Date of Award

12-4-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Angelo Restivo

Second Advisor

Alessandra Raengo

Third Advisor

Jennifer Barker

Fourth Advisor

Davide Panagia

Abstract

Cinemas of Endurance begins by questioning the way in which critics and scholars have addressed art cinema over the last decade, specifically the films referred to as “slow cinema.” These films have garnered widespread attention since the start of the 21st century for how they deploy what many believe to be anachronistic and redundant formal techniques, often discussed in terms of nostalgia and pastiche. This dissertation argues that these films have been unfairly couched within this discourse that largely judges their validity based on their stylistic similarities to the art cinema of the 1960s and 1970s. Breaking from this direction, this project proposes we take these films and their aesthetic seriously, not for stubbornly refuting the prevailing formal trends in filmmaking, but for how it creates a critical optic that grants us a greater capacity to recognize some of the most prevailing social, political, and economic issues of the last decade. Further, by using stylistic techniques that can often register as out of place, or protracted, these films can help us to understand the way our physical, mental, and affective coordinates have shifted in this historical moment. Each chapter of this dissertation takes an exemplary film from this subset of art cinema and addresses how the aesthetic works against established modes of viewing to render visible modalities of life that often escape critical ire because they are expected. This project relies on the theories and methodologies of film and media studies, aesthetic theory, realism, materialism, accelerationism, cultural studies, continental philosophy, and political philosophy. The films and filmmakers analyzed include: The Limits of Control (2009), dir. Jim Jarmusch; Ossos (1997), In Vanda’s Room (2000), and Colossal Youth (2006), dir. Pedro Costa; Dogville (2003), dir. Lars von Trier; and, 2046 (2004), dir. Wong Kar-wai.

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