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The Cinema of Iceland

Between Tradition and Liquid Modernity

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Sebastian Jakub Konefał

The last decade was an exceptional period for the Icelandic cinema. The films produced during this time have won many prestigious awards at international festivals. Cinematic images of Iceland eclectically interlace myths, stereotypes and postmodern means of expression. At first glance, the local films obsessively repeat the same themes which might be incomprehensible for a foreign viewer. However, academic research on the most interesting motion pictures creates an opportunity to study the birth and development of small, but energetic and ambitious cinematography. Such an experience also allows analyzing problems related to the system of film production in this sparsely populated country and helps identify challenges during the process of introducing a local culture abroad. Finally, studying Icelandic cinema gives a chance to go on the audiovisual journey through the fascinating culture and unique landscapes.

The author of the book analyses popular topics and narrative strategies in Icelandic films. The research covers local versions of black comedies, road movies and crime stories as well as different figures connected with the motif of struggle between tradition and modernity.

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Bibliography of the Previously Published Parts of the Book

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This book is a result of six years’ researching programme, supported by the EEA and Norway grants between 2010 and 2016. Due to the necessity of the gradual reporting of my progress in queries, the monograph first began its life as a series of publications appearing in different academic magazines and book anthologies. A few other parts of the book were based on the short articles for the Internet portals and popular science magazines. All of them were significantly expanded for the purpose of the first edition of my book in Poland. The Polish version of this monography was published in Gdańsk in December 2016 by Wydawnictwo w Podwórku. The English version of Cinema of Iceland for Peter Lang was partially rewritten and significantly updated in 2018. Here is the list of the texts that were previously published in Polish and in English during the time of my queries:

Między utopią turyzmu a antyutopią nieautentyczności: trzy filmowe podróże po Islandii, “Studia Humanistyczne AGH”, 2011, no. 10.

Female Protagonists in Contemporary Icelandic Cinema, “Studia Humanistyczne AGH”, 2012, no. 2.

W stronę transnarodowej wrażliwości? Strategie kulturowego otwarcia i gatunkowej asymilacji w kinematografii islandzkiej po roku 2000, “Kwartalnik Filmowy”, 2012, no. 80.

Ojczyzna, ojcowizna, starość i śmierć. Bolesne pożegnania z naturą i tradycją we współczesnym kinie islandzkim, “Studia Filmoznawcze”, 2013, no. 34.

Między prawdą a stereotypem, tradycją a nowoczesnością: w...

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