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Subjectivity in New Croatian Film: A Narrative-Critical Approach

The author explains the film’s subjectivity construction on the basis of the search for identity hypothesis as the basic source of social meaning in the modern globalised society. In the south-eastern Europe, the notorious Balkans, subjectivity redefining, acceptance of Otherness and burying limiting ideological norms becomes necessity and reality in the post-war and transitional period, says the author. This can be seen on the example of films such as Witnesses (Svjedoci), by Vinko Brešan, Sorry for Kung Fu (Oprosti za kung fu), by Ognjen Sviličić, What Iva Recorded on October 21, 2003 (Što je Iva snimila 21. listopada 2003), by Tomislav Radić, Two Players from the Bench (Dva igrača s klupe), by Dejan Šorak, and What is a Man Without a Moustache? (Što je muškarac bez brkova?), by Hrvoje Hribar. A narrative-critical approach to these films understands the interdisciplinary project which includes the relation between film and narratology, so questions of subjectivity encompass the relation between narration and film presentation in the first place, and considering subjectivity production, this approach points to interdependence between film and cultural theory.

The author explains problems that emerge when trying to define the subject as a constantly produced and redefined category, and in narrative film analysis, it should be distinguished between the text, the story/ topic, and the plot levels: narrative text is a text in which a certain agent tells a story in a certain media... The story is the plot presented in a certain way... the plot presupposes a series of events experienced by the agents connected in a logical and chronological order (according to Mieke Bal). Of course, subject positions in film’s narrative texts are tightly connected to the questions of gender, sexuality, nationality and race, and determining these positions in the analysis of the stated Croatian films presupposes an interdisciplinary project which causes disciplinary borders’ pushing, in this case, between film studies and narratology. The impossibility to sustain disciplinary borders within liberal studies is possibly most evident precisely in film studies and especially evident when we try to find possibilities to conceptualize the film’s subjectivity constructions.

Saša Vojković

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