Art Films and the Poetics of Transgression: A Practice-based Investigation

Project: Research

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In this thesis, I explore transgression as a generative force for art cinema with a special focus on the subject of sexuality. Through filmmaking practice, I further investigate how its artistic value may be accessed, and which principles, challenges, and possibilities might be involved in this, by contrast to standard forms of transgressive poetics at the turn of and during the first decades of the 21st Century. Art film transgressions, I demonstrate, are defined less by the often-observed bodily excesses and more by the unexpected threshold encounters the artistic gesture engenders. Academic and cinematic writings mirror each other in a process that brings together theoretical and practical thinking, which I present in two parts respectively. Part I starts with a prologue, where I approach the fundamental importance of taboos and transgressions in the production of meanings. In the following three chapters, I discuss the common idea of transgression as bodily excesses and highlight the importance of the socio-cultural and linguistic codes, the narrative and stylistic conventions and the modes and contexts of presentation in the production of borderline (obscene, haptic and reality) effects. In Chapter Four, I address the concept of excess in cinema and its institutional implications, and in Chapter Five, I approach art films as a mode of production but also an aspiration for cinema as an art. Part II opens with a prologue on art practice as a mode of thinking, in which I present the choices and methods involved in this research, and, in the final four chapters, I elaborate on the actual productions: one short essay film (Transgressions) and three short experimental narrative films (Bliss, Femme, Paradise). Here I show that an artistic ethos and an aspiration for the poetic threshold provided the conditions for generating unexpected encounters and intimate experiences that fed the films’ physical dramaturgies on many creative and reflective levels.
AcronymPhD Thesis
Effective start/end date01/03/201226/02/2016

    Research areas

  • Ph.d.-projekt

ID: 128969232