national cinema that has emerged as a result? This book explores such questions by analysing a range of Greek-Cypriot films that have hitherto received little or no critical discussion.
The book adopts a predominantly conceptual approach, situating contemporary Greek-Cypriot cinema within a specific cultural and national context. Drawing on the work of the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze, and particularly his theories of time and space, the author explores ways in which Greek-Cypriot directors invent new forms of imagery as a way of dealing with the crisis of history, the burden of memory and the dislocation of the island’s abandoned spaces.
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Chapter 5: The Time-Image and Beyond: From Duration to the Crisis-Image

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CHAPTER 5

The Time-Image and Beyond: From Duration to the Crisis-Image

We can now summarize the constitution of this time-image in modern cinema, and the new signs that it implies or initiates. There are many possible transformations, almost imperceptible passages, and also combinations between the movement-image and the time-image […] On one hand, the movement-image constitutes time in its empirical form, the course of time: a successive present in an extrinsic relation of before and after, so that the past is a former present, and the future a present to come.1

— GILLES DELEUZE, Cinema 2, 259.

In the final shot of Airport for Sale (Simon Farmakas, 2007), a short film of just over fifteen minutes, a close-up captures the almost negligible movement of the hands on the large wall clock in Nicosia International Airport.2 When they pause in a freeze frame, the camera zooms in closer and then cuts. Time is stilled. As the static camera frames the interior of this abandoned space, it forcefully documents the unfolding presence of time that lingers.

Nicosia International Airport, once the main commercial airport in Cyprus, stopped functioning temporarily in the summer of 1974. The last commercial flight arrived in 1977. Airport for Sale was shot on location on ← 135 | 136 → the western side of the capital city where the airport was originally built, in the 1930s, by the British RAF, during the period of British colonialism. Currently, the uninhabited airport...

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