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The Cinematic Bodies of Eastern Europe and RussiaBetween Pain and Pleasure$
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Ewa Mazierska, Matilda Mroz, and Elzbieta Ostrowska

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474405140

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474405140.001.0001

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Shaping the Cinematic Bodies of Eastern Europe and Russia

Shaping the Cinematic Bodies of Eastern Europe and Russia

(p.1) Introduction Shaping the Cinematic Bodies of Eastern Europe and Russia
The Cinematic Bodies of Eastern Europe and Russia

Ewa Mazierska

Matilda Mroz

Elżbieta Ostrowska

Edinburgh University Press

This collection offers a series of perspectives on the bodies of Eastern European and Russian cinema, a terrain of growing scholarly interest, but one which remains under-researched, for reasons that are both general and region-specific. Our aim is not to provide a monolithic vision of how the body has been configured across this vast geographical area; it is not possible to formulate a single argument concerning the Eastern European and Russian body. Rather, the chapters put forward a series of ‘openings on the body’, to use Shildrick and Price’s terminology, in the cinemas of the region (1999: 1). The kaleidoscopic vision that emerges from these perspectives is of the body, whether individual, collective, symbolic or specific, as a nexus of often-competing forces, affects and ideologies, and as multiple and fluid. We hope that, by making corporeality our focus, we will yield new insights into the material and screen cultures of the countries under consideration: former Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia and former Yugoslavia. With the possible exception of Russia, the cinematic outputs of these countries are marginalised in studies of both ‘European’ and ‘world’ cinema. As Portuges and Hames point out, this is a relatively recent development: between the 1950s and 1970s, these film industries were more widely known and studied; the subsequent decline of interest has meant that ‘a generation of critics and audiences have grown up for whom the cinemas of Eastern Europe are very much unknown territory’ (2013: 3). With our focus on this region, we thus aim to foster a more inclusive vision of material and film culture.

Keywords:   Eastern Europe, Russia, Cinema

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