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Mythopoetic Cinema: On the Ruins of European Identity Paperback – August 8, 2017
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This brilliant book follows European cinema into the depths of the European psyche, illuminating the mental map of Europe, rethinking the modern mythology of Europe, and exploring especially the significance of Eastern Europe for the cultural crisis of European identity that attended the conclusion of the Cold War and still traumatizes the continent in the early twenty-first century. (Larry Wolff, Julius Silver Professor of History at New York University and author of Inventing Eastern Europe)
Borrowing a phrase she herself coined, one must acknowledge that Ravetto-Biagioli has written a ‘vertiginous history’ of the moving image. Just as she did in The Unmaking of Fascist Aesthetics, she guides us through unfamiliar perspectives, unrehearsed practices, audacious gestures, and remarkable works where cinema unthinks our certainties. An exquisite treat of great courage and clear-sightedness, Mythopoetic Cinema shows how Sokurov, Angelopoulos, Abramović, and Godard challenge the imagined, institutional, and philosophical construction of Europe in the aftermath of extraordinary, enduring violence. Ravetto-Biagioli’s readings are simply astonishing for their thoughtfulness and for the capacious vision and interpretative hospitality they offer. A vertiginous history, indeed. (Gil Anidjar, Columbia University)
Drawing attention to central European cinema of the last three decades, Ravetto-Biagioli explores films that are without happy resolution―disquieting and perplexing productions in which ethics, aesthetics, and politics are tightly knit. Through refreshingly close analysis of works of four very different artists, she shows how the ideology of European ‘identity,’ a myth of selfhood and appurtenance to a nation or community, is questioned and becomes fractured and pulverized. Along the way the reader marvels at the care and detail Ravetto-Biagioli brings to the works she analyzes. Mythopoetic Cinema is a study that will endure. (Tom Conley, Abbott Lawrence Lowell Professor, Harvard University)
About the Author
Kriss Ravetto-Biagioli is professor of cinema and digital media and of science and technology studies at the University of California, Davis. She is the author of The Unmaking of Fascist Aesthetics (2001).
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