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Articles from 21(1)/2019

The Positive Contradiction(s) of Melancholia



The article stands for a critical argument for the present themed issue of Ekphrasis, devoted to A Melancholic Exploration of Humanity (The Solitude of Man). Studies in Visual Representation and Melancholia. This short introduction briefly presents the reasons behind this exploration, the ... Read More

Keywords: melancholia, visual arts, aesthetics, affect, contradiction

Melancholia Towards a Future to Come

Dragoș BUCUR


Exploring the cinematic theme of melancholia, as expressed through temporality, constitutes the main focus of this paper. Though, usually the temporality of melancholia is associated with the past, we will try to ponder upon a past-future dialectic temporality where the melancholic seeking of the past becom... Read More

Keywords: temporality, messianism, critical theory, Walter Benjamin, future to come, Jacques Derrida

“Should I also make a garden out of the desert?”: A Case Against Invisible Hermits

Bernardo Marin Diniz Aires FERREIRA


Ever since Aristotle’s conjoining of the creative and the melancholic state of mind – in the 33rd section of Problems –, much has been written about the relationship between artistic output and melancholy, depression, isolation or even madness. The artist – but also the phil... Read More

Keywords: Eremitism, Melancholy, Desert, Isolation, Space

Melancholia as Destinerrance. On Resolution in Discontinuity and an Art That Could Come After Evil



This article is concerned with art’s exploration through melancholia of a world in disaster. We will investigate how art as a form of melancholia – akin to Derrida’s concept of destinerrance – is not only testifying to its limits, but employing its limits, denouncing and per... Read More

Keywords: melancholia, negative dialectics, destinerrance, assignable nonplace, split subject, parages, Auschwitz, Tristan chord, undecidable, dissonance, silence

La phénoménologie de la perception mélancolique. La mélancolie sentie dans le cinéma-corps



This paper discusses melancholy as an existential solitude that is acknowledged and amplified through the cinematic experience. In order to prove that this feeling is not only a psychological distress, but it is mainly perceived through the manifestations of the body and, paradoxically, through interaction ... Read More

Keywords: cinema; body; perception; Melancholia; Solaris; melancholy; phenomenology; reflections; solitude; absence

The Melancholy of Residual Anti-stories

Călina PĂRĂU


The following text examines the relationship between the “banal” and melancholy as it appears in the films of three contemporary film directors: Tsai Ming-Liang, Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Tomás Gutiérrez Alea. The questions raised address the means through which the visual discourse pa... Read More

Keywords: melancholy, banal, significance, anti-story, unrepresentable

Crossing a Productive Melancholia in Artistic Work Based on Xerography



This paper suggests that xerography or copy art – also called “generative systems” – may incite melancholia. The theoretical framework for this analysis includes Svetlana Boym’s concept of “broken-tech arts” (2001) and her conceptualization of ruins (2010), as well ... Read More

Keywords: productive melancholia, xerography, copy art, haptic image, synthetic ruin, ruined image, degeneration

Melancholy, between Medical Science and Cinematography



This text examines the history of melancholy starting from Ancient Greece with Hippocrates’s Humorism and going up to its current form, namely an isolated subspecies of clinical depression, the term being almost redundant today. Besides, it showcases several examples of melancholic traits in cinema. O... Read More

Keywords: history of melancholy, melancholic traits in cinema, depression, feminine melancholy

Depression and Desynchronization of Temporal Relation in Lars von Trier’s Antichrist and Melancholia

Justine Shu-Ting KAO


This article aims to apply Thomas Fuchs’ “Psychopathology of Interpersonal Time” to Lars von Trier’s films Antichrist and Melancholia. Fuchs examines melancholia in patients with depression resulting from a desynchronization of inner time and common/social time. To ... Read More

Keywords: rift, depression, desynchronization, daimones, Lars von Trier

Notes on Fatalism and Melancholia in Romanian Cinema: An Imagological Approach

Doru POP


By questioning the mythological and philosophical roots of what makes “Romanianess” a particular mode of thinking, this paper uses the cinematic imagology method in an effort to circumscribe the elements that could form the “Romanian cinematic mind”. The author is exploring cinema&rs... Read More

Keywords: cinema imagology, Romanian cinema thinking, Romanianess, fatalist storytelling, melancholic cinema machine

Melancholic Memory and Mourning Images: Death’s Resistance to Representation in Abbas Kiarostami’s Films

Ana-Sânziana GHELASE


The aim of this paper is to analyze the dispositif for the emergence of mourning images in Abbas Kiarostami’s movies and the subsequent melancholic perception of the viewer that is created by the rendition of these images, while also highlighting the importance of the artistic medium of cinem... Read More

Keywords: mourning image, melancholia, Abbas Kiarostami, perception, the Other, gaze, respect

A Diptych of Spiritual Maladies in Cinema: From Nostalgia (Andrei Tarkovsky) to Melancholy (Lars von Trier)



This essay aims to assemble (palimpsestically) the visions of several art creators on melancholia and nostalgia. It also undertakes a brief foray into the history of art and film by reference to several influential names: Andrei Rublev, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Albrecht Dürer, John Everett Millais, Andrei... Read More

Keywords: nostalgia, melancholia, Andrei Rublev, Albrecht Dürer, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, John Everett Millais, René Magritte, Andrei Tarkovsky, Lars von Trier, history of art and cinema, history of ideas

