The specificity of the aesthetics of slowness in contemporary Romanian cinema
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Contemporary Romanian cinema, particularly in its internationally successful instances, displays formal characteristics that have often led to its being seen in terms of the so-called Slow Cinema trend in contemporary cinema. This thesis proposes that there is something distinctive about slowness in contemporary Romanian films, similar to and yet different from Slow Cinema. Through a detailed analysis of films made by Cristi Puiu and Cristian Mungiu, two of the most representative contemporary Romanian filmmakers, Romanian slow films emerge as a less stringent form of slowness characterised by tension. This thesis first looks at some of the ways in which slowness can be developed in film - through the use of the long take and the trope of waiting along with the use of stillness and silence. Within this slowness an attitude of contemplation emerges, a characteristic that is key to Slow Cinema. Through close textual analysis of a number of films with a reputation for slowness, both classic and more recent examples, this thesis looks at how the techniques used to develop slowness in film allow for variation and how they can be used not only to create this attitude of contemplation but also to create tension. While this aspect has been less discussed with the more prevalent focus on Slow Cinema and its themes of contemplation, tension can be identified in a variety of films, both those considered part of Slow Cinema and those considered slow films. The distinctiveness of slowness in contemporary Romanian cinema is partly to do with its being rooted in Romanian culture. This study looks at Romanian cinematic and cultural inheritance, specifically at how slowness figures in this history. This thesis contributes to the existing body of research on contemporary Romanian cinema addressing its most salient characteristic, its sense of slowness, by placing it in relation to wider discussions about slowness and Slow Cinema as well as by linking its distinctiveness to wider cultural notions and practices of temporal organisation as well as the social history of the nation.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internationalhttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Embargo Date: 2023-03-09
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Print and electronic copy restricted until 9th March 2023
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