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Conflict and Controversy in Small Cinemas

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Edited By Janina Falkowska and Krzysztof Loska

This book examines small cinemas and their presentation of society in times of crisis and conflict from an interdisciplinary and intercultural point of view. The authors concentrate on economic, social and political challenges and point to new phenomena which have been exposed by film directors. They present essays on, among others, Basque cinema; gendered controversies in post-communist small cinemas in Slovakia and Czech Republic; ethnic stereotypes in the works of Polish filmmakers; stereotypical representation of women in Japanese avant-garde; post-communist political myths in Hungary; the separatist movements of Catalonia; people in diasporas and during migrations. In view of these timely topics, the book touches on the most serious social and political problems. The films discussed provide an excellent platform for enhancing debates on politics, gender, migration and new aesthetics in cinema at departments of history, sociology, literature and film.

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18. Post-industrial landscape in the “Silesian cinema”: Between the aesthetic and cultural experience (Ilona Copik)

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Ilona Copik

University of Silesia

18. Post-industrial landscape in the “Silesian cinema”: Between the aesthetic and cultural experience

Abstract: An issue discussed in this chapter concerns the movie landscape in terms of its two chosen functions: aesthetic and anthropological ones. The first function originates from the aesthetic tradition and results from the fact of objectification of the picture (image) as a subject of cognition and contemplation, entangled in the sight codes. It assumes stability and distance as a receptive experience. The second one – reading of a landscape according to the anthropological key – is based on the cultural experience that includes activities such as residing (in a place/territory), participation and engagement. It draws attention not to the view of plane itself, but rather to the space depth that can be associated with the issues of geographical environment, cultural representation, topography, and symbolism of a place and locality. In the reflection on this research, the main issue is not treating those functions as an opposition, but rather using the category of landscape to reveal the cultural practices in terms of complex network of relations between subject/environment/agency, which characterise today’s processes of mediation. The subjects of the analysis are the chosen contemporary feature films representing a certain phenomenon of Polish cinematography – “Silesian cinema.” The main purpose of this research is an attempt to find answers to the following questions: how do the pictures produced by “small cinema” express the locality? To what extent...

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