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How the Essay Film Thinks$
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Laura Rascaroli

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190238247

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190238247.001.0001

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Liquid Image, Fluid Cinema

(p.23) Chapter 1 Medium
How the Essay Film Thinks

Laura Rascaroli

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the tendency of the essay film to use hybrid materials, to be transmedial, and, indeed, to be nonhierarchical and nonsequential. In this way, it is an expression of the bid to reproduce the nonlinearity of thought and to testify to the crisis of rationality in post-Enlightenment modernity. Shot with special anamorphic lenses that distort and “liquefy” the image, Aleksandr Sokurov’s video Elegiya dorogi (Elegy of a Voyage, 2001), the case study of this chapter, is a hybrid, unstable, fluid text. Its instability and fluidity are so constitutive as to become the core of Sokurov’s reflection on authorship, spectatorship, medium, film, and image, on the one hand; and on ideas of Europe and European identity on the other.

Keywords:   Chapter, transmediality, medium, hybridity, nonlinearity, Aleksandr Sokurov, Elegy of a Voyage, Elegiya dorogi, European identity, liquid modernity

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