No End in Sight: Polish Cinema in the Late Socialist Period

No End in Sight: Polish Cinema in the Late Socialist Period

by Anna Krakus


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No End in Sight offers a critical analysis of Polish cinema and literature during the transformative late Socialist period of the 1970s and 1980s. Anna Krakus details how conceptions of time, permanence, and endings shaped major Polish artistic works. She further demonstrates how film and literature played a major role in shaping political consciousness during this highly-charged era. Despite being controlled by an authoritarian state and the doctrine of socialism, artists were able to portray the unsettled nature of the political and psychological climate of the period, and an undetermined future.
            In analyzing films by Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Kieslowsi, Krzysztof Zanussi, Wojciech Has, and Tadeusz Konwicki alongside Konwicki’s literary production, Anna Krakus identifies their shared penchant to defer or completely eschew narrative closure, whether in plot, theme, or style. Krakus calls this artistic tendency "aesthetic unfinalizability." As she reveals, aesthetic unfinalizability was far more than an occasional artistic preference or a passing trend; it was a radical counterpolitical act. The obsession with historical teleology saturated Polish public life during socialism to such a degree that instances of nonclosure or ambivalent endings emerged as polemical responses to official ideology.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822964612
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date: 07/31/2018
Series: Russian and East European Studies Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Anna Krakusis assistant professor of Slavic languages and literatures at the University of Southern California.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction Aesthetic Unfinalizability: Narrative Irresolution at a Time of Great Conclusions 1

Interlude Wajda's Secret Box 30

Chapter 1 Final Cut: Poiesis and Production History 32

Chapter 2 Life Keeps Ending: Immortality and Resurrections 63

Interlude Rebuilding the Capital 107

Chapter 3 "But It Is Our Country": Building a Nation 110

Interlude A Sweatshop Romance 149

Chapter 4 It's about Time: Plots about Aimless Movement 151

Postlude After Forever: Polish Cinema after "The End" 177

Notes 213

Bibliography 239

Index 255

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