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Croatian film

Metafilmic structures and forms of (self)consciousness in Croatian and world cinema

In a historic presentation of the problem of self-reference, by way of theoretical formulations of the problem and analytical and critical presentations of different ways of crossing the framework of the fictional film structure and experimentalist discussions on metafilmic mechanisms, the problem of self-denotation, frameworks and metafilmic structures can be realized in different ways and the phenomenon can be explained in at least the same number of ways. However, the presence of (increased) self-reference does not necessarily proportionally increase the presence (of increased), or simply, the presence of film’s aesthetic values. Likewise, a lack of self-reference does not decrease film’s aesthetic values: self-denotation is not even an indicator for belonging to a specific style since it can be realized (and it is realized in different manners in terms of type although there is no explicit proof of this in this essay) in both typologically distinctive film presentation modes, both in classic and in modernist style, and also in genealogically different ways of organizing the material of the world in an acceptable form of documentary, feature or experimental film. Nonetheless, different types of self-reference themes are presented in this essay: the first type refers to the theme of a proper fiction framework within the explicit film content. This is achieved either by tackling the diegesis/hypodiegesis relationship or by matching the levels of the implicit author’s extradiegetic manipulation and the character-narrator’s intradiegetic manipulation. The second type refers to the implicit thematization of a proper framework which is destroyed when we talk about the viewer perspective. The viewer either can not attach ontological values of diegesis or hypodiegesis to different narrative levels in the film or the construction and the contents of the film story match mental conditions of viewers which is achieved by film’s organization in terms of form and content. The question is can there be established a single systematic taxonomy of all metafilmic structures that would be subject to same criteria in different types and genres of film media and cinematic art and that would not be reduced to existing genealogical or general typological classifications. However, this is the subject-matter for a separate study that would definitely be more difficult to realize.

Krunoslav Lučić

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