Refraction and essay film: the case of Alexander Sokurov
Karpat, Colleen Bevin Kennedy
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This thesis analyzes refraction in essay film. As a self-reflexive method, refraction deals with the self-critique of visual representation in essay film. In this thesis, I develop two different dimensions of post-aesthetics of essay film in the line of semio-ideological understanding. The first dimension, as a horizontal interstitial aesthetization of essay film, deals with cinematic parataxis and metalepsis, where I discuss Godardian constellation and Agnès Varda’s metaleptic narrative through Adorno’s negative dialectics and Benjaminian constellation. The second dimension of the post-aesthetics of essay film, as vertical interstice, deals with intermediality and refraction. As constituting to different layer of essayistic construction in the film, intermediality is discussed in Peter Greenaway and Harun Farocki, and refraction is discussed in the line of photographic and visual epistemology. The thesis finalizes with the discussion of Alexander Sokurov’s late refractive cinema (Russian Ark (2002) and Francofonia (2015)), through the horizontal and vertical understanding of essay film’s post-aeshetics.