Exploring the tensions between the themes and visual style, Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York is an exemplary manifestation of dissensus: ‘the presence of two worlds in one’ (Rancière, 2010: 37). Staging and subsequently thwarting middle-class America and classical Hollywood style, the film ultimately allows us to envision ways of being beyond the apparent “end of history”. Yet, in so doing, the film also highlights the tendency towards irony in contemporary American art cinema: a feedback-loop, art-housing the art film spectator safely, intellectually, inside the space of the film. This takes us to the political impasse of art cinema in general: when formal innovation meets cultural critique, a redistribution of the sensible occurs and makes possible subsequent changes outside of the cinema.
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