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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’s function as a thought process, materialized in particular filmic expressions, through cinematographic instruments. By taking into account the primordial mythological, social and cognitive codes activated into cinematic codes, recent Romanian films are interpreted as pathways into the collective thinking mechanisms and become relevant for the overall understanding of Romanian society. This paper suggests that cinematic narratives and filmic structures express a specific cultural inclination, a “Romanian way” of telling stories which is significant for understanding the formation of a Romanian cinematic mind. Starting with the connections it shares with more ancestral forms of thinking, like mythological and folklore narratives, this is an investigation of the national imagination based on filmic experiences. After overviewing the transformations of the metaphysical dimensions of fatalism and melancholia, the author concludes that the Romanian cinema is a thinking machine influenced these ancestral predispositions. This thinking machine is a melancholic cinema machine, a psychomechanical apparatus generating an inescapable mood.

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

DOI: 10.24193/ekphrasis.21.10