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Thursday, March 1

Love Affair, or the Case of the Missing Switchboard Operator
3:00 pm
4130 Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
Center for Russian and East European Studies, European Studies Center and Global Studies Center along with Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures; Film Studies Program
Kiersten Walmsley
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Dusan Makavejev’s Love Affair provides us with an example of cinematic reflexivity, which can be defined as any technique that reminds the viewer that he or she is watching a film. Reflexivity foregrounds the fact that film meaning is a function of a set of codes with ideological implications rather than a transparent reflection of reality. Reflexivity can be achieved through intertextuality, exaggeration of cinematic conventions or conspicuous narration that reminds us of the author’s mark on the text. These techniques are all in evidence in Love Affair, whose textual heterogeneity calls into question the earnestness of cinematic (including socialist) realism as well as the official ideologies of state communism. As Thomas Elsaesser notes, Love Affair juxtaposes three sites of meaning: “the liberating intimacy of a sexual relationship…, the public world of abstract didacticism and cold rationality…, [and] the memory of the Russian Revolution and Tito’s national liberation war”. (Elsaesser, European Cinema: Face to Face with Hollywood, p. 322) Our understanding of Makavejev’s view of 1960s Yugoslavian society depends on our interpretation of the ironic and tragic relationship between these three sites of meaning. (Alex Lykidis, "Love Affair," Critical Commons)

The film will be introduced Dr. Ljiljana Duraskovic, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.