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East, West and CentreReframing post-1989 European Cinema$
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Michael Gott and Todd Herzog

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748694150

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748694150.001.0001

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Dubbing and Doubling Over

Dubbing and Doubling Over

The Disorientation of France in the Films of Michael Haneke and Krzysztof Kieślowski

Chapter:
(p.51) Chapter 3 Dubbing and Doubling Over
Source:
East, West and Centre
Author(s):

Alison Rice

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748694150.003.0003

This chapter considers the remarkable movements of characters from Eastern European countries in films by both Haneke and Kieslowski and the way they resituate and reorient France in particular and Western Europe in general, placing it in relation to the East, in a constant motion that precludes seeing this ostensibly privileged location as the sole goal of Eastern European individuals. Instead, the way that Romanian and Polish protagonists go back and forth between their native countries and France or Austria, both literally and figuratively, and even temporally, means that they are sensitized to the multiple vantage points from which Europe can be viewed and understood, and the various points of contact that can be developed between different cultures and countries. What is especially salient in Kieslowski's work is the role of music and its unique ability to transcend the barriers created by national languages that lead to misunderstandings and often preclude openness to other forms of expression. The provocative, probing cinematic work of Haneke and Kieslowski stimulates two seemingly contradictory reactions in viewers, and the second term that makes up the title, ‘doubling over’, refers to both the pain and the laughter that these films inspire. These intense feelings bring about a change in perspective, disorienting preconceptions about the fixity of France and convincingly replacing them with a new comprehension of the oft-overlooked fluidity of its relationship to the rest of Europe.

Keywords:   Michael Haneke, Krzysztof Kieśloski’, French Cinema, Eastern Europe, Music (in cinema)

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