Enclosed spatial formations: space and place in the socialist and post-socialist Romanian and Hungarian cinema

Batori, Anna (2017) Enclosed spatial formations: space and place in the socialist and post-socialist Romanian and Hungarian cinema. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The thesis proposes a comparative textual research on Hungarian and Romanian cinema by setting up a model that informs the implicit cinematic reflection on socialism in film. By establishing two aesthetic categories – horizontal and vertical enclosure –, the thesis argues that the spatial structure of the narratives reveals and alludes to the oppressive policy of the Hungarian and Romanian socialist regimes. The first part of the research scrutinises the space in Romanian cinema, and investigates the birth of the vertical enclosure. The analysis focuses on the spatial representation of Bucharest, that is the claustrophobic illustration of the urban landscape and its space depicted by the tools of notorious surveillance on screen. As argued in the thesis, the architectural forms and their film representations build up a spatial constellation identical to Bentham’s Panopticon discussed by Michel Foucault. The second part of the investigation concentrates on Hungarian cinema and the evolution of horizontal enclosure in film. Through textual analysis of the selected films that are set on the Great Hungarian Plain, the thesis discusses the allegorical use of space during and after socialism. Therefore, while concentrating on the circularity of the location and the mise-en-scène of the films – that refer to the isolation and indefiniteness of space – the author argues that the directors recall the parabolic language of the cinematic corpus of the socialist epoch. As concluded by the work, the contemporary art cinema of Romania and Hungary both reference socialism by using space as the main device for the implicit textual reflections. In this way, horizontal and vertical enclosure also emphasise the revival of the forms of the socialist aesthetics.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Romanian cinema, Hungarian cinema, socialist remembrance, space, place, narrative space, architecture and film.
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Eleftheriotis, Professor D.
Date of Award: 2017
Embargo Date: 24 January 2020
Depositing User: A Batori
Unique ID: glathesis:2017-7890
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2017 11:15
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2017 13:10
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/7890

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