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Želimir Žilnik and the concept of Independent Cinema - DELC Research Seminar
Date: 13 June 2012 Time: 1.00 pm
Venue: Bowland North Seminar Room 10
Department of European Languages and Cultures
Research Seminar Series
Ewa Hanna Mazierska (UCLAN)
Želimir Žilnik and the concept of Independent Cinema
In my paper I will discuss the career of Želimir Žilnik, a director born in 1942 in Nis in Yugoslavia, whose career, spanning over forty years and Yugoslavia, West Germany and Serbia, excellently illustrates the concepts of independent and transnational cinema and their interface. Žilnik, who directed, among others, feature films, Rani radovi (Early Works, 1967) and Stara škola kapitalizma (Old School Capitalism, 2009), numerous documentary shorts, such as Nezaposleni ljudi (The Unemployed, 1968), as well as television works, is known for his critical attitude to the represented reality, which brought him into conflict with political authorities, both at home and abroad and forced him to adapt to different conditions of filmmaking.
Žilnik's career well illustrates the advantages and pitfalls of 'independent filmmaking', especially in the context of Eastern Europe. Hence, in my paper, I will use his case to examine this concept, drawing on Marx and Marxist thought, such as the critique of the 'culture industry' by Horkheimer and Adorno and the concept of 'critical media' by Christian Fuchs, and the history of Eastern Europe and its cinema, with its figure of 'artist-dissident' and the specific case of Yugoslavia. My main point is that there is no 'independent cinema' in absolute terms; cinema can only be independent from something, hence 'independent cinema' means different things in different cultural contexts.
Ewa Mazierska is Professor at the School of Journalism, Media and Communication, University of Central Lancashire. She is a specialist in European film history and has published over ten monographs and edited collections on this topic. She is currently working on a study on the representation of work in European cinema.
Who can attend: Anyone
Organising departments and research centres: European Languages and Cultures
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