Department of Art History: Research Seminar
Political Form in Contemporary Cinema: Angela Schanelec’s The Dreamed Path.
This paper takes German filmmaker Angela Schanelec’s most recent film The Dreamed Path as a staging post from which to explore some general questions about form and politics in contemporary cinema. The Dreamed Path has been considered in the context of the cinema of German re-unification and as an example of the Berlin School’s critique of the neo-liberal foundations of the new Germany. Thus, two formal questions arise: what is a neo-liberal nation? and what are the terms of its critique? The Dreamed Path addresses these questions at two levels, it dislocates the spatio-temporal continuity of the nation, and it repurposes the Bressonian body: recognizable places such as Athens, London and Berlin do not function as settings in which characters, Kenneth, Ariene and Therese move and circulate. Rather movements, usually of discrete even isolated bodies, and settings are rethought. To what extent does the relation between bodies and between bodies and settings harbour a new political form?