Le récit mélancolique et comment il est généré dans l’animation japonaise

Anca-Raluca SOCACI


The aim of this paper is to analyse the concept of melancholy in connection to three animation films all released in 2013, but coming from directors having distinct artistic styles (Isao Takahata, Hayao Miyazaki and Makoto Shinkai). What interests me is the existence of a common ground that binds t... Read More

Keywords: melancholy, network, affect, temporality, récit, reminder

Melancholia as a Perpetual State. Configurations of Memory and how the Process of Becoming Becomes Externalized in Cinematography



The paper focuses on the way melancholia can be rendered visible in movie while perceived as a perpetual feeling – an affect in Deleuze’s terms. Existential crises, horrors, traumas and the unavoidable quest for truth are all tackled by Alain Resnais; the paper strives to analyse the way colours... Read More

Keywords: melancholia, identity, art, memory, becoming, affect

The Melancholy of Desert(ed) Places

Constantin TONU


Being traditionally associated with Saturn (or Chronos, the god of time), the melancholic mood has been most often analyzed in relation to a specific temporality. On the contrary, the aim of this paper is to explore the theme of melancholy as it appears in two films, relating it to cinematic space and to sh... Read More

Keywords: spatiality, desert, deserted places, desertion, melancholy, affect

The Late Films of Jiří Menzel: The Broken Spell of Nostalgia and Melancholy Heroes in I Served the English King (Obsluhoval jsem anglického krále, 2006) and Skirt Chasers (Donšajni, 2013)



The melancholic hero in a nostalgic world forms the dominant element of artistry in Jiří Menzel’s films from the beginning of his work in the 1960s to the present time. The theme of this study is the analysis of melancholic elements, focusing on the director’s last two films, in which he... Read More

Keywords: melancholy, nostalgia, modernism, adaptation, Jiří Menzel, historical film

Ghostly Articulations: Melancholy and Invention in Nanni Moretti’s Palombella Rossa



In 1989, Nanni Moretti’s movie Palombella Rossa is not just another comedy dealing with the key aspect of the times: the end of the Communist regimes. Especially in the context already prepared for the triumphant announcement of post-history and post-ideology, his movie is a profound meditati... Read More

Keywords: melancholy, commons, figure, Idea, communism

The Construction of Space-temporality through Melancholy and Forms of Desire



Starting from a plurivalent theoretical analysis of the Greek term nostos (both as a return to an identity of self, and as a formula for approaching the modern concept of nostalgia), this paper aims to follow the modality in which a literary thinking changes and it is sucombate by a more s... Read More

Keywords: melancholy, desire, imagination, psyche, space, alterity

The Melancholy of the Machine. Doubting Your Own Ghost in the Posthuman World



The paper attempts to analyse several science-fiction movies with the purpose of identifying the different processes through which melancholy is depicted in the post-human cinematographic context. This topic will be further elaborated by studying how various characters that belong to the spectrum of artific... Read More

Keywords: melancholy, robot, computer, cyborg, machine, science-fiction, longing, artificial intelligence

The Melancholy of Desire in Buñuel’s ‘That Obscure Object of Desire’ and Fassbinder’s ‘I Only Want You to Love Me’

Daniel SEBIN


The purpose of this essay is to investigate the melancholic nature of desire in the films “That Obscure Object of Desire” and “I Only Want You to Love Me”. Firstly, a definition of melancholy will be given and then an analysis of the way in which the nature of desire creates melancho... Read More

Keywords: melancholy, desire, Fassbinder, Buñuel, Freud, Žižek, Lacan, fantasy, film studies, critical theory

Melancholia in the Films of Terrence Malick

Cristina POPESCU


Melancholia lies at the core of the films of Terrence Malick; it can be regarded as a lens
through which the director sees the world. It encompasses the endurance of loss, the search for faith, for the absolute of love and for God himself. In Malick’s oeuvre, the paradise which was lost always refers to a Christian theologic... Read More

Keywords: melancholia, Starobinski, Terrence Malick, metaphysical cinema, Tree of Life, Knight of Cups

Propaganda, Spectacle and Nationalism

Lucian ȚION


Review of: Onoriu Colăcel, The Romanian Cinema of Nationalism: Historical Films as Propaganda and Spectacle, McFarland & Company, 2018.

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Keywords: review, Onoriu Colăcel, The Romanian Cinema of Nationalism: Historical Films as Propaganda and Spectacle, McFarland & Company, 2018

Kieślowski’ Forbidden Games

Ana-Sânziana GHELASE


Review of: Yves Vaillancourt, Jeux interdits. Du Décalogue à la Trilogie de Kieślowski, deuxième édition revue et augmentée [Forbidden Games. From Kieślowski’s Decalogue to the Trilogy, second edition, revised and augmented], Québec, Presse... Read More

Keywords: review, Yves Vaillancourt, Jeux interdits. Du Décalogue à la Trilogie de Kieślowski, Forbidden Games. From Kieślowski’s Decalogue to the Trilogy, Presses de l’Université Laval, 2016

The Travels of Archetypes: From Oedipus to Postmodernity



Review of: Corin Braga, Archétypologie postmoderne. D’Oedipe à Umberto Eco, Honoré
Champion, 2019.

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Keywords: review, Corin Braga, Archétypologie postmoderne. D’Oedipe à Umberto Eco, Honoré Champion, 2019

Re-contextualizing the New Romanian Cinema



Review of: Christina Stojanova, The New Romanian Cinema, Edinburgh University Press, 2019.

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Keywords: review, Christina Stojanova, The New Romanian Cinema, Edinburgh University Press, 2019